Pentecost :: Can’t get no satisfaction!

Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” [John 14.18] 

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Dappled Light

Really Philip? Will you now finally be satisfied? It’s not like Jesus hasn’t shown you his Father—God—all this time. It’s not like everything Jesus has said, done, or taught wasn’t directly from God. And were you satisfied with that, Philip? Or Peter, James, John, Andrew? Or you, Thomas, were you satisfied? 

I vividly recall those nights long ago when I, as a teenager, would lie awake in bed waiting for some sign from God that everything was going to be alright. Or that God really did exist and really did love me. Or that just this once, I could make a good grade on a test I hadn’t studied for. Lightning. Is that such a difficult thing for God to conjure up to prove that I was on the right track in my belief? Nothing big. Just a little flash to let me know that God was real. Show me lightning, God, and I will be satisfied. 

How often it is that we make some grand bargain with God: “God, do this for me and I promise I’ll change my ways. C’mon, God. Just this once and I’ll be satisfied.” Seems we never learn, for God has been doing wonders for us since Day One. We just need to open the eyes of our faith to see. 

Or, rather, we just need to trust in the Spirit of Truth to lead us to an understanding of God’s continuing presence and wonder in our lives. Isn’t that why we celebrate Pentecost, the day the Holy Spirit came mightily upon the disciples, empowering them to proclaim with boldness the activity of God in the world? 

“Lord, show us God, and we will be satisfied.” 

Well. We have seen God. And God won’t be satisfied until we share that good news with others! 

Link to RCL Lectionary for the Feast of Pentecost, Year C

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