"You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about Me." John 5:39
You have probably seen the classic church bulletin quip that announces: The sermon topic for today is "Jesus Walks on Water," after which the choir will sing the anthem "Looking for Jesus." It's not a joke that people spend a lot of time and energy trying to find their savior. Even Christians who know Jesus well sometimes wonder exactly where He is in times of trouble and uncertainty...like right now. The problem is that often we seek Him in the wrong places. Jesus is not found submerged as the result of a foolhardy stunt. He is exactly where He said He would be - in His Word and sacraments.
As a child on rainy days (and it rained a lot in Oregon) we enjoyed playing the classroom game of "I Spy." One student left the room while the rest of us hid an object such as an eraser. When the person who was "It" returned, he had to find the object based on the verbal directions of his classmates. We would shout "Warm" or "Cool," or 'Hot" or "Cold," based on how close or far away he was from the hidden object. The seeker quickly changed his course based on the shouted directions until he got "warmer"..."warmer..", "burning up!" and successfully found the object he was seeking. There was no point in wasting time in areas where the object was not. Success came in homing in on where it was.
When we feel the chill of God's absence, He reminds us to seek Him where He may be found and enter into the warmth of His presence. Who has not come to the Lord's Supper weary and confused and then gone away strengthened by the assurance, "Depart in peace!" Who has not leaned heavily on the sure promises of baptism when dealing with a feverish infant or rebellious teenager? Who has not come to the Word in times of fear or doubt and found there the exact message needed for that day and time? The truth is that we don't really need to look too hard for Jesus. He is actually seeking us. We find Him jumping up and down, waving His nail-scarred hands, calling out our name - tugging on the tether He has connected to our hearts at the time of our baptism. He has had His eye on us all along. Now He invites us to enjoy His company right where He is - and while you are at it, bring a friend!
Dear Lord, we thank You for revealing yourself clearly and consistently in Your Word and sacraments. During this time of uncertainty, direct us to You and provide for our every need, just as You have promised. Amen.