Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Action and Response

This Sunday 21st September is also the Feast of St Matthew some suggested readings are : Proverbs 3:1-6, Psalm 19:1-6 APBA p 239, Ephesians 4:1-14, Matthew 9:9-13

and you thought you had a bad day at work!

I am always fascinated by what makes Matthew respond to Jesus.
Had he just had a bad day (like S did yesterday) at work?
And just felt like chucking it all in!
Of course we are here seeing not just a fit of pique
but someone responding to Jesus
so as people of faith we recognise that there may be more to it.
And we also identify that
Jesus calls and we respond
(or not)
This is something in which we are caught up every day.
Matthew, on this occasion, responded
we do sometimes
Often we just ignore the call of Christ on our lives.

What follows on in the nartrative is a little reflection, which perhaps helps us to get Matthew's understanding of what Jesus is doing when he calls people
We read:
And as Jesus sat at dinner in the house, many tax-collectors and sinners came and
were sitting with him and his disciples. 11When the Pharisees saw this, they
said to his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax-collectors and
sinners?’ 12But when he heard this, he said, ‘Those who are well have no need of
a physician, but those who are sick. 13Go and learn what this means, “I desire
mercy, not sacrifice.” For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.’

There is, it would seem, purpose when Jesus calls someone!
And that purpose is that those who have been cut off from God
those who are in need of wholeness, acceptance, reconciliation
Might be able to come and receive what God will give them.
As, again, we reflect on who might we might invite to come to something like Christianity Explained
Maybe we have here a clue about what sort of person to look out for.
We are not being asked to be pedantic or patronising,
any way when a call is issued there is always the possibility that the one called may choose to sit at the table and not respond.

Asking ourselves
I wonder why, too, God might have called you and me .
Assuming that we are here because God has been here before us
what is it that he is offering to do for us
What might we receive?
St James makes the cryptic comment
You do not receive because you do not ask (James 4:2)
Sometimes I suspect we do not understand that we are being invited to receive from God,
maybe we are frightened
if we hear the call, as Matthew did,
and get up and walk away
(this may be so for some of our CE invitees)

This week
  • Continue to pray for insight into who might come to Christianity Explained
  • Ponder what God is calling me to be. Why on earth has God thought I can be a Christian, what is God wanting to achieve in my life?
  • Is there an invitation to respond more definitely, fervently even dramatically?

Living God from your Heart flows love in

Give me courage to respond to your call

Give me vision to change

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