29th July 2011

Up Parasols!

“…[Jesus] asked His disciples, saying, ‘Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?’ … Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’”
Matthew 16:13, 16 (NKJV)

My sister was going to walk around with her new grandson. Only she didn’t turn up. I didn’t really expect that she would. The day was cold, with scudding showers and even some hail mixed in for good measure. Much more sensible to stay at home by the central heating. Young Joshua would have appreciated that as well, young as he is.

Have you ever noticed how a sunny day with warm breezes from the south-east can brighten you? No matter that you have routine chores to do outside, feeling the warmth of the sun on your face, or on the small of your back, can quicken the pulse and make the work to be done lighter and accomplished quicker.

For me, life is like that. Without Jesus in my life would be like a winter’s day with thick ice and heavy snow. Then there’s the early darkness to combat. There’s a medical condition that’s recognised these days resulting from this deprivation of sunshine during the long winter—SAD: seasonal affective disorder.

But for victims of SAD in the spiritual sense, it is Jesus that makes the difference. When we acknowledge him as Peter did, we begin to understand the difference he can make in our lives. On another occasion when many disciples left Jesus, he asked the twelve, including Peter: “Will you go away too?” And Simon Peter answered: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the son of the Living God” (John 6:67-69). And we, walking with Christ, receive those words of Eternal life as warm and motivating as spring sunshine on our faces or on our backs.

Moreover, as the ones who have the words of life, and who know that Jesus is our Saviour because he is the Son of God, our lives are constantly in the sunshine, as it were, even while we may experience reverses and losses in our physical lives. There is nowhere else to go, and if you haven’t yet experienced it, come and join us—come into the sunshine. It’s nice and warm….

Most merciful Father, thank you for your Son and all that this means. We acknowledge that he is the Christ, the Son of the living God—You. We ask for those who don’t know that yet but are seeking you, that you will answer their cry. And we pray to you on their behalf in that same Jesus’ name.

Study by John Stettaford

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