Asking For A Sign

Readings: Psalm 90; Isaiah 1:24-31; Luke 11:29-32

When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, “This generation is an evil generation; it asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah. For just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so the Son of Man will be to this generation. The queen of the South will rise at the judgement with the people of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and see, something greater than Solomon is here! The people of Nineveh will rise up at the judgement with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the proclamation of Jonah, and see, something greater than Jonah is here!”

One aspect of wisdom is having a broader perspective – one that sees beyond my own likes and preferences, taking into consideration how my life affects reality in a sense larger than my immediate here and now. Solomon excelled at that kind of wisdom.

But what is that something greater that Jesus mentions? What is beyond the wisdom of Solomon? This is my best shot at an answer:

God is not an object in my world, even the biggest and most beloved: I am a beloved creature in God’s world. If I keep trying to stuff God and everyone else into my own limited version of reality, I’ve missed the whole point of life.

Asking for a sign is pointless if I refuse to see that reality isn’t limited to my own personal perspective; if I already know that, then I don’t need a sign.

[I’d bet Solomon knew that, too…]

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Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

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