Can you remember a moment when you felt truly seen? There are few instances as sacred as feeling seen, known, and loved for who you are, who you have been, and who you will be. I can recall a handful of moments when it felt as if someone sincerely bore witness to who I am on the very base level of my identity. Each of these moments was incredibly humanizing and holy. On the other hand, there are few things more dehumanizing than not being seen—being misunderstood, unknown, and unloved. I would wager that acts of hate and exploitation are more easily carried out when we have mastered ways of not seeing one another for who we are in the story of God.
Our screens, labels, and camps enable “othering.” Our insistence on surrounding ourselves with people who look, spend, and vote like us permits exclusion and oppression. But efforts to get close, pay attention, and listen to one another can produce a people who recognize divinity in the person in front of them and who are willing to be seen by those who once harmed them.
This scripture says that “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him.” Much had to be in place for God’s creation to find Jesus so unrecognizable that people were willing to torment and murder him. Yet the environment into which God entered humanity was one of puppet politics and distorted religious rule. People were divided and outraged. Money was power, and power was for a select few. These distractions created fertile ground for missing God, even to the extent of murdering God. Yet there will come a time when Christ returns and will be seen by all, even those who missed him in devastating ways. This passage reminds us to sort through our distractions to truly see God in those with whom we come in contact and to leave room through forgiveness to be seen by those who once missed seeing God in us.
Meditate today on the words “My enemy is a child of God,” that you may see Christ in all.
Second Samuel records the final words of David. David takes comfort in the covenant that God has made with his family, which must be continued by kings who will honor God and rule justly. The psalmist sings of this same covenant with David’s family and the same necessity to follow God’s decrees in order to rule well. Revelation opens with a vision of Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of the Davidic covenant, the King to rule over all kings for all time. Many expected Jesus to set up a political kingdom. Yet in John, Jesus tells Pilate that his kingdom is not an earthly one. This week let us thank God that the kingdom is based not on the exercise of power but on Jesus’ example of serving others.
Read 2 Samuel 23:1-7. What characteristics would you include in a description of a just leader? Where do you see those characteristics in world leaders today?
Read Psalm 132:1-18. What is your vision of Paradise? Who will be seated at the table with you?
Read Revelation 1:4b-8. How do you bear witness to the “Alpha and the Omega”?
Read John 18:33-37. What is your understanding of what it means to live in God’s kingdom?
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