May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be now and always acceptable in thy sight O Lord our strength and our redeemer. Amen.
On This the Shortest day of the year … the time when our world is at its darkest we remember that we worship the one who is light, who is able to transform any darkness with his marvellous light.
We know in our houses when we come in these evenings the first thing we do is flick a switch … and instantly the darkness is transformed by looking at the the light.
It is my hope that in this service as we are reminded of the Light of the world stepped down and dwelt amongst us … and that whatever we are going through, he understands … he has compassion for and that he sees the bigger picture. There are many promises contained within Scripture which we could look at today - many characters we could point to who went through the most difficult of circumstances but who were also able to come through in his power, in his timing and with his strength. I Simply want to remind us of 2 truths … which we all know but which have huge implications for us if we allow them to penetrate our head but also our heart.
Jesus - Fully Human
When we look at the life of Jesus through the gospels - we see him facing all sorts of things - from wedding feasts, to betrayal, from friends letting him down to the loss of close friends - but we also see him rooted in Family, Friends, prayerful retreats, regular routines - all sorts of different things which maintained regality within his life. - How much more do we need these things?
Life, at different times, for each of us has a way of confusing and hurting us. Pain comes in all sorts of forms - whether that be the loss or separation of loved ones, loneliness, addictions, health issues, abuse, work issues, lack of purpose … whatever the confusion and hurt may be - we’ve got choices on how we choose to react to the situation.
We need to know Jesus knew what it was like to be human ... and he can help us!
Jesus - fully divine
We see as Jesus came amongst his people he not only provided an example … but his divine power allowed him to make a difference to the whole of life. He was able to transform lives … through healing, through heart transformations - some listened and some didn’t … some believed and some chose not to! - He is the one who is the water of life, the bread of heaven - Only he can satisfy our deepest longing. He is the resurrection and the life.
But his power did more than that … his divine power allows us 2,000 years later to dare to believe that life has purpose, that grave has been conquered, that our short time on his globe can count for something. That our daily living, breathing, working and whatever we are doing can have eternal impact.
Simply this afternoon … as we sit here, as we bring our thoughts over the past year or years - to use an art analogy we need to let the story of our past - the situations which have brought us here - whatever colour those are … mix with the truths of immanuel - God with us and allow a new colour to be formed.
Something practical to consider - something on my heart as I prepared for this service - One of the best things I’ve been doing this year has been a leadership course, the Arrow Course which amongst other things has seen meeting up with a Mentor … somebody who is trusted by and within the Church … somebody I’m able to trust completely, who has been given my permission to ask me the difficult questions and who I’m able to share the deepest stuff with and who is able to provide sensible perspectives in the midst of issues. Whatever we call them - a mentor, spiritual director or soul friend …. somebody who we can be real with, somebody we can have faith conversations with … somebody who is accountable to somebody else and who we can be accountable to.
I mention this because we aren’t called to do life alone, we aren’t meant to try to do it alone. We do need input and perspectives from trusted others.
We are created to be together in community. I wonder do we have people who we can be with - who help us to go Deeper with God
Perhaps we need to discover either for the first time, or rediscover - who this Jesus is - iN his humanity and his divinity
in what possibly is this new season of your life.