A reflection by Danny Schweers for November 19, 2023.
One way to connect to Jesus is to visit the Holy Land, to walk where He walked, to feel the water of the Jordan river against your skin, perhaps to drink the same water He drank from the Samaritan woman’s well, or to breathe the same air He breathed. Many say it is a powerful experience.
Me, I know the air He breathed did not stay in Palestine. It spread across the whole wide world. Even now, air He breathed is in my lungs, in my blood. I know, too, that the water in which He was baptized did not stay in the Jordan River. It flowed into the oceans around the whole wide world and has fallen as rain and snow, part of every river and every stream. That water is in every sip I drink. It is in my blood. Few say breathing air and drinking water are powerful experiences, but I do — when I bother to give them attention.
Air and water connect me to Jesus, but they fail to connect me to what is most significant about Jesus.
Last Sunday I greeted two women and two children as they walked past me on the sidewalk outside our church. “Are you coming to worship?” I asked. I was smiling and gracious. I wore my name tag. I welcomed the four strangers. In halting English, the younger woman said no, they were not dressed for church. They were on their way elsewhere. Even so, we continued to talk as best we could, her English better than my Spanish. They had been here two years, just long enough for her to learn “un poquito” of my language. I welcomed them to Delaware, as if I could represent the entire state, me a transplanted Texan. They smiled and walked on their way.
It was only later that I realized how nearly or even truly miraculous it was that these women and I, strangers to each other, should have stopped on a city sidewalk to exchange good wishes even though separated by age, sex, culture, and language. It is in moments like these that I feel most connected to Jesus, moments when two or more gather together in good will. It is why I go to church on Sundays.
Photo of the Commodore Barry Bridge over the Delaware River with Philadelphia skyline in the background, seen from Fox Point State Park in Delaware, 30 miles to the south.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Danny Nelson Schweers chairs SsAM’s Communication Committee. He is an active photographer and writer. Click here to visit his website and make a comment.