DayBreaks for 8/08/18: The Signature of His Presence
From the DayBreaks archive, August 2008:
It seems like America is fascinated with forensics. There’s CSI spin-offs, NCIS spin-offs, and other mystery/detective shows that talk a lot about forensics. Much of the gist of those shows is trying to figure out who was the murderer, and that means that they’ve got to place the killer in the room or woods or on the boat with the victim at the time the murder was committed. Often, the way that they make that link is through DNA evidence: a piece of hair, some bodily fluid that was left at the scene or on a cup that was left in the room. It can be other small things, too, like dirt from a shoe, a tire tread left in the mud, some little bit of evidence that would be overlooked entirely if you weren’t looking for such details.
Perhaps you’ve known someone who wore a distinctive fragrance (or maybe they just had a strange smell, period). If they’d just left the room, you could probably tell that they’d been there because of the scent in the air. We leave clues everywhere we go.
What was the signature of Jesus’ presence? If a forensic scientist were looking for clues to indicate if Jesus really had come to earth, where might they look, and what might they look for?
Some might start looking at the temple in Jerusalem – after all, Jesus was Jewish, and that was the supreme place of worship for the Jews. Some might want to look in the king’s palace. But if they did that, they’d not find what they were looking for. In his book, Love Beyond Reason, John Ortberg suggests: “His raggedness became the very signature of his presence. ‘And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’” (Luke 2:12)
Jesus wasn’t afraid of raggedness. To become like us, he had to become ragged, indeed. We’re so full of concerns about how we look, how we’re perceived, what people think of us and what they might say about us behind our backs that we try to hide all the raggedness that surrounds us. We want to appear properly groomed and turned out for the occasion. We’re more concerned about appearances than substance. Jesus wasn’t. We shouldn’t be, either.
PRAYER: May we put away foolish notions of appearance and strive for true beauty in the inner soul. May we not only accept our own raggedness, but revel in the raggedness of Jesus! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.