Don’t Leave Us ‘Til You Tell Us, Lord… Can You Help Us See Like the Women See?

[Looking side to side.] Don’t tell a soul. Don’t let the secret out! There are two kinds of people in this world. Girl people and boy people. Women and men. …You look unsurprised. Who spilled the beans? Surely you hadn’t just, umm, guessed. So here’s the question. What makes us different? Of course I know the rumors. Most say, “It’s in the plumbing!” Trivial. Some suggest it’s in whether or not you can giggle! Or “get” football. Or ask directions. Or see driving as a convention (it gets you there) or a competition (You gotta get there first! … Hence men are instinctively left-laners). Some say it’s that boys and men need films with “blow’m-ups”, girls and women can actually sit through an entire British film…and like it! We got Girl Scouts, 100 years old today, and Boy Scouts. You get the picture. … Well, ‘turns out there’s a Biblical difference?! Girls and women have this. [Don eye gear] Girls and women have different/extra eyes! Often, quite specific eyes of faith. True, sometimes even the ladies loose sight of this gift. Or it gets a bit out of focus, or dimmed by dis-use. But if I had a prayer for Girl and Boy Scouts alike today, for young Aidan, to be baptized today and programmed to try for a lifetime to understand women [good luck with that], this is what I’d pray. “Lord, can you help us? Can you help us all to see like the women see? ‘Especially those knowing-New Testament-women-of-faith? O, let it be so!”

These women see with remembering eyes. Pondering eyes. ‘Eyes that labor on promises and birth brand new life! I give you Mary, mother of Jesus. In that little Christmas cut we read from Luke today, are wonderful words. “The shepherds made known what they’d seen and heard of this baby, Jesus. It sure made folks wonder. But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart.” …Mary reveals women’s’ eyes remember what they’ve seen. ‘Like a digital camera with 100 gig card and never emptied! Granted, such vision can be bad news or good. Many a fella who’s ever argued with a lady knows, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.” And it ain’t over 'til she says so. But then too, and better, Mary. Mary will bank her Christmas. She’ll save it. She’ll invest it rearing Jesus. To change the image, Mary “works on” what it means to understand Jesus as God’s Son, not just her own. She’ll teach him to walk, run, talk, laugh, cry, pray, dream, endure, hold fast, and let-go-and-let-God. She still won’t understand. She’ll lose and find him at Jerusalem. ‘Come after him and try to take him home when she’s afraid for him. (Scripture says so.) The point is this. Mary has heart-eyes that will keep fixed on Jesus. ‘Never give up or give in. She will constantly reshape her vision of him 'til she sees as he sees, and as God sees in him!

O, that you and I, female or male, young or old, could see with the eyes of Mary! What would we see? ‘That God has a vision for the whole world. ‘And for each one of us. And we’d know where to look for it. In Jesus! [8: Cana “Do what he tells.”] We wouldn’t look once and turn away. 1st impressions might not be the most lasting, and we’d not settle for them to be the only ones we bother to entertain. (We guys are really guilty here. “You get 1 shot, so don’t blow it!”) At least 7 times [Tmas, 12, Cana, home, cross, resurrect, e. ch.], Mary’s view of Jesus appears to change or grow importantly. She absolutely will not settle for the common sight, “O, he/she/it’ll never change!” Mary knows. Believe that and you believe God cannot convert or change everyone/thing! If we assume all’s determined in a person, difficulty or distress (yours, mine, ours), we’re really saying, “God can’t rule here, cannot bring a difference here!” Mary never says or sees this. You?  What person, thing, problem bedevils you? See with Mary-eyes and you can see God making it for the better. Without them, you lose all hope of better. Worse, you belittle God!

I grant that not even Jesus says all things are likely, but in faith, all things are possible. Now we got somethin’ to hold onto! [Grades to grace.]

Lord, can you help us see like the women see? ‘Those NT women.

We want eyes that see first things first. ‘Eyes focused on Jesus. ‘Focused by Jesus.  When you know Jesus is the prize, it helps you prioritize! Christ the prize, Christ the priority. That’s the thing! So, have you got your life, your days in order? Or do you need to see the eye doctor? Why not make an appointment with Dr. Jesus! Maybe he’ll prescribe some Lady Lenses, w/ NT style frames. Remember the lady at Jesus feet with the alabaster of ointment? Remember her tears on his feet, coolin’, soothin’, kissin’,  cleanin’ them with her hair? Remember the man who sees her only as a sinner? (Us fellas are oft’ a bit nearsighted.) Jesus, himself with women’s eyes that day, sees her love and singleness of heart.  She ‘gets it’ sees Jesus, and says, “Her sins, though many, are forgiven, for she loves me so much.” To her he says, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” This soul has put 1st things 1st.  No one here, front row to back, or vice versa, is too young/old for this word. 1st things 1st. Faith 1st. Know what you believe and in whom. Stick with it. Stick with Jesus. And the rest of your “stuff” will fall into place. [Kids @ door, your wd. This one Rem. who/se you are.]

‘See like the women see? They see a Master for whom to provide.

Can you see Jesus, across the cities and villages, preaching Kingdom good news? O, the twelve were with him. But also women he’d healed…. Mary Magdalene; Joanna, get this, the wife of King Herod's main man. (Can you imagine their dinner time chats?!) Susanna and others. They had this in common: They all supported Jesus’ ministry with their gifts. Now it’s tempting to teach tithing here, but I won’t. Just let me say this. Jesus needed them. He needs us. Our best gifts. Like they gave, maybe, but whatever we’ve got. Talent. Time. Elbow grease helping others as he asked us to. Even our dreams. [2 kids, of garage: blankets to ill kids: now 1000’s; girl 12: clean H2O: 1 to scores. CRC, A. Ham.] What might you provide for Jesus… as no one else can?! Do you SEE it?!

My, my: see like the women see? They see a savior high on a cross. And they are willing to stay-close, to the end. The two Marys and Salome at the foot of the cross. And others unnamed. They had cared for him all along his journey. And their eyes could see no way to stop now, even up to the cross. The men-folk, the apostles (except John), have gone hiding. These women could look on a living hell, the cross, because they could never see a dead-end in Jesus. I remember elder Girl Scout Eva. Sick-to-death. I asked her what she wanted me to pray for her. She said, through her pain, “Pray I won’t let go of Jesus or let him down now. We’ve come so far together. I see him on the cross. ‘Holding onto it! ‘So as not to let me go. I wanna hold fast to him the same way. Pray for that, will you?” O, to be able to see like such a woman as that! So here’s my prayer for all of us today.

Lord, can you just help us see… like these women see?!

 

 

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