…and talk about 10 minutes.
Instead of my usual Sunday devotional, I’m pleased to share a guest post by an online friend, Andrew King. Andrew is married to Sarah, a tutor at the Salvation Army Training College. In a varied life, he’s been a sausage designer, a preacher, a lecturer, a granite salesman, and a photographer. He also climbs mountains.
Talk about God, and talk about 10 minutes.
So, it is said, went the advice from the bishop to the curate, and it isn’t too bad. There is one issue with it, though. Perhaps we have taken it too much to heart, and as a result we quite often talk about God, but much more rarely talk about Jesus.
That is a shame, or worse. In the church today, God has been “flattened out” into a rather vague, faceless, shapeless force. And that is very sad – not simply because we have failed to tick some dusty doctrinal box marked “Trinity”, but because we are missing the heart of our faith.
God has made himself known – and above all he has done that in the person of his Son. If we want to really talk with God, to know him – not as Force, but as Father – then we need to meet him in the Son. And the way we know him as Son is in Jesus: Jesus as revealed in the gospels of the New Testament.
Now my friend John and I are from slightly different camps theologically. And there are plenty of wider extremes available! You may think “every word of the gospels is literally true” or that all four books are basically works of pious fiction and that we can know next to nothing about the historical Jesus if he even existed. In a sense, I’m not going to bother with that question here.
No – my challenge to you, whichever camp you’re from, and especially if you have responsibility to care for a church, or corps, a little group of God’s people, is to talk more about the Jesus we see in those books. However literal or mythical you think those gospel stories are, just tell them.
Put people in the place where they can see and feel how amazing it was when Jesus touched lepers. See the look on the face of the woman, outcast for 12 years because of her gynae problems, as she is called “daughter” by him. Sense Jairus’ desperation as he throws all dignity aside and begs for Jesus to help his dying daughter. Get some plaster dust in your hair as you relive what it was like when the friends lowered the paralysed man through the roof. Feel the emotions as the woman bathed Jesus’ feet with her tears. Help people to see the man who was at the centre of all of those stories. Talk about how he headed for Jerusalem even when his friends thought he was crazy to go to his death.
Talk about ten minutes, and talk about Jesus.
When we see him, we see God. As we come to know him, we come to know God. And as we interact with him, so God changes us.
Talk about Jesus. You and your hearers will not remain unchanged.