Saturday of Trinity 18 – Matthew 16:1-12

| October 24, 2014 | 1 Comment More

PhariseesMatthew 16:1-12

The Pharisees and Sadducees asked Jesus to show them a sign from heaven.  But Jesus denied their request, saying that they knew how to discern the face of the sky but could not discern the signs of the times.  Actually, He said that He would give them no sign but the sign of the prophet Jonah.

The truth was that the signs of the Messiah and God’s Kingdom were all around the Pharisees and Sadducees, but they were too blind to see them.  Even when the sign of the prophet Jonah would be given, Jesus spending 3 days in the belly of the earth and then being raised up on the third day, they would refuse to see.

I am like the Pharisees and Sadducees in this one regard: Lord, I seek a sign from heaven from You.  But there is a difference.  They came to You wanting to justify themselves and testing You that they might war against You and triumph.  And so You refused them their proud request.

But I, Lord, come before You this morning, asking as well for a sign.  You know that I used to desire signs from heaven in the sky, that I had a secret desire to see the miraculous in my life.  These things you have refused me and, in your wisdom and grace, You have caused my faith in You to prosper and grow without such signs.

And yet I ask for a sign from you, and yet more.  I ask simply that You reveal Yourself to me today in the way that You think best for me.  I give up all other demands for a sign, other than that You would give Yourself to me today and reveal Yourself to me.  I know that You are wiser than I am and know me and what’s better for me than I know myself.

Sometimes I am prone to become discouraged or fatigued in my following You, and so I seek to be refreshed.  One of my favorite things that You say to me is what You tell me in the Holy Communion service, when You say (and I believe): “Come unto Me, all ye that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you.”

You know how I travail, and You know the weight and force of my burden, and what I ask of You is that You would refresh me.  I could seek refreshment from other sources; I could seek my rest in food or drink, or entertainment or sports, or in human company.  But I know that You are the Giver of every good gift and that when I come begging to You I will not be sent away empty-handed.

I miss Your presence in my life.  I miss You because I am not as close to You as I would like to be and can’t find the strength or vision to come any closer.  I miss You because even when You do come to me I’m like the Pharisees and Sadducees in their blindness.

I don’t ask anymore that You come to me from the clouds of heaven, with a flash of light and a thunder of voice, but I do ask that You come to me today.  Give my eyes strength of vision to be able to see You when You come and purity of heart to be a mansion fit for Your presence.

Help me to wait and look for you in the small things of life, since they are so much more prevalent and compose so much more of my life than the big things, and since You delight in hiding Yourself in small and humble things.

When I wake in the morning, let me see You in the renewed life You give to me.  When my senses have been turned back on, let me see You in the colors of the day.  At work, may I see you in the people I serve and work with, and may I see You in the minutiae of my labors.  When I am at home, may I see my house as Your house.

The sign that I seek from You, Lord, is not something outside myself that will come and go like the glory of fireworks.  There is no lack of Your presence or its signs in the world, but there is a shortage of those who can see You.  I desire something deeper and more eternal and constant.  What I desire from You, Lord, is the transformation of my being.  I myself am the sign of Your presence with me, a changed life that is able now to see and hear You and willing now to obey when I hear.

I seek a sign from heaven today from You, Father, knowing that it will come among the common things of the earth.  Show me the sign of Jonah the prophet today, the Resurrection of Your Son, my Lord.  As I see His Resurrection and partake of it, resurrect me from my slumbers that I may see and praise You again today.

One thing have I desired of you, Lord, that I will seek: to dwell in Your house all the days of my life, to behold Your beauty, and to inquire in Your Temple.

Prayer:  Day by day, Oh dear Lord

Three things I pray:
To see thee more clearly
Love thee more dearly
Follow thee more nearly.  Amen.

Points for Meditation:              

  1. What are the various ways in which God might show Himself to You today, if you were watching for Him?
  2. What are some of the ways that the Lord has “given you a sign” of Himself in the past?

Resolution:  I resolve to seek to see God in the small things of my life today. 

© 2014 Fr. Charles Erlandson

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Category: Give Us This Day

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  1. Pam says:

    THANK YOU! God shows Himself to me through your devotionals! It’s like He has you write them just for me!

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