40 Day Journey with Our Neighbors in Solidarity
Week 6: Lutheran Campus Ministry (LuMin)
Written By: Pastor Cassandra Lamb, University Lutheran Center at SDSU
Scripture: John 12:20-36
A group of Greeks said to Philip, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” This is the language of seekers. What were the Greeks doing there anyway? Jesus’s response to their request is a turning point in the gospel story. Repeatedly, Jesus has claimed it isn’t time yet. And now it is time. Jesus says, “the hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” The time for the cross has come.
We wish to see Jesus. When have you uttered those same words? When have you wished, wondered, or prayed to literally see Jesus? Of course we know in the current era it is not possible for us to physically lay eyes on Jesus. Yet, Jesus, embodied by others, shows up in many and various ways in our everyday lives.
I began my call as campus pastor at University Lutheran Center at SDSU in the midst of this pandemic and at the page turn of this new calendar year. I have questioned what it means to be a pastor to college students in the midst of a pandemic and mid academic year. Yet, something in my gut keeps saying, “show up and bring Jesus.” So, that is my task, right now. I am showing up in the lives of college students and striving to make Jesus known and seen.
I am amazed by the young adults here who want worship, who want to sing hymns, who want to celebrate communion, who want to drink coffee, and ultimately who want to be in community among their peers in a place called church. College students want to see Jesus. They yearn for a place to wonder and a space to seek out the Jesus who shows up among them. In this place, amidst this space, and through these things Jesus is embodied and we see Jesus.
Now, the challenge is to help these same college students recognize Jesus in themselves, too. That is especially a challenge during young adulthood when the pressure of the world is heavy, the anxiety is growing, and there are choices to be made at every corner. In the midst of that, Jesus is in you. And really that is the challenge for all of us. In the midst of the good and the bad, to recognize the divine within each of us. Jesus is made manifest in you. Jesus is in me. As was claimed in our baptisms, “Child of God, you have been sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever.”
Jesus, we wish to see you. Make yourself present to us. Help us to acknowledge the ways in which you exist all around us even though we cannot physically lay eyes on you. As we journey toward the time of your glorification on a tree, help us be little Christ’s to our neighbor and recognize you in the face of others. Amen.
According to Luther, the good we do is God’s work. That is where the ELCA phrase “God’s work. Our hands.” originates. It is in doing God’s work that we are as Luther said “little Christ’s” to our neighbor. When have you helped someone else to see Jesus through serving as a little Christ?
We often struggle to notice God working through us, but hearing it from someone else can help us. Today recognize the little Christ in someone else. Point it out. Say it aloud. Send a note highlighting it.