Wednesday 23 June 2021

Bible Book:

'Therefore whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light.' (v. 3)

Luke 12:1-12 Wednesday 23 June 2021

Psalm 2:1-8


Fear can be a terrible thing, taking root in the belly and sending ripples of anxiety throughout the whole body, often incapacitating a person with the need to take refuge somewhere small and enclosed (I'm sure you get what I mean!).

Jesus knew what it was like to be the object of ridicule and the subject of lies and back-room political campaigns within his own religion. He teaches the disciples to stand apart from the chatter and not to get sucked in. He reminds them that ‘God is bigger’ through his example of God even knowing numbers of sparrows and the numbers of hairs on the disciples' heads (vs 6-7). (From the context of this passage, I am assuming the disciples were somewhat hirsute.) It is not easy to stand up under the weight of deliberate slights to your  reputation, or to that of a loved one, or to the gospel. It is hard when you see integrity flagrantly disregarded and allies sought in opposition to what is good and honourable, but Jesus teaches his disciples not to fear and he counsels them to maintain their own integrity.

"It will all come out in the wash" grannies would say to comfort their little ones struggling to cope with lies being spoken about them at school, work, or even at church, as their littles ones bemoaned a swell of opinion raging against them. It turns out that this is what Jesus was saying. Politically motivated speeches and hate campaigns against him and the gospel would turn out to be pointless. His opponents would be proven false. Carefully orchestrated efforts to discredit Jesus and his followers would  be revealed as smoke and mirrors. It turns out that the saying of our grannies was right: it did 'all come out in the wash'. Eventually the perpetrators of the fear and smear campaigns were revealed for who they were. God is bigger than anything that goes wrong.

To Ponder:

    • In the hymn "Heavenly Father, may thy blessing" there is a line “When to speak and when be silent, when to do and when forbear.” Think about times when you have ‘held your peace’ even though it ran counter to all sense of fairness. How long was it before the situation was resolved? Why do you think Jesus teaches his disciples not to fight the gossip and lies?
    •  Reflect on some times when you have been prompted by the Holy Spirit to speak and how those words differed from your own carefully constructed arguments? Find some passages in Acts where the Holy Spirit does just this for the Christians under attack in the Early Church. What encouragement do you take from this?
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