Saturday, 14 February 2009

Who are You?

Opening Prayer

Here I am Lord,
Speak to me
within my heart and soul.
I am listening.

Mark6:3 (The Message)
He's just a carpenter—Mary's boy


I didn’t ask for this, you know.

Well, maybe I did, in one of my prayers I might have asked God what he wanted me to do; what was the point of my life. Trouble is, so often, when we pray, we don’t really think he’s listening. After all, how many prayers do you think he gets, every day, every minute, every second?

But I did ask him, and, it seems, he was listening and now - here I am- speaking to you. Words coming from nowhere; pouring out of a tiny bit of scripture that I had read and heard over and over again without comment, until today. This is what it is like, every day. Words; not my words – his. That’s why you hear them. That’s why they mean something to you too. I’m just the messenger.

But for people who don’t want to listen; who am I? No even a member of the clergy; just a person in the pew; Joe Public; unqualified; uneducated. Who and what gave me the right to speak? And, as for my background - well everyone knows where I come from – a family reputation no-one would be proud of; wrong side of the tracks; keeping the gossips in business even now. How dare I even stand up here; who do I think I am?

How easy to use the ordinary, damaged, sinful me as the excuse not to hear; not to have to listen; not to believe.

Who do you think God ever chooses? So rarely the ones in authority. Hardly ever the ones with the answers. Never, the ones who think they have the right. How could he? How would they hear him? They don’t really need him; their minds so full of rights and wrongs; so empty of love and forgiveness. I needed him; needed love and forgiveness; that was his way in.

And perhaps I have to accept that that some people will never see beyond the world’s judgement to God’s grace and mercy. And perhaps for that I am, at least, in good company. For my Lord was ‘just a carpenter’.

Judging a book by its cover

It’s a thing that the world does. Uses its own little scales of importance to decide who to give authority to. But those in authority, generally get there through the system, through playing the game, through knowing the rules. They belong to the world that made them.

If that world is a good place, then wonderful. But how often, when we look at the world, do we feel that something is wrong; that something is unfair; that something should be done. And then what – if we feel we are the ones to try to put it right? How easy to be put down, as an amateur, a do-gooder, a busybody. But sometimes we are called, we cannot deny it and we have to do, tell, be – no matter what. Despite the slings and arrows of the critics. Then maybe all you can do is walk away from those that deride you to those who will listen with an open heart.

Take some time to think about what God has asked of you. Are you affected by what others think? Do you try to argue or simply walk away? If there a way God can support you? Have you asked him?

Closing Prayer
May the blessing of the Sacred Three
The Father who gave us the Word
The Son who is the Word
The Spirit who opens the Word within us
Be with us today and evermore.Amen


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