Do people ever stop and stare at you?
Do you ever find yourself staring?
It’s interesting, actually. In researching for yesterday’s message (that was completely off the rails in our online service, and we apologize profusely for that!) I was trying to discover the “why” behind staring. I thought it’d be a pretty “cut and dry” answer. But no, it’s actually very vast/broad.
The Department of Psychology at the University of London conducted research on the act of staring.
Ultimately they concluded that people stare, our attention is particularly drawn to faces, especially the eyes. We look at others in their eyes, as they are powerful communication tools. They share so much about us, and when others can “grasp us” in their gaze, they will maintain eye contact, seeking to learn all they can in those moments.
Can you imagine what it would have been like a few thousand+ years ago to be one of the individuals fortunate enough to be caught by the gaze of Jesus?
That is likely one “stare” we would not want to miss! A stare that communicates and mirrors love, acceptance, and grace.
One of the gifts Jesus gave to all is that he truly saw them where they were and as they were. He didn’t need false pretenses, nor want them. As his gaze captured people, it simply returned love.
Because this was the way he lived, he drew quite a following. So much so that crowds lined the streets three years after his public ministry began as he entered Jerusalem to celebrate The Passover.
They wanted a glimpse of the one who reportedly was so transformational.
As we are in our journeys of Holy Week, may we ask ourselves, “Do we live in such a way that others would stop and stare?”
(In a good way, by the way!)
Do we love so radically that others, after watching, are struck by the ways that we love?
Do we give so selflessly that others, after noticing how we give, want to be more selfless?
Do we seek justice for all so that others, after hearing our calling for equality, question their approach?
Those are just a few of the reasons that the life of Jesus caused such a stir that people rushed to the streets to stare at his entrance into Jerusalem.
Could we live today so that others would stare at us?
The disciples went and did exactly what Jesus told them to do. They led the donkey and colt out, laid some of their clothes on them, and Jesus mounted. Nearly everyone in the crowd threw their garments down the road, giving him a royal welcome. Others cut branches from the trees and threw them down as a welcome mat. Crowds went ahead, and crowds followed, calling out, “Hosanna to David’s son!” “Blessed is he who comes in God’s name!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”