usually try to reflect on all of the readings for the day and to
integrate them into a single focus, but today I reflect on only
one verse from the Gospel. “For this is the will of my Father,
that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal
life.” How and when do we see Jesus?
My insights on this come primarily from my pastor’s sermon
the Sunday after Easter. As usual, he delivered a powerful message.
I will paraphrase the main ideas that stuck with me here. Pastor
Schneider started out with a children’s sermon in which he
produced a box of cake mix and a package of flower seeds. He asked
the children what they thought was inside the boxes. They knew of
course. He then asked them why they thought a cake mix could turn
into a cake and a seed could turn into a flower? They had all seen
it happen. From little children on, we learn to make sense of the
world by what we see. Seeing is believing, we are taught. That is
how Thomas approached his faith. He needed to see the risen Lord’s
wounds in order to believe. And Thomas did see them, and he even
touched the wounds. Where does that leave us? No one since Thomas
has had that experience, and yet we gather in churches on Sunday
morning because we believe in the real presence of Jesus in our
We need to think about the relationship between seeing and believing
differently, Pastor Schneider says. We learn in this life that you
can’t always even believe everything you see. Jesus knew about
human skepticism. He knew he couldn’t count on material evidence
to convince us that he was truly the Son of God. “I told you
that although you have seen me, you do not believe,” he said.
The point here is that our faith in the resurrection isn’t
about the material body of Christ. What we really need to learn
is how to see with our believing said Pastor Schneider. Believing
It is through our faith that we can see Jesus. We can
see the wounds and the scars of his suffering when we look at each
other. When we look for Christ in pain and suffering, our own and
that of others, and we believe he was sent by the Father to suffer
on our behalf the ultimate wound of death, then we see the Son.
Christ has died, Christ is risen and Christ will come again. All
of this, we can see in each other when we sing these words. Next
time you go to church, don’t just look down or straight ahead.
Look around at other people. Believing is seeing.