I hear that question, and the first thing I think of is Waldo. Do you remember Waldo, as in the title character of the Where’s Waldo books? You know, Waldo, the little, cartoon guy with the candy cane outfit. You had to pick him out of an overstuffed landscape. It was a fad for a while.
Those books annoyed the stuffing out of me. I could almost never find him, and on the rare occasion I did, I always found myself thinking, “There’s Waldo. So what?”
So, the question above about Jesus doesn’t set my heart on fire. Is it a trick question? Is it a pointless question? So what?
And, after all, God’s love in Christ is, in a real sense, out there everywhere. As the book of Acts put it, in God we live and move and have our being.
But, it is perhaps the most important type of question we can ask ourselves as Christians – both as individuals and as congregations. Where is the Lord? Where have we met him? Where have we seen him? Where has someone seen him in us?
Didn’t Mary Magdalene set the whole world on holy fire by saying on a certain Sunday morning, “I have seen the Lord!”
If we are stepping out on a limb and daring to believe Jesus is real, and if we believe he loves the real world we live in, then we gotta run into somewhere and sometime, right?
Jesus said through mysterious words in Matthew chapter 25 that when we meet the most vulnerable people among us – the prisoners, the naked, the underfed, the thirsty, the stranger, the sick – we meet him.
So maybe finding Jesus isn’t a tricky, impossible thing, a confusing picture where we strain to see Jesus’ little red and white hat hidden on purpose in a mess of other colorful things. It may be quite simple, actually. Perhaps if in support and care we go to the most vulnerable people among us (and even within us), we will find Jesus.
I don’t know but maybe touching God’s presence with your own loving hand is the very reason you’ve been made. Maybe it is the way you become who you were made to be. Maybe it’s the way you fulfill Jesus’ call to love God with everything you are and to love your neighbor as yourself. Maybe it’s the way Heaven comes to Earth. Maybe it’s the meaning of life.
When something happens, like hearing about events in Ferguson, MO for just one example, let us ask God and ourselves where the most vulnerable people are? Then let us go to them in all the ways we are able. There are plenty of people to choose from in just this single example – grieving parents, angry young people, police officers who must feel marooned out on some strange island.
Just go and love and see what happens. Maybe nothing. Maybe everything. Perhaps Jesus will be met in his strange disguise and we will be brought alive.