Nearly everyone has heard the phrase, “Seeing is believing.” I shared with the congregation on Sunday that the Apostle John used the word seeing over and over in his Gospel. In fact, the verb “to see” is found some 80 times! Seeing was important to John because Jesus is the one who taught people to see…and seeing led to believing… and believing led to living a full and abundant life (and sharing that life with others!).

I also shared with the congregation that there are times in my life when I look but don’t see clearly, and sometimes not at all. I wonder if I could see God’s love, God’s plan, God’s presence if I just had more faith. As I took a deeper look into John’s Gospel, Jesus seemed to understand that not everyone sees clearly all the time; in reality, none of us do! Yet, John makes it clear that belief and trust in God are still possible…and so is a full and abundant life! That’s why Jesus said to Thomas: “Blessed are those who have not seen yet have come to believe.”

So what do you do when you look to Jesus and cannot see clearly? You keep looking! What do you do when you look to God and cannot see at all? You keep looking! What do you do when you think you see perfectly? You keep looking (and remember that you might be seeing an illusion or a mirage)! Jesus shared a vision with his followers about a new way of being where everyone is blessed by God and is able to live full and abundant lives. When you have a hard time seeing what Jesus saw, you simply trust (believe) that Jesus’ vision is still real and achievable for every life, every time and every place.

So when you look and cannot see, remember: Just looking is believing! Just looking leads to life when you are looking to Jesus and his grand vision for the world!

I invite you to look… and believe… and live today with the assurance that God loves you and each person you encounter! I also invite you to share the love!

Kahu Alan Akana