Did anyone see Mr. Trump watching the eclipse without protective glasses? This may cause thousands of Trump supporters to be blind. Did you see thousands of rapt people staring towards the sun, (through their glasses) hearing comments like, this is the best thing I have ever seen. It is really spiritual. Wow. This could be a life changing event,
Paul says, “be transformed by renewing your minds” so that you may know the will of God for you
Transformation results from following God’s pathway
I think he must have been present at the town hall in Sydney during the 1954 visit of Queen Elizabeth when 2000 Sydney schoolchildren sang in a combined choir to entertain her. In the lead up, our teacher held auditions, a bit like hard quiz in , out, I got an out so as was my normal response to disappointment i started crying, Oh well I suppose amongst 2000 voices it wont matter…
The difference between a voice which is heading in the general direction of the choir and occasionally hits the right note but is usually off key is a bit like those who do not trust God to lead their lives, and even many Christians are on the path and off the path pretty regularly. But when on the path, when singing on key the harmony is beautiful, it is uplifting and rewarding, just as it is when we are living according to God’s plan for us.
When we listen to the story of Israel in Egypt, from Joseph avoiding death, sold into slavery, becoming King’s right hand man, reunion with brothers, bringing the extended family into Egypt, and then in todays reading, the events which lead to Moses survival because God had a job for him. Many barriers had to be overcome on the way, but God’s plan was achieved. It always is, we should know that by now. We know of the exodus , the 40 years wandering, the occupation of Canaan the messiah coming and the rest of the prophesy that is yet to come, the completion of God’s kingdom the joining of heaven and earth in one Kingdom.
All that took place was prophesied, all that is yet to come has been prophesied, hang on to your hats.
God’s will be done….. God’s will be done in our lives also, God’s will that we should be followers, called from before time to be ministers for Jesus in the Church, his body.
Paul has some hints re staying on the path;
Note the progressive nature Paul speaks of the faith journey,
We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith;
12:7 ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching;
12:8 the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.
Not just a gift, but a progression through gifts through growth.
Jesus asks the disciples in todays gospel reading, “who do you say that I am”
There are a number of answers which are often heard apart from Peter’s response and those of the disciples, such as, Jesus was a good man, gave us a great example of how we should live our lives. He was one of the prophets one of the great spiritual leaders like bhudda Mohammed the Dali Lama.
He must have had some connection with God to do all those miracles, but others have done miracles also, through to, He is salvation, he is the Son of God, he is the messiah, he is the centre of my life. I love him. Who do you say that Jesus is, to you?
Knowing that God’s plan will be a reality and that it is in that process, do you want to join the choir where every voice sings perfectly in tune.
That involves being transformed, that involves renewing the mind, what do we do? Study, pray, learning, conferences, studying the mystics and great theological masters. Well all of that , or as much as we are able, but even before that, by examining the question,”Who do you say that I am” is critical, and one of the passages which helps to focus on that comes from Chapter one of Hebwews.
“ 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature”
Now we can follow Mr. Trumps example, take our glasses off and look directly at Jesus and his resurrection cross, when we appreciate that he actually reflects the glory of God, when we consider that it was through him and by him that the universe was created, that he is not just the son of God, God is one and three, inseperable, the lord we give thanks for our food, the lord whom we pray to frequently with complaints, requests, a bit like a spiritual ATM, this is the God of creation who parted the sea, bought manna from heaven, issued water from the rock, healed innumerable sufferers through faith, bought the dead back to life. This is the God whom we can look upon long and be focused,
Paul is not backward in bringing us down to earth, to be able to take our part in the heavenly choir we need to burst our ego bubble.
:3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God
Has given you.
“Is my ego getting in the way of my growth?”
It may be helpful to consider that question as we behold the glory of God in Jesus, as we place our ego beside the awe and wonder and majesty of the creator of the world who has a personal relationship with each of us, pop goes the bubble perspective reigns.
To answer the question of Who do you say that I am fully and honestly, requires this thorough investigation of Jesus staring fixedly at his resurrection cross and allowing the reality of God’s glory to grow in us. This is transformation, and with or following transformation comes renewing of the mind. There are many who have studied the scriptures and the scholars and still have an academic knowledge of Christ but do not know Jesus, who would answer the question “who do you say that I am” with a ten page treatise or a book, but do not know Jesus.
I know that I am preaching to the converted, but even for mature Christians renewal is a healthy process and to be able to lead or challenge those who are searching into the process of unfolding God’s plan and purpose for them is our calling also.
So let us focus on the Son, i.e. S O N and we may still need protective glasses for the brilliance of the glory he reflects is beyond measure and the transformation which results is freedom from the burdens and trials of the world and whether we praise God in song or not, the song of our heart is very pleasing to God. May God bless you on your journey to his Kingdom. amen