"If you are the Messiah," they said, "tell us."
Jesus answered, "If I tell you, you will not believe me, and if I asked you, you would not answer."
Show-and-Tell is the highlight of my school week in first grade.
Only five of us can participate on the given day. With thirty in the classroom, it is several weeks before it will be my turn to share one of my treasures with my classmates.
Meanwhile, I enjoy seeing and hearing about the objects my friends bring from home.
Matchbox cars. A piece of sparkling quartz. Teddy bear. Family photo. Plastic army men. Rag doll. Coin collection.
Each one is fascinating, revealing to us aspects about each other which we, and our teacher, might not otherwise know.
Even the shy students who normally balk at speaking in front of their peers find the courage to do so when cradling a prized possession.
Stage fright eludes my vocabulary.
When my long-awaited turn finally arrives, I bounce out of my desk and skip gleefully to the front of the room. I practically sing with excitement!
"This," I say proudly, holding up a diminutive, stuffed Airedale terrier, "is Terry. He is just one animal in the collection I share with my brother. We play with them every day. Well, almost every day. And, we build houses out of Lincoln logs for them. And, they have great adventures. And, a flying boat. And, Terry is always getting into trouble."
My classmates marvel at the tiny, detailed replica of a real-life terrier. They beg me to pass him around. I am hesitant to part with my beloved friend.
I glance apprehensively at my teacher.
She nods and smiles.
"Terry will be fine, dear. I'll keep an eye on him for you."
So, Terry makes the rounds of the classroom. He is admired. He is cuddled. He is squeezed.
And, by some, reluctantly passed on.
I cannot relax until he is safely back in my arms.
Laura, the reserved girl sitting beside me, leans over and whispers, "I just love Terry! Can I come to your house sometime and see all your animals?"
"Sure!" I say with a smile. "I'll ask my Mom today."
What would have happened that day at Show-and-Tell had I not brought Terry? Do you think the children would have remembered anything about my animal collection without seeing him? Would the otherwise bashful Laura had the courage to invite herself to my house?
Jesus has been showing and telling, revealing who He is, step by step, for three long years.
Teaching. Healing. Raising from the dead.
All with authority.
The Pharisees and teachers of the law do not see. Do not listen. Do not recognize.
And, if they do not believe when shown, Jesus knows that no amount of telling will convince them.
They've turned the blind eye. The deaf ear.
To God, Himself . . .
Can you show, not just tell, someone what it means to be a Christian?
Will you pray with me?'
Telling means nothing, Father, without showing. Help us to be always mindful that our actions speak much louder than words ever could. Let us show the love of Christ to this hurting world. Amen.
Psalms 45 or 47, 48
2 Peter 1:12-21