Devotional

Published on July 31st, 2019 | by Stephen Barrington

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The Father revealing truth to the children, Matthew 11:25-27. July 17, 2019

Nga mihi nui e hoa ma, rangimarie ki a koutou katoa i te ata nei. Greetings of peace to you all this morning. The gospel text for today comes from Matthew 11:25-27.

For the last few days our gospel readings have been of Jesus poking holes in the hypocrisy of many religious and community leaders. Today we read that he “exclaims; I bless you Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for hiding these things from the learned and clever and revealing them to little children”.

In our quest as followers of Jesus, and as ‘religious professional’s’ we can easily loose sight of the reality of experience as we seek to ‘package’ and distribute or speak about that experience. We can spend lots of time trying to categorize and work out the finest details to stay within the bounds of acceptable theology and practice. We must be careful that we do not end up making ‘salvation’ and friendship with God reliant on any point of mere intellectual exactitude.

For little children can understand and experience the reality of the love and joy of God. It is a simple thing that we must use as a guard against falling into arguments over contentious points. Arguments and point scoring always set up walls and barriers between people. Sometimes we can be rightly charged with loving our religion more than we love God. Let’s keep it simple, the gospel in one word is ‘love’.

If we can see the faith that little children can experience then hopefully we will be able to see the faith that is active in many places beyond the recognised boundary of the church wall, of the church community.

As I wander around in my life I often come across people with no church or christian understanding who are expressing the core and simple ideas of Christ and his way. May we be found encouraging this faith to grow and develop, rather than be ‘learned and clever’ and try to squeeze that faith into our box, or exclude it because it doesn’t look like our box does.

The images in today’s text are of family, father and son relationship, trust and childlike acceptance of that safety surrounded by love. As we ponder on these things may Jesus lead us to grow in love so that we can simply love and be full of the joy of life. Yes there are big adult and dangerous issues in the world that need to be grappled with, but if they were addressed from the simple view of children many of them would not exist or be dealt with quite quickly.

Let’s leave behind our complicated theories of evangelism and be simply strong and courageous in our love of God, may it ooze from us as an experience that changes the world.

Cheers
Buckshot – Wellington chapter, New Zealand


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