Long-haired freaky people need not apply!
Remember those lyrics? Five Man Electrical Band hit song, “Sign”.
“Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?”
Remember that song? A lament to the overabundance of signs in our world. I marvel at the new LED Billboard Signs. Signs that tell you to do this, do that, buy this, buy that, proliferate streets, high ways, and milk cartons. What’s next? Toilet paper. Think of the money, each sheet its own ad! (If any advertising agents are reading this, that’s my idea!)
The Gospel of John can be nicknamed, “The Sign Gospel”. It organizes itself around signs.
John 2:11 (NRSV)
Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
John 2:23 (NRSV)
When he was in Jerusalem during the Passover festival, many believed in his name because they saw the signs that he was doing.
John 3:2 (NRSV)
He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.”
John 4:54 (NRSV)
Now this was the second sign that Jesus did after coming from Judea to Galilee.
John 6:2 (NRSV)
A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick.
John 11:47 (NRSV)
So the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the council, and said, “What are we to do? This man is performing many signs.
There exist seven signs in the Gospel of John, read through it and discover them! John lamented that people wanted to see signs and proofs in order to follow Jesus. John’s readers must have been like us, we aren’t eyewitnesses of Jesus. Would seeing Jesus, “LIVE AND IN PERSON”, strengthen your faith?
The Gospel of John ends with a significant sign. Do you remember it? Jesus confronts, Doubting Thomas, who I have renamed, “I want to see a Sign Thomas”, like us, his faith wants more…he needs proofs. Thomas only appears in this last chapter of the Gospel of John, nowhere else, and this is what Jesus says,
John 20:27-29 (NRSV)
Then Jesus said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
TALK ABOUT A SIGN,…….BUT, Jesus continues….
Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”
In other words, “Blessed are those who don’t need signs!”
Faith is not based on Signs and Wonders. Faith is not built upon proof or facts. Living in the scientific age bends our mentality toward, reason, facts, and proofs. Yes they are important aspects of life. Unfortunately, we all live not knowing what tomorrow holds. We all live and act with faith daily. I don’t know what the facts are for the rest of my day or tomorrow. I live with faith while keeping a calendar and planning for the future….but zero of it is certain. It is the ultimate expression of life, to live with faith, it’s all you have. Everyone has faith in something or someone! No escape.
Christian faith is NOT based upon SIGNS. Faith does not jump off the pages of the Bible. Faith is not a set of beliefs, we get from the creeds, it’s a relationship of trust. Not trust in facts, but trust in God. No proofs, signs, or “correct beliefs” will substitute for a relationship of trust with God. Faith is a conviction of the heart. We have to trust our hearts.
I don’t care who you are…even Long Haired Freaky People, have faith. We continue to be a church that welcomes anyone on this journey of faith we call life. Together we are the body of Christ in our world as we seek to show signs of love to all people.
Come join the journey.