Just a short “checking in with you all blog” today. I made it to Holy Trinity in Wester Hailes today and loved every minute of being there! I loved the love, the humour, the acceptance and the welcome. The worship was also wonderful and the preaching superb. Of course I now feel tired, no use for anything very much, but that is OK. In fact it is more than OK. That too has blessed me this day. It has helped me this afternoon to lay hold of Christ and sense His nearness as truly as I sensed Him in His people and in His Word and in worship this morning. What do I mean? Well, I think I am capable of no more wonderful thought in the universe of truth than this: Jesus, when He “took on flesh” as we sang this morning, took upon Himself something that was able to feel tiredness, weakness and pain, hunger, suffering etc. Whatever His future plans may hold for me in terms of healing, I know I don’t need to be well or strong to be understood and honoured with His presence. He is not ashamed to associate Himself with me when I feel weak and useful for nothing.
Sometimes I have heard preaching over the years, or read ideas in books that makes it almost sound as though Christians are the new Aryan race with which God wants to populate the earth – strong, capable, excelling in every field. Indeed some people’s idea of mission seems to be to have top people in top places of every field of human activity and endeavour, eventually taking over everything – not much different from Davros and the Daleks. I have preached in some settings over the years that seemed to reinforce the suggestion; you would have to look quite hard to find anyone who was old or feeble in body or mind or who was anything other than incredibly successful with a very enviable lifestyle.
When I was growing up as a young believer and moving from Secondary school to University somewhere in the background the dominant hope was that if we influenced graduates who would go on and lead in their fields, well this was the way to change the nation. It doesn’t work that way, yet that is still seen as being a valid thought by a largely middle class evangelical church. At the start it was different so much so that one of the greatest champions of the faith, Paul, had to say to his nervous son in the faith Timothy, not to be ashamed of the prison chains and suffering that he, Paul, bore and not to be ashamed of the Lord. In a world that valued physical prowess and obeying the law, a God who bled and died on a tree as someone cursed, and who allowed His ambassador who served Him faithfully to be chained up was not an appealing idea. It is not an appealing idea to modern man either. In fact it was the fact that Jesus was not an idea that was the greatest problem for those respected as the wise of the earth. At the centre of our faith is incredible weakness: someBODY who was a baby; someBODY tired and sitting at a well; someBODY dying on a cross.
Let any bodily weakness you feel this day or any day help you also to sense the nearness of the true Jesus Christ and all that He became when He became flesh for you and me. Especially at those moments when you feel useless for anything, may you sense you are precious, priceless, in His sight.