Though generally the hearts of both adults and children sink at the words “Family Service,” we had good ones this Easter.
Jesus after his resurrection was as pithy, trenchant and incisive as ever, and his questions cut, once again, to the heart of the matter.
His first words, practically, “Why are you weeping?”
And then, “Be not faithless, but believing.”
These two sentences are connected, somehow!
David, a shepherd, hails the LORD as his shepherd. Hmm.
And when Jesus invites Peter originally, and re-invites him again after the Resurrection, it is in the areas of his competence. You are a fisherman? Well then, fish men. You have laboured all night and caught nothing. Well, pal, cast your net where I tell you to.
Might we see the greatest breakthroughs and wonders and miracles if we invite God to step in in the areas of our competence? I think so.
Whatever our profession is, the Lord knows how to do it better, and WE can do it better if we trust him. The Lord is my writer. The Lord is my business manager.
|Breughel, Corn Harvest|
A Blessing on Our Labour
“As long as the earth endures
Seedtime and harves,
Cold and heat,
Summer and winter,
Day and night
Will never cease.”
After the devastation of the flood, a blessing on our labour.
Harvest will follow seedtime.
Our life will have rhythms which we are to ride through as Noah rode through the flood. There will be night and winter and cold, and we will see them through, rest and gather strength, and then there will, for sure, be summer too, and day and warmth, and all these will contribute to mould our characters as we live in this world which God has blessed!
|The Gallarus Oratory in the Dingle Peninsula
Places of withdrawal and Prayer
This is the story we are reading aloud at present around the family dinner table.
God’s directions for the ark–450 ft by 75 by 45 feet. I used to find this part incredible. As I have lived longer, I don’t!
In my experience of running a small publishing company, I have experienced this sort of uncanny direction on several occasions: a clear insight into printers; books to publish; how and where to distribute; products to unroll.
God is a God of details, is interested in details, and we miss out on so much wisdom when we don’t seek him for insight on how to do the details….
Noah in the ark while the world is being flooded and destroyed outside. THEN THE LORD SHUT HIM IN.
What is this an image of? Of depression? Of abandonment? Aloneness? Sensory deprivation? Boredom?
Of God’s way of protection and safety.
It is a principle enshrined in God’s dealings with us. A period in the cocoon, in the ark, between great activity in the past, and great activity in the future. A winter like period to send one’s roots deep into certainties of who God is, and of his mighty power, a period to gather strength for the future.
What looks like abandonment is a period of rest and protection.
Do not labour for food which perishes, but for food that endures to eternal life.
Not all of us have choices about what labour we undertake. Many of us have our choices cut out for us by long years of training and experience.
But insofar as one does have a choice, here’s a principle for work which Jesus offers.
Do not work merely for money or food, which is spent and gone; work for things that will endure in eternity.
What will endure? Goodness will. Good deeds put into God’s invisible and run-proof bank. Helping other gravitate towards the same.
Doing whatever you do because it is the will of God for your life–that will endure.
As I return to writing after 2.5 years spent setting up house, and establishing a small business, I think I am going to use that as a principle for my work.
To write that which might endure to eternal life.
In Him was life, and that life was the light of men
In him was LIFE.
Another of the great words, the great themes of this Gospel.
LIFE for our lifelessness, our hopelessness, our inner deadness
. LIFE, the great antidote for the depression that is inevitable when we lose sight of the source of life.
And that life was the LIGHT of men.
Light, like God himself, is one of the simple, humble, unregarded, taken for granted things.
Light like God is many things
SAFETYAnd yet from earliest childhood we know that in it lies our safety. In cities, when there is street lighting, crime falls. When there is a city wide power failure, crime soars. At night, in the darkness, the world over, crime increases exponentially–murder, rape, muggings, burglaries. We knows these things from earliest childhood if we are female. There are few places in the world in which a woman can walk completely safely alone after dark. Certainly not Oxford, England.
And the power of light is stronger than the power of darkness. Not all the darkness in the world can extinguish a tiny candle, but a tiny candle can illuminate, however slightly, the most majestic hall.
Posted by Anita Mathias at 13:36