I wonder where you are at the moment in life: In a storm, or worried about one coming over the horizon, or maybe you find yourself enjoying a moment of calm and tranquillity – (I was hugely blessed with a moment like that on my retreat the other week. A time of peace.)
Wherever you are, in peaceful, uncertain or stormy waters, Jesus is with us in the boat. He has the power and the compassion to take care of us.
And that representation has stood the test of time. So, what is the doctrine of the Trinity? It can be summed up in three statements:
There is only one God
The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is each God
The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are not the same
Today’s Gospel reading is the second parable with a shepherding theme set out in chapter 10 of John’s Gospel. Jesus is arguing with those described by John as ‘the Jews’. The first is the parable about the shepherd entering the sheepfold through the door, whereas anybody climbing in otherwise is a thief and robber. This parable was not understood by his audience, so he went on to tell them the parable we heard today.
Be joyful today because God has told us a little of the mystery – as we repent and believe in Jesus Christ, we will come to share in His resurrection. Death will have no sting because it has been swallowed up in the victory of the resurrection and the life everlasting. Amen.
What’s in a name?
I wonder if you like your name. A lot of thought goes into the name parents give a new born child.
I’d love to know how many names Alex and Adam went through before deciding on the name for their new arrival, Mia!
All names carry meaning, and always the meaning is personal. Sometimes the meaning is obvious too:
Angel. Hope. Gifty. Grace.
My journey of faith in Jesus Christ began with my parents. As a child they spoke often of Jesus’ love, and they said their love for one another came from Him. It was Jesus who inspired them, and guided them. So one night, when I was about 6, before bed I prayed that Jesus would become ‘boss’ of my life too, just as he was their ‘boss’. I wanted the love and kindness of Jesus to live in me too.
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