Sometimes I wonder if we reflect as much as we should in our worship on the humanity of Jesus, as distinct from His divinity. Our reading from Hebrews explains the importance of that humanity. Because Jesus became like us in every respect, he judges as a merciful high priest who understands precisely the contexts of our actions. And as the writer of Hebrews puts it, “Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested”.
St John, whose feast we celebrate today, gave the church the gift of his Gospel. It’s a powerful and moving book of Jesus’ life: “the Word of God made flesh”. In church tradition, each of the four gospels has a creature associated with it and for John, it’s an eagle. Eagles soar, gracefully, high above the land. John’s writing is similarly graceful and poetic.
‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way;
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight” ’,
That, I believe, is what God wants to offer each one of us as God calls us out of fear, and deeper into trust and discipleship. Let’s be honest, there are real risks to following God and obeying his calling – risks of uncertainty and sacrifice and it can be frustrating trying to listen to God in prayer, and making time to read and understand the Bible, and making time for Church and serving our brothers and sisters
So what might mission mean for us? The options are endless. It might include something active and direct, like a role in church, helping at a night shelter, visiting the sick or the lonely, or volunteering at a food bank. But it might also be something less obvious, like some simple words of comfort to someone who is fearful.