On Saturday afternoon I walked over to St. Francis church here in the parish. They were hosting a donation-based afternoon tea to celebrate the signing of the Magna Carta. It was 800 years ago today that King john signed it. ‘Maverick’ was at work, so I went by myself.
As I was about to leave, I felt a little prompt in my heart to invite my friends, Mr. & Mrs. B., to dinner on Sunday afternoon. They have provided several meals for us, and it was time for me to have the honour of providing hospitality to them. Stir-fried chicken with brown rice was served about 5.30pm with watermelon for afters. We had a lovely evening. I was blessed by flowers from their back garden. I wanted to share them with you here.
Another experience I wanted to share with you was from a Bible study I did last week. I was reading Mark 10:15-16.
The context is that Jesus and his disciples are going from one community to the next, sharing the kingdom of God with all who would listen. Many people were bringing children to Jesus for blessing. Now the disciples were not getting the picture and told them not to bother Jesus.
But Jesus stops and says:
“Truly, I tell you, whoever does not receive and accept and welcome the kingdom of God like a little child [does] positively shall not enter it at all.” (16) And He took them [the children up one-by-one] in His arms and [fervently invoked] a blessing , placing his hands upon them.”
God often uses my imagination to communicate with me, to engage not only my intellect, but also my emotions and spirit. As I read that passage, a beautiful picture formed. Jesus stops near a stand of trees. The crowd has to stop as well. He forgets about time. The sun is out, the shade is welcome and Jesus smiles at the children, their mothers and reaches for the nearest child. He picks the child up in his arms.
For Jesus and the child, everything else seems to fall away into this eternal, timeless moment. The child, a girl, relaxes in Jesus secure embrace, and lays her head on his shoulder. Jesus places his hand on her head, then softly, firmly and intimately says:
“In the name of the Father, I bless you. He has given His angels charge over you. As you grow, may your heart rest in His love for you. He is in your midst, mighty to save. He exults over you with singing. Be secure in His love. Be courageous. Trust totally, and take notice of His direction. He will never, no never forsake you. You are His Child. Amen”
Jesus’ voice resonates with the Father’s love and purpose. He calls forth the gifts and destiny in that child. The breeze blows, moving the leaves on the trees, whispering through grass nearby.
As I meditate of the words and picture, the child is no longer a stranger from the crowd. I have become the child in Jesus’ embrace. I have become the focus of His blessing, His love. My mind and heart were encouraged, comforted and emboldened. With all my heart I want to share with others that God loves them too.
In the past week, I have gone back to this inspired encounter and meditated on it. My heart is so full of thanksgiving. I thought it only appropriate to share it.
Serving Jesus, Author of our faith,