Sunday, 7 June 2009

Pass it on

Opening Prayer

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



John 16:27


the Father himself loves you for loving me

Reflection

You often hear of strained relationships between fathers and sons. I don’t mean ‘bad’ relationships, just sometimes it is hard for both sides to show their feelings as, perhaps, you imagine women do; and I know that this is quoting stereotypes but we all know stereotypes.

Jesus and his Father obviously do not fall into this stereotype. Jesus lives his life swathed in the Father’s love for him, which is why he cries out in bereavement at the end ‘Why have you forsaken me’.

Jesus’ childlike adoration for his Father is never questioned, not once, no matter what his Father asked of him and that is astonishing because Jesus, the human man, was asked to make some awful sacrifices. Sacrifices where, as a human man, it would have been more than acceptable to say ‘No’.

That we could all have that relationship with God the Father; but He is so Big, so Unimaginable, so Unknowable, that it is hard. Respect and devotion, awe and wonder is an easier route than love, even when you know God is Love, even when you say the prayer that Jesus teaches us.

When Jesus comes to us, he comes as one of us, making human connections through physical signs –washing, walking, cooking, eating and drinking. When the translations say he ‘breathes on them’ he kisses them, in love, as a brother and friend. We can love Jesus with a love that we know how to express; that we know what it feels like; that fills us so much that the whole world needs to share it. We can want to be like him and we can want that relationship with the Father because we are his children too. It all makes sense to our ways of understanding.
We are Christians because we feel this love for Jesus and it makes us want to follow him. This is a new and deeper relationship than we may have known with God and it is the fruits of this relationship that Jesus takes with him when he goes to the Father. He is not going ‘back’ – there is no ‘back’. He takes us to a future where the Kingdom is just that little bit closer and we can trust in the love of the Father because we know we love his Son.


Contemplation
Pass it on

I wonder, so many thousand years after the physical presence of the Lord walked the planet, how hard is it to think of Jesus as a man?

As a man who would be a brother, a friend – as you know and love a brother or a friend. Or how much is it like trying to love a ‘concept’ an imagining, even a movie star.

Does it, should it, matter that we don’t know what he looks like?
When we think of those we love ‘that much’ do we really think of their physical appearance first or all those other qualities that we love; are we not most aware of all those feelings that they stir in us? And does it matter if they are here with us or on the other side of the world; love is love.

Contemplation allows us to move beyond the surface to the place where these feelings and emotions can speak. Use the knowing of your love for others as a way of expressing your love for the Lord. To work towards a relationship that is more and more real.


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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