Before we begin, I’m going to ask you to go to your purse/wallet and pull out one card that gives you access to a nice place. For example, we have annual membership of the National Trust, the Beamish Museum and Raby Castle (all of which we have thoroughly enjoyed as they have gradually re-opened!).
Could you place this card in a prominent place for the duration of the day, please?
Let’s listen to this poem together and allow its provocation to stimulate worship in us. (“What if” by Jon Jorgenson).
During the late summer Dermot and I had a week in London. Before we went, I browsed through our National Trust handbook to see if there were any places that appealed and were within easy range of our destination. There weren’t, so I decided not to take the card.
On the Tuesday we took a boat trip down the Thames to Greenwich, and on arrival, headed for the Observatory; only to find, to our annoyance, that entry with a National Trust card would significantly reduce the cost. It was explained that if I could produce evidence of membership without my card, that would be fine. However, despite scrolling through endless emails I could find nothing helpful. Eventually, I happened to take another look in my purse, only to find that the card had been there all along. I had taken it after all!! So, we had access to this amazing place with all its history, and stunning views across the city in a way that would not otherwise have been possible.
God spoke to me through this.
Sometimes we can forget what belongs to us and the access that we have as a result of being in Christ.
I would like to encourage us today to reflect on an area in our lives where God’s truth (the “in Christ” us) and our experience maybe don’t quite line up. It might be:
- Part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians ch5 v22-23). Perhaps joy is missing.
- A gift of the Holy Spirit (Romans ch12 v4-8, 1 Corinthians ch12). Maybe, for example, the gift of tongues has slipped into the past and ceases to be exercised.
- An unfulfilled promise of Scripture where perhaps the passage of time has led to disappointment and a drifting away from faith for the situation.
Let’s choose an appropriate Scripture, then take the card. Imagine entering through that turnstile or gate into the beautiful, fascinating surroundings. Everything here is for us to enjoy and access.
To take the analogy further, there is no room for passivity. If I am going to enjoy the benefits of my card I have to go to the place, walk, take notice of my surroundings etc
There is something about an active faith response. Let’s take our Scriptures and begin to
- confess who we are in Christ.
- express that gift of the Holy Spirit.
- pray into that unfulfilled promise, seeing the situation with a Spirit-filled imagination.
Next time you use your card, and are genuinely in that lovely place perhaps you will enjoy it in a whole new way. I’m praying for you!
27 Oct 2021