Those in the aftermath of an awful event…
Need our presence and prayer, ahead of our preach.
Friendship and food ahead of a theory.
A home group ahead of a homily.
Our weeping, over our wishing or wondering.
Disciple, you really can play a part today in Jesus’ magnificent work of binding up the broken hearted today.
(But you might not be able to do that and look clever at the same time)
Dive in and serve in the midst of the unanswered questions.
Perhaps the book written first, it wrestles with the question, ‘why am I suffering?’
It sheds light on the spiritual backdrop that we operate in front of, though that raises as many questions as it does answers.
Pastorally, it demonstrates that the best way to respond to your friend’s suffering is to show up… Then shut up.
There are ‘reasons’ we’re suffering – but it’s impossible for us to apportion these properly in this life, and even if we could, it wouldn’t provide the salve we seek.
The ‘answer’ is an encounter. There is the Lord, his might is not diminished, his love will not relent. When our eyes see Him, our souls will be satisfied even as we carry the story of our suffering.
Making sense of it is overrated, if our Saviour’s in the midst of it. This is not a new path.
Praying today for eyes to see.
The church I’ve jumped in with has some fun ‘early days’ stories.
My favourite may be this one: Around three years ago as they were seeking to launch the church they littered Croydon with 10,000 flyers for a “Come and See” Event at a local function room.
Not a single person showed who wasn’t on the team.
Tom couldn’t face his own parents as he returned home to relieve them of their babysitting duties. Too embarrassing, having quit his job and moved his family to embark on this ‘adventure’.
At times the Kingdom of God is like a party that no one shows for.
But they had a trickle of people the next few nights…
It grew from there, and now, 3 short years later, must be one of the fastest growing churches in South London.
At times the Kingdom of God is like a party you can only get into by breaking through the roof.
Keep issuing the invites.
“When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.” Matthew 28:17
I wonder if they debated long and hard about leaving that sentence in.
‘A few hundred rabbis might read this scroll!! Should we really let them know that when we were in the very presence of the risen Jesus we still had our doubts?! Won’t this undermine the movement?! Won’t this rock the new disciple’s budding faith? Surely we should want to portray rock solid certainty in the King’s historical bodily resurrection!?’
Thank goodness the PR department didn’t win the day on that one.
Billions have since read the passage. In doing so they’ve had their, ‘if only I was there’ excuse knocked on the head and many have found much solace in the fact that people who encounter the risen Jesus still have their doubts. And, bang in the middle of those said doubts, they can still draw near, sing their hearts out, and then go on to change the world.
Disciples walk forward with their doubts.
To tell the Lord Almighty
What’s not possible?
On this week’s episode we explore Nathanael’s upbringing a little bit, and talk through drawing from a wide spectrum of sources. Eat the meat, spit out the bones. Enjoy!
For all previous episodes and all information about the podcast check out the page here.
Crunch points come in your life.
Forks in the road open up. You’ve got every reason to walk away from the Lord, and take the wide path. Life’s excruciating, and you’ve got every excuse to quietly back off the Kingdom of God stuff. That might be displayed by crossing some ethical lines you wouldn’t have crossed before, or it may be discrete, and discernible only to you at the level of your heart. Either way, in your gut you know it’s a leaving of the narrow path.
Or maybe, just maybe, in the moment the crowds have abandoned him, and he’s looking at you square in the eye saying, “what about you, are you going to leave as well?” From somewhere a clarity comes, and you find yourself saying, out loud, and at the heart level, “Really, where else is there to go? I absolutely don’t understand this shit we’re going through, but only You have the words of eternal life.”
It will feel like clinging on with your finger nails, but what you’re actually doing is doubling down on Jesus.
I bet Peter and the boys were glad the story didn’t end for them at John 6. I pray it may be so with us.