Hidden in Plain Sight

Our October Sermon Series: Screenings: Post-Production; Pastoral Reflections.  It is as ancient as the prophet Isaiah – Ever hearing, but never understanding; ever seeing, but never perceiving. s 6  We begin with Sherlock Holmes, a literary creation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  A master of disguise, a formidable boxer, a player of the violin, but most notably, a man who not only “sees”; he observes.  Who better to expect to truly see what is there than one who, like a chameleon, is able to blend in with his environment such that even his closest associates don’t recognize who he is.   “The art of disguise,” explains Holmes, “is knowing how to hide in plain sight!”

j 3Human beings have a long fascination with what is hidden from us in plain sight.  Mystics from many religious traditions speak to us of what is needed in order to be able to truly see.  Jesus cautioned the crowds: If the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!  (Matthew 6:23.)  Truth, even when it is right in front of us, often has to be discerned.   Perhaps the on-going fascination with Sherlock Holmes has more to do with spiritual hunger that literary fascination.

Is the “kingdom of God” among us – disguised in plain sight?  Has it ever jumped out at you?  Have you ever wondered why, when it seemed so clear to you, others could not recognized it?

Today we begin our exploration of some of the spiritual lessons playing on the big screen and on our TVs and smart phones – right before our eyes!


Psalm 13:      How long, O Lord?  Will you forget me for ever?  How long will you hide your face from me?Psalm 13

How long must I bear pain in my soul, and have sorrow in my heart all the day?

How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?  Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;

lighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him”;

lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.

But I trust in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.

I will sing to the Lord, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with me.


 Psalm 13

Matthew 13  –  Godly Play (coming soon to First UMC Burlington) Parable of the Sower

Message Notes – “Hidden in Plain Sight”

A Little bit of fun with Sherlock …

Margaret Hefferman’s TED talk on “Willful Blindness“.  (And “willful silence”?)


Mark Demers

Want to talk about sex, politics, spirituality? So do I. I grew up in a religious home in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Our country was reeling from assassinations and the devastation of the Viet Nam War. Looking for something beautiful, I got a degree in music, married the love of my life and had children. Looking for God, I then went to seminary. Looking for something that might transform the world, I became a local church pastor. Now, I’m always looking for people who want to talk about important things. I cherish conversations with emerging leaders, people who are antsy to try an idea they believe would change the world for the better. I’d would love to hear from you.

  • Matt Dailey

    Where can I get that Psalm 13 Artwork?