Many, many people have had special experiences of God; life changing events; experiences which have caused them to repent in the true sense of the word that is to turn and go in a new direction. Especially in the mainstream Protestant Churches, we rarely ponder the aspect of God’s steadfast love that is individual’s experiences of God. It is outside of our comfort zone and we find it hard to believe that ordinary folk, people we think we know well, could be blessed in this way.
We can contemplate the revelation of God’s love in ordinary people doing extraordinary things and Jesus’ promise that we would do far greater things than he did. We can reflect on God’s love in experiences such as those of the disciples, Paul and Mary. We can mull over Bible passages, weigh up our own life story and open up our minds and hearts to the possibility of God’s love being far beyond anything we can think.
Pondering God’s love brings many surprises. We are able to see people more as God sees them, with love and not judgementally. We are not surprised by how much people are able to achieve if they are given opportunities and encouragement. God’s love says to us today, just as Jesus said in affect to his followers, “Go out trusting that everything you need for your work you have or it will be provided when the time is right and if the place where you find yourself isn’t right, then move on to a place that is right, where you can make a difference!” Perhaps this is some of the most startling advice Jesus gave and shows us another aspect of God’s steadfast love. May you be blessed in your pondering of God’s love, especially in your church services.
REv Julianne Parker
(for full sermon see sermons page)