When was the last time you saw Jesus? Better still, when was the last time you actually looked for Him? I’ll bet many of us saw him last Sunday… some may have even caught a glimpse of Him on Wednesday night. Perhaps we volunteered in some church ministry one night this week, and maybe, just maybe, we saw Him then. It almost seems that Western Christianity has determined we can only see Jesus when we are at our local church building. Is this really God’s dwelling place?
When I read the Bible, I don’t see Jesus being found in the local temple very often. More often than not He is wandering the countryside and local villages. He’s hanging out with prostitutes, thieves and liars. He’s touching those we wouldn’t dare to touch: the smelly, the diseased and the dying. I don’t see Jesus on the “right” side of the tracks very often. He’s hanging out with the homeless because, lest we forget, Jesus was homeless as well.
Why do we only look for Jesus in the setting of the church? Even worse, when did the Church become a building of brick and steel? As followers of Christ, we are the Church, not some extravagant, over-priced hunk of stained glass, carpet and wood. We need to be the Church throughout every moment we are alive. We need to look for Jesus everywhere we go, in everyone we come in contact with, and in everything we do.
Look for Jesus at your job, in your neighborhood, in your own house. How might you serve the next person you see? What needs of theirs could you meet? A simple smile, a gentle touch, a kind word can all do wonders for someone who is feeling lonely and lost. We need to go the places Jesus went, hang out with the people He did, and touch others with His love. If we can’t find Jesus anywhere around us, then it’s time we expand our lives and venture further out into the world until we do find Him.
Where will you find Jesus today; where will you look for Him? When you find Him, will you wrap your arms around Him in love? Will you serve Him at any cost simply out of gratitude? Will you do it if He is dressed as a homeless man? Will you do it if He smells or is rude? Will you do it if His skin is a different shade than yours? Our answer must be an unequivocal “Absolutely!”, and it must be backed up with action. Do you long to see Him every day or is Jesus just a guy who’s nice to see on Sunday? If we love Him, we have no choice other than to serve Him in remarkable ways – every day! Look for Jesus. Be the Church.