Can You See?

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: 1Samuel 13-14; Luke 10:1-24

21 At that very moment, Jesus overflowed with joy from the Holy Spirit and said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you’ve hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and shown them to babies. Indeed, Father, this brings you happiness. 22  My Father has handed all things over to me. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wants to reveal him.” 23 Turning to the disciples, he said privately, “Happy are the eyes that see what you see. 24  I assure you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see and hear what you hear, but they didn’t.” (Luke 10:21-24, Common English Bible)

There was an old episode of M*A*S*H where Hawkeye was asked to come into the nurses tent to light their heating stove. The stove blew up in his face and he was unable to see. A doctor, I don’t remember if it said he was an ophthalmologist but I assume so, came and saw Hawkeye. He left Hawkeye with his eyes bandaged and no promises his sight would return. In the end it did. What I remember most, however, was a conversation Hawkeye had with B.J. where he said he truly hoped when the doctor came back he would have his sight again but how losing his sight had been an incredible experience. He talked about enjoying the sound of hearing it rain.

Can you imagine what it would have been like to be a walking-talking person in Jesus’ day? You might suspect Jesus to be the Son of God, but there is a pretty good chance you wouldn’t know for sure. Then Jesus says to the disciples, “‘Happy are the eyes that see what you see.” The twelve had front row seats to the greatest actions ever to take place in the world. They were able to see a man so incredible that more than 2000 years later we are still talking about him and we are still saying we know who he is.

Have you ever wondered why Jesus would tell those he healed not to tell anyone? I have. I believe I might think, “I was sent here to be the savior of the world. If I shout it from the roof-tops more people will believe and if more people believe I will save even more people. In the long run that will be a good thing. Right?

At one of my previous congregations, we had a special service one night and we invited a preacher friend of mine to preach and his choir to come and sing. It really was an incredible evening. It was a part of a four-Sunday night series. We had the biggest audience as we had for any of the series. People from my congregation were asking the choir, the group was extraordinarily talented for the size church from which they came, kept bringing song requests for the choir to sing. At first I thought it was great, they came and they were involved. Then someone said something that made me stop and rethink (I don’t remember who or what was said). It hit me. Many of my church folks didn’t come to worship God, they came for the show.

For Hawkeye, it was about the show to come. For my former church it was about the show in front of them. And, I think Jesus was saying, they couldn’t see God, therefore, it was only a show.

Those are my thoughts anyway. So, can you see, really see? Or, is it all just for show?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,



Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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