Sight and vision are at the heart of the texts this week. This theme is subtle at first, but grows stronger through the readings until it cannot be missed in the Gospel. In 1 Samuel, one wonders what God saw in David that was clearly missing in the Jesse’s other sons who were older, more experienced than the young shepherd. The familiar words of Psalm 23 present an image of God as shepherd, one who will lead us in paths of goodness and mercy if we can see what God intends for us. By the time we get to the Epistle, the Light shines and we should be seeing just fine. In case we are not, a little Gospel mud should clear things up.
I’ve had lousy vision most of my life. This fall I had surgery to correct thirty years of double vision. I had a few months of great vision but now things are starting to double again when I’m tired. It’s not nearly as bad as it was, but it’s disappointing. The best my vision corrects to is 20/30 which is okay but leaves everything a little fuzzy in the distance. When I encounter Bible verses about sight, vision, and how we see the world, I’m a bit sensitive. I’d like a little dose of that mud.
Fortunately for us, God’s vision is far beyond human vision. How else could God tell the Prophet that there was a king hiding in that lowly shepherd, the youngest of Jesse’s sons? How else could the Psalmist come to see those green pastures and still waters overflowing with God’s goodness and mercy in the midst of a turbulent life? How else could an imprisoned Apostle shine with a light greater than any personal distress? And, of course, Christ saw in a person born blind, an opportunity to open more than one set of eyes.
All this talk of vision and seeing hidden things makes me wonder if we would all travel a little lighter this Lenten season if we took a moment to consider what God sees in us and in the people we serve. What is hidden in the busyness? in the stress? in the brokenness? in the grief? in all that we carry? Does God see in us a greatness like David’s while we tend God’s sheep? Is that goodness and mercy that God pours out on us visible? Is the Light shining in and through us? Are we limited by our human sight or do we see with Christ’s eyes?
These texts are rich in images and meaning. What do you see in them? Where is the Spirit leading you? Please share your vision so we may all walk in the Light.
Rev. Dr. Rachael Keefe is the pastor of Living Table United Church of Christ in Minneapolis, MN. You can find links to her blog, vlog, and books at Beachtheology.com.
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