What signs point you to Jesus? If you’re like many people you look for signs that might emerge from a Cecil B. DeMille production–large, grandiose, cinematic visions of the Divine presence. Thunder, raging storms, brilliant sunsets, mighty winds may come to mind. Maybe the signs you envision are rare glimpses into the divine nature such as a baby’s first cry, the dawn breaking at an Easter sunrise service to the sound of singing or standing on a mountaintop gazing into the distant valley below.
The reality of our life on earth is that we don’t spend much time on mountaintops; most of our days are spent traveling the plains and dusty roads of daily routine and responsibility. Where are the signs pointing you to a gracious and loving saviour when your house is a wreck and you’re dog tired from a hard day of work or when the bills keep piling higher, when your health deteriorates and you feel lost and alone. Where in the world can you see the One who sustains you, who saves you, who never leaves you–not even in the worst and most chaotic train wrecks life can throw at you?
Here’s a hint: think small and simple. Jesus is found in the ordinary and everyday stuff of life. This week’s gospel reading reminds us of that. John points to Jesus in simple signs of bread and water. Yes, bread and water say a lot about Jesus’ identity and presence, not only in the sacraments of baptism and communion but in daily life.
So the next time you feel lost and alone and in need of some direction that will point you to Jesus, remember that you don’t have to look very far. You’ll find signs of God in each raindrop and every tear. You can see God and hear hope in the joyous play of children in a lawn sprinkler on a hot summer day. You may hear signs of Jesus in the gentle lapping of water as you stroll along a lakeshore, or remember a sign of your baptism whenever you fill a glass of water from the tap.
When you are hungry for a sign, take a walk past your local bakery and smell the fresh, yeasty scent of rising dough. Next time you bite into freshly buttered toast, take it as a sign of God’s daily provision and care. And when you gather with your brothers and sisters around Christ’s table for a bit of bread and wine, be assured of the real presence of your Lord.
Miracles and wonders need not happen in the clouds. All creation is sacred and each moment infused with the divine. Bread and water are wonder enough. Look closely and you will see signs of God incarnate at work in the world and at work in you.
Rev Nik Wooller
1st August 2021