Forward Today: We wish to see Jesus

Dear friends in Christ,

This Sunday’s Gospel tells us about a time when some people approached the disciples and said to Philip, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” The people were Greeks, among those who most certainly didn’t know Jesus. I love the direct, in-your-face aspect of this quote. They know what they want, and they ask for it.

I love talking with seekers, those who are looking for a church home. So often they tell me they are looking to meet Jesus Christ. This is the whole reason they come to church (whether “coming to church” is in person or online). There is very little peer pressure for anyone to attend church these days, so if a person darkens the door of a church, they are looking for something. Most likely they could echo the Greeks’ words, “We wish to see Jesus.”

Wouldn’t it be great if every church showed forth Jesus and his saving love every Sunday reliably? My sense is that sometimes we get into a maintenance rut, and people begin to think of church as the place where they find constancy and comfort in a chaotic time. While I have nothing against constancy, especially if we’re talking about the steadfast love of God, I do think we miss the mark if we don’t keep our eyes fixed on the transforming love of Jesus.

It’s not uncommon for pulpits to have the Greeks’ words written on the preaching desk. It’s a good reminder to preachers: stay on topic! Don’t forget to talk about Jesus!

Maybe we need to write out those words on our pews, in our entry ways, in our parish halls, in our zoom meetings, in our newsletters, and everywhere else. Let us never forget the point.

When people arrive at our churches, they are likely looking for something. “We wish to see Jesus.” Let’s make sure they meet him.

Yours faithfully,

Scott Gunn
Executive Director



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Image: Tim Schenck

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My Way of Love | The Episcopal Church and RenewalWorks

The Way of Love and Discipleship | Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry and Scott Gunn