Have You Seen Him Lately?

Every Person

When Jesus walked this earth he was seen by sinners, saints, rich, poor, insiders, outsiders, Jews, gentiles, believers and non-believers.

In John chapter one, he records, “The Word(Jesus) became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory.”

We have seen his glory.

I think of the woman at the well, the shame of five failed marriages, an outcast in her own village, soul parched and empty, going back to tell them about this man she had met, transformed by his gentleness and grace, embraced by salvation’s story, declaring His kindness is better than life and this Samaritan woman sees his glory.

I think of the Prodigal son, ashamed of his past, hopeless in his present and fearful of his future, sitting at the banquet table that was set for his return, overwhelmed by his father’s unreasonable mercy, renewed by his Abba’s love and this rebellious, forgiven prodigal sees his glory.

I think about Zaccheaus, insecure, empty, shallow, crooked, betrayer of his own people, sliding down the lookout tree as fast as he could, generosity springing forth out of his bones, transformed by God’s patience, going home to have dinner with the giver of undeserved gifts and this remorseful tax collector sees his glory.

I think of the woman, ashamed of her past, tears in her eyes, anointing the feet of the one who did not judge her.
And while the religious voyeurs are scoffing and condemning, hearts of stone, the son of man looks deep in her eyes and for the first time there is a man who does not want to take something from her but wants to give her everlasting worth and she is restored by her master’s touch and this abused woman see his glory.

I think of 10 men, full of sores, untouchable, being touched by Emanuel, God with us, no longer exiled, future renewed, dignity restored by Jehovah’s power. And strangely, only one comes back to thank him and this grateful, healed man sees his glory.

I think the same gentleness and grace, the same unreasonable mercy, the same undeserved gifts, the same everlasting worth and healing power is available to every broken, rebellious, wayward, ailing, greedy, lust filled, wronged and mistreated person today when we choose to SEE and RECEIVE HIS GLORY.

Have you seen Jesus and his glory lately?

Today, we see Jesus dwelling among us and glimpses of his glory through the church.

When a man, homeless, broken by drugs, hopeless about the future, shows up to church on a Sunday morning, and instead of being judged is served, loved and given shelter, we see the hands and feet of Jesus, dwelling among us and in a tender, affecting way, we have seen his glory.

When a family, devastated from the loss of their teenage son, receives gentle love and deep care by a group of selfless volunteers called the funeral support and grief share team, amidst the sadness and the tears, we see the hands and feet of Jesus, dwelling among us, and in a heartbreaking, counterintuitive way, we have seen his glory.

When broken couples get fixed, wandering students find direction, empty bellies get filled, tired hearts get renewed, restless souls find peace, guilt ridden lives get set free, and lonely wanderers find a home, over and over, we see the hands and feet of Jesus, dwelling among us, and in obvious ways and not so obvious ways, we have seen his glory.

Tell me some ways you have seen Jesus and his glory lately.

“Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world.” ― Teresa of Ávila

4 thoughts on “Have You Seen Him Lately?

  1. I saw Jesus this morning when countless, bright-pink shirted volunteers gathered to play with, love on, laugh with, dance with, be crazy-silly with 100++Jr high kids. All the while letting them know how valuable, important and loved they are. Jesus looks so good in hot pink!

  2. I see Him, when I look at my formerly drug-addicted son, who is now clean and sober for 18 months, and planning his wedding.

    I saw Him, when I saw the relieved faces of my family & friends, when I woke up from my near death, emergency surgery.

    I see Him, when I sing at church, and look out at the familiar (and unfamiliar) faces, lifted up in worship.

    I see Him, when I serve at Celebrate Recovery, and see those joyous, free, grateful people, SO excited to LIVE.

    I see Him, when I’m part of the annual Christmas Musical, and see delight, unexpected pleasure, and sometimes tears of hope, in the faces of those attending.

    Pretty much, every time I’m at GVCC, I see Him. He is everywhere.

    When I am asked about our church, I don’t say there’s “great music”, or “great pastors”, with “great messages” (even thought that’s TRUE). Instead, I always talk about the community outreach, the sharing of clothing and food, and work projects, and missions trips, etc, etc, etc.

    I talk about the OUTWARD focus of our church towards hurting people, because that’s what He was/is all about, and so, I know that when I look into the faces of those serving others, I am seeing Him.

  3. We most often see the glory/spirit of Jesus when spending time with our homeless friends.  I could tell so many incidences and/or experiences that we have witnessed.

    One just recently

    James lives at the Haven and is one of the 5 council leaders there. He is a wonderful man, we have known him for about 8 months now.  He has a past as many of the homeless do.

    He was an addict, alcohol was his main demon and 4 years ago he was in a bar and drank to the point that he ended up beating up another man, who had to be hospitalized. Jim doesn’t remember it, the effects of the alcohol poisoning.  It was God’s wake up call for his life.  From his first day in prison (he had never been in trouble before) he made a decision to do something every day to improve himself so that he would never be in trouble again.  He attended AA and church services almst every day and  when he was released from prison 3 years later he was sent to our jail and then released to our town. He had nothing and no where to go, family (mom and sister) was in Big Bear and he had to stay in our county for 2 years. He found his way to the CRC where we first met him.  We liked him right off, quiet, respectful and wanting to volunteer his time to help others.

    We started bringing him to Saturday Café, he helped every weekend in the kitchen and loved it, doing whatever was asked of him. Then we began coming to church with us and he has not missed a Sunday in all of the time we have known him. He loves GVCC, and often says what a great service that was in the car on the way back to camp.

    He became a Haven council leader and is now the most respected leader in camp, respected by residents as well as the volunteers.  He is always clean shaven, with hair clean and trimmed, clean clothes etc, he makes an effort because he cares about himself and knows that that is important.

    SO here is the point.

    Last Tuesday he got a call from his sister that his mom, who is 66 and not well, was very ill and b eing life flighted to Lomalinda hospital in Ontario SoCal.  Then 2 hours later he got a call saying she was on life support and may not live through the night. He was very worried and really wanted to be there for her.

    We were able to get online right away and get him a ticket and got him to the Sac airport to fly out by 7:00 that evening.  When we got there to pick him up at camp all of the other council members and a few of the residents were gathered around him for support and encouragement. Several of them dug into their pockets and tents to come up with some cash ( one dollar bills and some change)  so he would have some money for meals etc.  The widows might, they gave all that they had.  Then as he walked to our car they all escorted him, hugging and saying they would be praying for him and his mom, and we all prayed together before we left. He was very concerned about his mom and that was utmost on his mind, however he felt so blessed to know that everyone in the Haven family cared so much for him to make sure he could get to his mom.

    We witnessed compassion, unconditional love, kindness, sacrifice, putting others before oneself, and on and on. 

    His mom rallied a bit when James got to the hospital but it was touch and go all night, doctor said it could go either way.   The short version is that starting the next day she began to improve (she had a deadly septis, blood poisoning) and after 4 days she was released, he is still with her, caring for her at her home, he will come home Wed, Steve Stockwell will be picking him up at the airport.

    James said he has experienced more blessings than he ever thought p ossible in one week. He is so very grateful to God and the people God has put in his life, and even though he lives in a homeless camp, there is no place else he would rather be right now in his life.

    It is such an honor and privilege and humbling to be able to share Christ’s love with our homeless friends.

    Tom and Janis, Team Carney

     

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