'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?' Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me – you did it to me.' Matthew 25:37-40 The Message
Have you ever wondered what it might be like if Jesus were to personally walk into your church? Would He present Himself in overpowering glory? Would He appear in the same manner as He lived and walked in Palestine 2,000 years ago? It is a moot question since we are promised His personal presence will not be seen on this planet until He comes in the clouds at the Second Coming.
However, it is worth pondering the question for a moment: What if Jesus walked into your church? You will probably think I am some sort of nut job, but I saw Jesus in my church about six weeks ago! He was sitting all alone in the last row of our Sabbath School class, over to one side. His face was a medium-dark brown, and he made no eye contact. He expressed no apparent joy. Initially, I thought maybe I should introduce myself and welcome Him, but the class was about to start, therefore, my idea was squelched. After class was over, there was no time to talk to Jesus because all the regular members were visiting and still talking about additional concepts in the lesson study.
I missed talking with Jesus that Sabbath, but luckily, the very next Sabbath Jesus appeared in church again! He sat in the very same place. He looked cast down, with a joyless, almost sullen expression on His face. I decided I had to introduce myself, so I got up out of my safe and comfortable pew, held out my hand, and said, "Hi, I'm Dennis."
To my surprise He said, "Hello, my name is *Joshua."
What? Joshua? I thought I was introducing myself to Jesus. Instead, it was only a man named Joshua. Nevertheless, I kept my thoughts to myself.
I asked Joshua where he was from, and he said, "Malawi."
I replied, "My cousin worked in Tanzania many years ago, but of course I know Tanzania is not Malawi." We both laughed.
I asked, "Who is this woman sitting next to you?"
"Oh, this is my wife *Kirkella."
What? Jesus is married? Huge news to me! Again, I held my thoughts.
I welcomed both Joshua and Kirkella to our Sabbath School and invited them to move forward a row or two in order to hear the teacher.
I saw Joshua and Kirkella again last Sabbath. Joshua was still sitting in the back row, but this time his face had a bit of a smile. He was making eye contact with others around him. As soon as our eyes met, we smiled. I went back to reintroduce myself and find out more about Joshua and Kirkella.
I am still looking for Jesus to walk into my church, but until He does, I'll keep watching for Him. Actually, I think I saw Him at the grocery store cash register this afternoon!
*Joshua and Kirkella are psyeudonyms
Dennis Hollingsead works in the Office of Development at Andrews University.
Image Credit: FreeImages.com / melodi2
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