Scripture (Luke 11:29-32)
While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them,
“This generation is an evil generation;
it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it,
except the sign of Jonah.
Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites,
so will the Son of Man be to this generation.
At the judgment
the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation
and she will condemn them,
because she came from the ends of the earth
to hear the wisdom of Solomon,
and there is something greater than Solomon here.
At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation
and condemn it,
because at the preaching of Jonah they repented,
and there is something greater than Jonah here.”
There’s plenty of apps and platforms and devices that claim to have the perfect way, but...
...there’s no notification that alerts us to Jesus.
...there’s no ping that makes us listen to God.
...there’s no buzzing to prompt us to live in the Spirit.
Our world is all about signs.
Studying the human person has never been so exact and seems to have created a way to generate a response from people anytime, anywhere, no matter what is going on around them.
Today though, Jesus seems to be saying that all these signs mean nothing. They, of course, should mean everything. The magnificent miracles that Jesus performs, the teachings he gives - all who Jesus is - should say “Savior!”, “Healer!”, “All Powerful!” and every other name that makes God awesome. It doesn’t happen. What Jesus says is pretty simple. Quit with the signs already. Enough of the demand for something even better. Let’s be done with all the notifications and pinging and trending and chasing the next big thing.
“A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me. Cast me not out from your presence, and your Holy Spirit take not from me.” Psalm 51:12-13
It’s that simple. Turn towards God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Sit in His presence. Let Him create for us. Let Him keep us renewed.
This world keeps us running and busy and distracted. And it gets better at doing that every day. Our humanity wants to keep grasping at that which is never attainable. God’s asking us to turn off, turn away and turn toward.
We are all looking for signs in that next great post, that 50th “like” or that coveted “follower.” That’s not just on social media, but in every part of life.
- Could God create, renew and sustain that good feeling, comfort and trust within us?
- What would it take to give up that unattainable search for signs?
- How can we be more aware of what Jesus gives us every day?
May the sign of your Son, Jesus Christ, be the only sign we need.
Restore to us the joy of your salvation and uphold us with a willing spirit.
May we turn off and turn away from the world and turn towards You.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord.
Turn off your phone today and simply sit in the silence.
Bryan Ramsey is the Youth Ministry Coordinator at St. James, Menomonee Falls. He also writes for Project YM. He is married to Corinna who also has a passion for ministry.