Jesus at the Center

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The band U2 remains one of my favorite musical groups. The tunes are wonderful, but the lyrics run deep into the soul of a human being. They have a way of expressing the deepest sorrow, yearnings, wounds, joys, and hopes of humanity. One of my favorite U2 songs is “ I Still Haven't  Found What I'm Looking For.”


Have you found what you are looking for ? The classical theologian Karl Barth once said that people gather for worship to ask, “Is it true?” Contemporary theologian Tom Long says that today people come to church asking themselves, “Will it work for me?”   What do you come to church asking? What is it that you still have not found? What are you looking for? All people have an emptiness of some sort that haunts them at least from time to time.

In the biblical story of the feeding of the 5000, the emptiness of the people takes the form of physical hunger, or so they think. Jesus says to Phillip “Hey this is your old stomping grounds. Any idea of where we could find a caterer at this late hour to feed the masses?” Phillip responds by saying,” If you are looking to feed all these people what does it matter if we can find a catering service that’s still open this late, who would want to spend the money required to feed all these people that are looking to be fed?” (John 6:5-7) Jesus asks who has some food. A young boy comes forward saying that he has a modest lunch. Jesus blessed the food and fed the crowd. After the meal, Phillip and the other disciples gathered 12 baskets of leftovers. Phillip’s image of what was once possible when Jesus is involved was shattered. The faith that grew out of seeing the potential of what Jesus could do fed more than stomachs.

We live in a society that encourages the feelings of Phillip , to put ourselves at the center of our world. Faithful worship gathers us to put Jesus at the center. The risen Christ comes among us , not simply to meet our needs, but to rearrange them in order to reveal himself to us. In the body of Christ (the community of believers known as the church), sometimes we get more than we are looking for. We get the Christ, the one who is looking for us, that he might feed us the heavenly food we are looking for, call us unto himself, change us and transform us.

We perhaps have ,”not found what we are looking for”, but the key that transforms our life is the recognition that Jesus has indeed found, you, me and every precious person God created. For this is our hope and the promise we live within.

Still in One Peace,

Pastor David J. Jensen

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