It feels like it has been a pretty manic day with one thing and another...
I met someone yesterday who is so in desperate need of God to sort their lives out... and they know it. They say they are gonna start coming to church. I really pray so...
Anywyay, down to the main reason for this post... Jane Smart's excellent address at the Eucharist yesterday morning... read and grow and be challenged!
Jesus is giving thanks to his Father, in the Gospel reading this morning. His Father God who is also the creator of the whole universe.
This is Jesus response to the return of the disciples after they had been sent out on their mission throughout Galilee. The disciples had spent some time with Jesus watching and learning how he healed people and revealed Gods love to them and they had been sent to do the same.
Jesus is thanking God that he has been able to share the gift of Gods grace and knowing Him with others.
We cannot see God on our own we need someone to reveal him to us, help us to see him as he is. That is why Jesus came to show us what God is like.
Throughout his life and ministry Jesus had learnt what being God’s son meant, he had learnt to trust his Father, giving him the unique understanding of what God is like. Equally only God knows what Jesus his son is like; he alone knows how Jesus will respond.
God understands Jesus and knows that he would go all the way to the cross, dying for us so that we will know how much God loves us and wants us to be in a relationship with him. God wants us to be his children too, he wants us to have faith in him and humbly accept, that He does love each one of us. Love is the response required from the child, that spontaneous enthusiastic trusting love, of a young child.
In our lane there is a road warning sign of the red triangular kind, with an adult holding the hand of a small child, it warns that there is no footway for 250 yards. The child in the picture displays complete trust in the adult, to lead them along in safety although there is no clearly marked footpath.
Jesus had sent the disciples out in Faith trusting his father that he would use them to preach teach and heal the people to whom they had been sent. The disciples are like infants, they are not wise or clever, yet they have been able to see God working through Jesus and have now experienced it for themselves.
So imagine Jesus’ joy when they return from their mission, he is full of praise and thanksgiving. When he hears all that they have done.
There comes a time when we have to go out and spread Gods kingdom ourselves. We have to use all that we have seen and learnt. It takes practice to see God working, the more we trust him especially in the small things, the easier it is to trust the next time when things are harder.
The road sign I mentioned earlier is a warning sign, following where God leads us is not easy he does not promise that it would be. Jesus met opposition and death on a cross, so might we. However if we have faith and trust God like the child in the sign hand in hand with the Father, on the unseen pathway, we will experience that peace which passes all understanding.
God chooses us, he loves each one of us, he knows us and he equips us for the task he has called us to do. God shares his mission with us, to change things, to make a difference to his world, the world he created so we could know him and love him as our father as his beloved children.