As we journey together through Lent, Christians throughout Columbia will be sharing their own beautifully written personal meditations. Each will be accompanied by a corresponding scripture reading, and be linked to that passage in the Holy Bible. If you would like to join us on Columbia’s Lenten journey, please submit your personal meditation by email. Especially meaningful submissions will be printed. Let us continue our Lenten journey, day by day, to its glorious culmination on Easter Sunday.
Scripture reading: John 1:43-51
This passage reminds me of the saying, “Big things come in small packages.” Jesus, according to what we know about His physical resemblance, was more than likely not a mountain of a man, came from a town called Nazareth (which could be linked, quite frankly, to a modern ghetto), and was going about the lands of the day proclaiming some pretty controversial material. This is instantly illustrated by Nathaniel’s groaning, “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” However, the response given to Nathaniel, “Come and see,” pulls Nathaniel along out of the same curiosity that inhabits us all.
What, if anything, could come out of this small man from Nazareth? Jesus’ response to Nathaniel’s inquire is fantastic; He saw Nathaniel before they had even met. After Nathaniel, stunned cold I’m sure, declares Jesus to be the King of Israel, Jesus comes back with one better. In modern language it’s almost as if Jesus, speaking to Nathaniel, is saying, “Oh, you think that’s great? Just you wait.”
This insight into Jesus, into the people of His day, and into the malleable attitudes and perspectives of those very people is not that different from our world today. During this time of self-contemplation and discipline I, for one, sometimes have my feelings of doubt too. About myself, my life, my world, you name it. Dear Lord, what could come of this time of trial before Easter? What good is coming from Nazareth these days?
I am not ashamed to share my human faults. With that said, these tiny second-guesses, these ‘small packages’ of reflection that we all experience from time to time are answered by Jesus every single day. Reflection on those and other items during this time, while they may start as doubts, end up actually strengthening my faith much more than the doubt could’ve ever taken hold. It actually makes me beam with delight. Here’s why: During Lent, as we reflect, all we have to do is open our eyes and our hearts and hear Philip calling, “Come and see.”
When you hear Philip’s call to you, remember Jesus saw you sitting under your fig tree before you even knew Him as well and, with that astounding fact, let your doubts melt away as you put your faith in Him. After all, Jesus is going to say the exact same thing to you when your reflections are done and your heart is filled with love once more, “Oh, you think that’s great? Just you wait.” When it comes to faith, there’s always more to come.
Lector/Intercessor and Eucharistic Minister
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia Prayer Chain: Saturday, February 16
In our prayers: Mary Reames, Richard Smith, Claudia Strattman, Jennifer Williams, Betty Jo Carson, Gary Davis, Eddie Bolton, Myrna, Esther, Pam James, Doug and Sharon, John Kelchner, Elizabeth Matthews, Nedrick Griffin, Jennifer Handy, Nancy Stuckey, Annemarie Sullivan, Rachel and Randy Wurtzbaugh, Patty Peckham, Denise Byrd, Greg and Lisa Steele, Dean Timothy Jones, Linda Langford, Marty Fritz, Harriet Hancock, Tommy and Robby Palmer, Patty and Ted Mac Laughlin, Janet Long, Bobby Wilson, Debbie and Pat Barry, Betty Jo Sullivan, Patrick and Patricia Barry, Jordan Hill, Doris Clevenger, Charles Sigel, Bob Davis, John Whatley, Nancy Zuckerman, Charles Davis Sr., Bill Carter, Betty Peavy Frick, Joye Cantrell, Fred and Gail, Dale and Norma Sessions, Padge Arrington, Jerry Callahan, Norman Masters
Special prayers for Mary Ellen’s four-year-old grandson, Joseph Patrick, who is fighting cancer
In memoriam: Sarah O. Boyle Harris, Phyllis Marie Rigsby Francis, Maria Blackstock Claytor, Melissa Ann Brooker, Ernest Dan Howard Sr., Furman Gene Raines, Marry Elizabeth Wingard, William Woodrow “Woodie” Walker, Dennis JohnTay White, Clark Lewis Reed Sr., Debra Anne Copeland Pressley
Our prayers are with: the elderly, the homeless, all currently fighting illness, all beloved pets, our president and congress, our police officers and firefighters, all who serve in the armed forces
Columbia Prayer Chain is open to all residents of greater Columbia who would like to share prayers and receive the prayers of others. Please leave your name in the comment box or email me.