Saint James Anglican Church

Joseph Howe Drive at the Armdale Rotary, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada             


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Rector's Messages

Message Archive


Easter 2012


"Sir, we want to see Jesus." -John 12:21


Hearing a music artist on a recording may be the next best thing to being there. However, What a difference a live performance can make. "Live and in person" communicates how good an artist really is. It works the other way too of course. Sometimes advance hype and studio techniques wither when a live performance disappoints. Hearing about something or someone often creates interest, arouses curiosity, causes a stir and a sensation. But, as the old adage goes, seeing is believing. An interesting story in John's Gospel connects seeing and believing. St. John describes how some Greeks, having heard about Jesus, come to see him. They pitch their request to Philip with the simple plea, "Sir, we want to see Jesus." It may be that they approached Philip because Philip had a Greek name. The Greek strangers put their request to someone like them, someone who speaks their language. This is their best chance of getting introduced to the Jesus about whom they have heard so much. We never find out for certain if the Greeks actually meet Jesus; but reading between the lines the message seems to be clear. Greeks from afar have come to see Jesus. Their visit and their request marks the beginning of wide spread belief in Jesus as the Christ of Glory. Biblical scholar Raymond Brown describes how, in this instance, "to see Jesus" means to "meet with him" and "to believe in him".


The holy Greeks in this story had the real possibility of meeting Jesus in the flesh.  We know, as well, that the resurrection experience allowed Jesus' followers to see the risen Lord. What about us? Where do we search in hopes of seeing and believing in Jesus? John's Gospel tells us blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe; but is there a companion insight to round things out? I suggest there is. The Greeks in this curious story come to see and believe in Jesus by first looking to people like them. So can we. It is by looking to the people around us, people who are just like us, seeing their faith, taking note of their commitment to serving Christ, that we too have the opportunity to meet, greet, and believe in Jesus the Christ.


Easter season 2012 coincides with the conclusion of my ministry in your midst as your pastor.  As we celebrate this Easter together I will be especially attentive to the experience of continually finding Jesus alive and well and in person, in you the people of St. James. Jesus may be seen in your faith, in your commitment to the Gospel, in your dedication to the work of his church. My own belief in Jesus the Christ is all the stronger having witnessed him in this community of faith these past many years.


Christ is alive. Christ lives in us, and we live in Christ.


The Rev. Canon Rod Gillis Holy Week & Easter 2012