And the Sign Said Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to [Jesus], “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” —Matthew 12:38-39 (NRSVUE) VICKI KEMPER | Who doesn’t love a sign? Who doesn’t long for a sign—some clear indi- cation, some holy hint—that God is real, that life is worth living, that we’re not alone, of what to do and which way to go? Or am I the only one? And what’s so evil about wanting a sign, anyway? Isn’t that like, I don’t know, human na- ture or something? Isn’t that longing a byproduct of the God-shaped hole in every human heart? Maybe it’s just that Jesus was tired of being treated like some second-rate magician. May- be what Jesus really meant was something like, “Hello?!? Did you miss my feeding of the 5,000? Did you not notice when I gave sight to the blind man or restored to communi- ty the woman who’d been bleeding for 12 years? How about the little girl you thought was dead? What about the sun that rises every morning, the water that springs from the ground, the trees you didn’t plant that bear fruit for you to eat?” He could have gone on. But even an exasperated Jesus was, apparently, too polite for that. Instead, he hinted at the greatest sign of all: his coming resurrection. Perhaps we sin not when we ask for a sign but when we miss, dismiss, or, worse yet, deny the signs we’ve been given. Look around, beloveds. What signs of God’s love do you see? PRAYER “Sign, sign, everywhere a sign... Thank you, God, for thinking about me. I’m alive and doing fine.”

About the Writer:
VICKI KEMPER is Pastor of First Church Amherst (UCC) in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Source: Quickening from the Stillspeaking Writers’ Group, is an Eastertide devotional of daily readings and prayers to prepare you for your own quickening. Not by making you grind harder to stay alive. Not by asking you to do more, more quickly. Not by requiring you to be quick on the draw, but by giving you a chance to be cut to the quick by grace. The Stillspeaking Writers’ Group is made up of United Church of Christ ministers and writers who collaborate on resources for people in the church, outside the church, and not sure about the church.