Acts 13.13-25; Psalm 88; John 13.16-20
In the south transept of Chartres Cathedral, under the rose window, four tall windows depict the four major Hebrew prophets—Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel—as giants, with smaller, more human-sized Evangelists—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John—atop their shoulders, hinting that these writers of the Gospels were mere scribes [Matthew 13.52] and recorders [John 20.31] by comparison with those ancient spiritual giants. Yet, it is they, who tell the story of Jesus, who see further. “I tell you that man prophets and kings wanted to see what you see, and never saw it; to hear what you hear, and never heard it.” [Luke 10.24]
St Paul’s programmatic summary expounds the history of Israel as a movement from lesser to greater: from Saul (himself a giant of a man [I Samuel 9.2]) to David (the youngest of his father’s sons, and at his first appearances risibly small [I Samuel 16.11-12; 17.32-43]); and from David to his greater son [Luke 1.32-34].
We rightly think ourselves dwarves, of no lasting consequence. [Psalm 22.6] Yet we have been enabled to see, enabled most of all by our acknowledgement of the limitations of our sight. [John 9.41] We do not see all things put to right, but we see Jesus. [Hebrews 2.8-9] We do not see Jesus physically, but we experience his presence and trust him. [John 20.29] We welcome him [Apocalypse 3.20] and in that hospitality we receive all the gifts of the One who sent him.