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Ephesians 1:17-18

I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints.

Seeing

How we see is so desperately important.

I grew up in Palo Alto, California. This was before it was the Palo Alto of today, but still it was Palo Alto. It was more ordinary then, but nevertheless filled with people working on projects and ideas that changed the world. My High School job wasn’t working in a manufacturing plant; it was lab work in cardiovascular research when people were experimenting on heart and valve transplants.

My mother wanted me to go to college somewhere else. She wanted me to know that the whole world wasn’t like Palo Alto. I was graduated from high school in 1970 and spent that summer volunteering in Taiwan. The Vietnam War was still underway. And the town in which I served still had open sewers running along the side of the street, dumping untreated into the stream that ran through town. It wasn’t like Palo Alto. Neither was college in Minnesota, or urban Toledo or inner city Detroit. Maybe I went too far from Palo Alto for my Mother’s taste. But I learned to see the world differently than the peaceful lawns and bright minds of Palo Alto.

But true life is not only in learning to see that the world is bigger than you think. It is about learning to see with the eyes of Christ.

Again and again in the Gospels Jesus opens blind eyes – but the concern doesn’t end with the biological process of seeing. Jesus is opening eyes to the work of God: opening eyes to see the unclean and the outcast as members of God’s house, opening eyes to see the occupation soldiers not as enemies but as members of your own kinship group, opening eyes to forgiving sins and loving your neighbor as yourself, opening eyes to a life of justice and mercy, opening eyes to see a shared table and the light of God.

How we see doesn’t change easily, but it can change. This is the work of the Spirit within and among us. This is the work that draws us to be children of light and people of hope and inheritors of the age to come.

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