The Rev. Canon Leonard L. Hamlin, Sr.
Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, ‘You will be made free’?”
Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you look for an opportunity to kill me, because there is no place in you for my word. I declare what I have seen in the Father’s presence; as for you, you should do what you have heard from the Father.”
They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing what Abraham did, but now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. You are indeed doing what your father does.” They said to him, “We are not illegitimate children; we have one father, God himself.” Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now I am here. I did not come on my own, but he sent me.”
There are always moments in our lives where we have looked at what we have seen before. But this time, we see more than what we have seen or aspects we have overlooked. This is true even when listening to words and music. I cannot express how many times I have picked up a familiar passage or played that well-known song only to be captured by a note or a word that until that moment had been present, but I had not recognized. There is a joy in traveling a familiar road and a sense of comfort and security in navigating a known road. But it has been noted we humans have a tendency to falsely be certain of the fact that if we try something again, we won’t see anything new or gain any fresh understanding. Taking a second and deeper look can bring a change in perception. As I read the Gospel of John, Jesus was speaking to those that had gathered about their perspective. Some were convinced there was nothing new to see, no truth they had yet to experience or understanding that had alluded them. Throughout the season of Lent and this unique moment of distancing, questioning and reflecting, we all have a chance to take a second look at our homes, our families, our relationships, our lives and our faith commitments and see more than what we may have concluded. Today is a good day to look around, to listen again in order that we may see what we have not seen, hear what we have not heard and be thankful for the Grace we have been given. Our tomorrow is resting upon our faith and what we see today.
Oh yes, fix me, Jesus, fix me. Fix me so that I can walk on a little while longer. Fix me so that I can pray on just a little bit harder. Fix me so that I can sing on just a little bit louder. Fix me so that I can go on despite the pain, the fear, the doubt, and yes, the anger. I ask not that you take this cross from me, only that you give me the strength to continue carrying it onward `til my dying day. Oh, fix me, Jesus, fix me.
“Fix Me, Jesus, Fix Me” (African-American Spiritual)