Readings (John 14:1-11)
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.
Last Friday I met up with a couple of friends that I had not seen for a few years. The three of us had been at university together, we had sat next to each other in our first lecture, we became friends and have remained in touch with each other ever since. We have not seen each other very often in the intervening years as family, distance and work commitments have made it difficult, so it was with great delight that we gathered together last week.
If you had been able to overhear our conversation you would have heard us exclaiming how quickly time had passed and how we were definitely not going to leave it as long to get together again and how even after all this period of time we hadn’t changed. Now we were not really saying that we still looked like we did when we were younger, as clearly the signs of aging were apparent in all of us, but it was the fundamentals that had not changed. We were still recognisable as the young women we had once been.
After our lunch we all got out our mobile phones and shared photographs of family members. One of my friends has face recognition set up on her phone, so that all she has to do is look at the phone and it knows it is her and lets her into it. What she said was strange was that her son, who is now in his early twenties, can also unlock her phone by using his face. It’s not set up for his face, but the phone clearly thinks that the faces are so similar that they are the same.
This reminded me of the passage from the gospel of John, where the disciples wanted to see God the Father. They had not realised that by seeing Jesus, the son of God, they were also seeing the Father. As Christians we are children of God and as such we strive to become more and more like Jesus. This got me thinking about what people see when they look into our faces, do they see the face of Christ in us? Do they see Jesus walking amongst them when they see what we do? A hymn that we often sing has the line ‘Brother, sister, let me serve you, let me be as Christ to you’. That is a challenge for each one of us, every day.
A prayer for those we meet
May we walk by your side in your struggles;
May we share comfort in your pain;
May we hold your hand in the tears;
May we share joy in your happiness;
May we bless you through our generosity;
May we show God’s love again and again.
Song: Brother, sister, let me serve you.
Brother, Sister, Let Me Serve You (The Servant Song) [with lyrics for congregations] - YouTube