Thursday, March 21st
Look: examine; to search for; expect; anticipate; to have in mind as an end; to exercise the power of vision; see; to direct one’s attention
Psalm 27:4 (NRSV)
One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.
At the Spiritual Writer’s Conference I attended last week, Barbara Brown Taylor graciously shared so many insights and helpful ideas with us! She is one of my favorite authors, and I am blessed by her deep spirituality. In one presentation, she spoke of the word behold, noting that the King James Version of the Bible used this word quite often. Interestingly, the word believe was used much less than behold. Since then, translators over the years have reduced the number of “beholds,” and in doing so, we have lost something.
Both words are necessary words when we speak of our faith. But if I didn’t know about Jesus, I would be more apt to listen to someone share their experiences of him. I would want to hear about the ways he has helped us, the things he has done for us, the ways he continues to move within and among us today. I would want to know all the ways Christ-followers behold him in their daily living. I would be uninterested if I only heard that I needed to believe in him as my Savior. I wonder if we have been too intent on inviting people to believe certain things about Jesus Christ rather than to behold him.
Could it be that we don’t share our experiences because we have forgotten how to look for them? In order to behold we need to be watchful for, mindful of those God moments. If someone were to ask me today how I experienced Jesus yesterday, I am not certain I would be able to share any specific examples- not because he wasn’t present, but because I didn’t notice. I believe in Jesus. I know he is working in me, but maybe I begin to take him for granted and then neglect to keep looking.
For us to be ready to share our faith with others, we need to be attentive. We need to look and to note our experiences in beholding the incredible goodness of God. We should retain in our hearts and minds the times we have seen God at work in this awesome creation, or the times we have been guided by the powerful movement of the Spirit, or the times we have felt the presence of Jesus so near to us. These are the compelling faith stories that draw others to want to know more. These are also the compelling faith stories that keep us ever deepening in our own faith.
The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” (John 1:37-39)
All definitions are excerpted from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary at https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/
Photo credit: Aaron Burden on Unsplash