From the Pastor's Desk Seeing Through the Smoke

Seeing Through the Smoke

If you’ve been outside – or even just looked outside today – you know: today is a weird day.  The smoke from the Canadian wildfires has flooded our air and everything looks different. It looks like we’re living in a vintage photo or something…it’s so odd!

It caused me to reflect a bit on our vision. Our ability to see is such a delicate thing, but also so crucial for our lives. I wear contact lenses every day, and it’s amazing that a paper thin piece of silicone hydrogel corrects my (horrible) vision. 

And think about today: just a bit of smoke (a lot of smoke!) in the air makes the sun look different, makes all the colors change, and causes things to be kind of gloomy…it makes it difficult to see clearly. I am looking out the window, hoping for the smoke to magically go away so I can see clearly again. 

Then I started thinking about our lives and our faith. There are so many moments in the New Testament where people lives and faith comes down to being able to see Jesus clearly (think of all of the blind/healing stories, the confusion of the disciples who couldn’t see him clearly after the resurrection, or how “the people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus” (Acts 13:27)). 

Just like the smoke that has invaded our air and cause us to see differently, what is it that has come into your life to make it difficult for you to see Jesus clearly?

For many, it’s the circumstances in life that cause us suffering, frustration, and disappointment. It’s hard to see clearly when things are hard.

For many, it’s that we watch too much tv news and read too much crazy social media, and it’s like we’ve unknowingly put on glasses that cause us to see things upside down or backwards.

For many, it’s that we’ve grown up expecting to see Jesus and faith one particular way – but all the while, he comes to us and calls us in a totally different way.

For many, it’s that we don’t know where to look, or we’ve given up looking all together.  

Whatever is causing you to make it difficult to see Jesus, pray that he would take the smoke away from your eyes.

Pray that he could remove the haze so that, even in tough circumstances, you could ‘fix your eyes on Jesus’ (Hebrews 12:2). Look to God’s Word – as it is a lamp for your feet and light for your path (Ps. 119:105). Whatever it might be for you, pray that you could see Jesus clearly.

And though the metaphor is different (voice/hearing verses eyes/sight), it made me think of our calling to be a voice of hope for our world…or…to adapt the metaphor, to help clear the smoke away so people can see Jesus clearly. We’re going to continue in that direction this Sunday, not only in a practical message on the church’s role, but also hearing from Jersey Shore Rescue Mission and how they are a voice of hope in the world. Please join us Sunday at 9:30…it should be special!

Finally, I want to take a moment to give a special thank you to and notice about Rebecca DeLucia. As you know, she preached last Sunday (VERY last minute) because I was sick…and she did a fabulous job. Filling in with very little notice is never easy, but she was fantastic.  Thank you Rebecca!  Also note, she won’t be at Central this Sunday because she is out in Pasadena, CA graduating from Fuller Theological Seminary!  Woohoo!  Way to go Rebecca! Congratulations in every way!

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