There are so many different types
of signs, and we’d be lost with out them. Signs on buildings that tell us
where we are, signs on roads that tell us where we’re going, signs to tell us
when a business will be open or closed, so we can plan our lives accordingly.
To quote a verse from the 5 Man Electrical Band, “Sign, sign, everywhere a sign, blockin’ out the
scenery, breakin’ my mind. Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?”
The signs the singer encounters give him information about where he is and is
not welcome. “Long-haired freaky people need not apply,” “anybody caught
trespassin' will be shot on sight,” “you got to have a membership card to get
inside,” and then finally, “Everybody welcome. Come in, kneel down and pray.”
Signs are a big part of our lives, bigger than
we realize. We have no trouble with printed signs, like the ones on the road
and on buildings, the ones that give us needed information. Some of us may
check the fortune under our astrological sign in the newspaper or on the
internet, just out of curiosity, not really expecting that there’s any truth to
it. But when we read of people like the ones in today’s gospel lesson, the ones
who ask Jesus, “What sign are you going to give us, so that we may see it and
believe you?” we have a little trouble relating to them, wondering why they need
a sign when Jesus so obviously is who he is.
The thing I
really wonder about them is: what kind of sign are they looking for? At
the beginning of last week’s gospel lesson we read that the large crowd kept
following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick.
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