Leslie’s Musings January -February 2020
When Jesus was at table with the disciples, he took bread,
and after giving thanks to God, he broke it and gave it to them.
And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him.
Many ministers I know choke up a little when they say these lovely words from the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Something about the ability to recognize our Lord in simple bread and wine is deeply moving. Something about 20/20 vision.
Jesus and our liturgy (the words we say during worship and prayer) speak to spiritual perfect vision. In Luke 4:18, Jesus says in part, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim recovery of sight to the blind.”
I’ve worn glasses since I was in 2nd grade, and my ability to see is abysmal without correction. I am deeply grateful for technology that allows me to see more clearly, and for the wizardry that allows people with cataracts to have corrective lenses right on their eyeballs. Amazing!
Can we view Scripture as a corrective lens to the darkness that seems to spread upon the earth? During Hanukah, which happened to coincide with Christmas this year, there were several attacks on Jewish communities, including one in a rabbi’s home. Domestic violence escalated in Erie County last year. Don’t even get me started on how many school children have died as a result of shootings. Does scripture help?
“The overarching theme of the Gospel of Matthew is the role of Jesus as the Christ in relation to God’s plan of salvation for all humanity,” says my Bible’s introduction to the Gospel for Year A, our current lectionary year (emphasis mine). How do our lives and actions point to that salvation for all?
As I like to remind you at Communion, on that last night of his life, Jesus knew he was at table with one who would betray him, another who would deny him three times, and likely deduced that the others would fall away (or fall asleep, as indeed they did). Did Jesus throw them out? No, he fed them. He was just and merciful to those who would harm him. He offered sustenance to those who would not or could not sustain him.
His unconditional love, grace, and kindness then changed the world, and with it, his followers. The one who denied him, Peter, later became the rock on which the church was built, and was one of the stars of The Acts of the Apostles. Treating someone with kindness doesn’t always change future actions, but it couldn’t hurt, right?
Let us endeavor, then, to see with Jesus’ eyes, and to proclaim recovery of sight to all who are blind, whether in their eyes or their spirit. It might restore your spiritual vision to 20/20. Meanwhile, know that you are loved, beloved child of God.