Rev Tania writes:
This week in the Lectionary readings offer together a variety of differing elements. In the ongoing saga of David’s Reign we jump forward to the rebellion led by his son Absalom, and to Absalom’s death. Once again, we find David grieving an enemy, although this time he grieves as a father as well.
In the Gospel we find Jesus being challenged for saying that he is the bread of life, and claiming that he reveals God, that he offers eternal life to those who come to him, and that his followers will be raised by him at the last day.
There is a tremendous strength in Jesus’ response to his critics, even as he proclaims a deeply invitational message.
In Paul’s words to the Ephesian Church, some simple, practical guidelines are offered for living together as Christ followers. How we speak to one another and treat one another is significant, because it builds our life together, and reflects the life and grace of God.
The Psalm calls on believers to praise God for God’s faithfulness and salvation. In the light of this, it may seem impossible to find a common thread for this week’s worship. However, what stands out is a call to Christlike behaviour that is lived in the daily routines of our lives.
As we celebrate God’s goodness, we are called to reflect and imitate that goodness in Christlike grace, compassion, gentleness, and honesty. We are called to resist evil, but love those who oppose us, even to the point of grieving their demise. This is not just living “what comes naturally,” but is a challenge to embrace forgiveness, love and honesty in a radical, counter-cultural way, and in so doing, allowing God’s life to flow through us to touch and restore our neighbours, our communities and our world.
The simple challenge of this week is to believe that choosing to live like Christ – the Bread of Life – each day can have positive consequences for our world. As someone once suggested, we need to think globally and act locally – even in considering our daily interactions and choices.
May the grace, honesty and compassion of Jesus be seen in us a little more because we have worshipped this week.
In prayer, Rev Tania