Tag Archives: respond

Knowing What You Need

You know what it’s like when you want something, but you’re not sure what it is.  Something to just fill the gap.  Like being a child in a sweet shop, so much choice, and not being able to decide…

Sometimes though, being specific is important.

Mark 10:46-52

Jesus Heals Blind Bartimaeus

46 Jesus and his disciples went to Jericho. And as they were leaving, they were followed by a large crowd. A blind beggar by the name of Bartimaeus son of Timaeus was sitting beside the road. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus from Nazareth, he shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” 48 Many people told the man to stop, but he shouted even louder, “Son of David, have pity on me!”

49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him over!”

They called out to the blind man and said, “Don’t be afraid! Come on! He is calling for you.” 50 The man threw off his coat as he jumped up and ran to Jesus.

51 Jesus asked, “What do you want me to do for you?”

The blind man answered, “Master, I want to see!”

52 Jesus told him, “You may go. Your eyes are healed because of your faith.”

Right away the man could see, and he went down the road with Jesus.

I love this story, it’s full of colour and action.  Bartimaeus hears Jesus pass by, and starts shouting to him.  People tell him to stop, but that doesn’t stop him and he cries out all the louder.  Jesus calls to him, and he jumps up, throws off his cloak and runs to Jesus.  He knew what he needed – and he knew Jesus could help.  And all done with such enthusiasm.  I think I might have got fed up waiting by then, or been a bit slower to respond when Jesus did call me over.

ceridwen [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Do we know what we need from God?  Are we prepared to cry out him in our need?  Will we carry on asking, even when others tell us to shut up?  Do we jump up and run when Jesus calls? Do we allow him to touch us in our darkness?

Lord,

I need you,

and what you have to give me.

Help me to acknowledge that,

to keep calling,

to respond to you,

and receive your blessing to me

Can you Hear me Calling?

One of the things that is difficult to get used to, now that my children are all grown up, is being out in public and remembering that is someone shouts, “mum”, it won’t be me they’re shouting.  We get accustomed to being able to pick out our name from a crowd, and responding.

Samuel, beloved and longed for child, is living in the Temple, serving the Lord under the direction of Eli, the Priest.  Eli, is very old and nearly blind and part of Samuel’s role is to care for him.  Eli is asleep in his room, and Samuel is asleep in the Sanctuary.

During the night, Samuel hears his name being called, and assumes it is Eli calling for help.  He rushes to him, but is not Eli calling.  This happens a further twice, before the penny drops with Eli, and he tells Samuel the next time he hears his name being called to respond:

‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’

And that is what happens.  Tantalizingly, the lectionary reading leaves it there.  Samuel inviting God to speak to him.

Infant Samuel by SIr Joshua Reynolds

Samuel invites God to speak to him, with no idea what God might ask of him.  He comes willing, openly, offering himself.

Can we hear God calling to us?  In the noise and the bustle of life?  Can we discern his voice from what we are expecting to hear?

When we hear God’s voice, do we respond?  Or ignore it and carry on with what we were doing, with what we have planned, with what our usual routine?

Are we willing to hear God’s voice where we are.  To stop and let him speak?

Lord,

may I hear your voice,

and listen as you speak.

May I pick your voice out from the crowd,

and hear what you are saying.

May I hear you calling me

from what I’m expecting to hear.

May I discern your voice,

be willing to listen,

and respond freely and wholeheartedly.

A Message from Heaven

Luke 1: 26–38

An Angel Tells about the Birth of Jesus

One month later God sent the angel Gabriel to the town of Nazareth in Galilee with a message for a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to Joseph from the family of King David.  The angel greeted Mary and said, “You are truly blessed! The Lord is with you.”

Mary was confused by the angel’s words and wondered what they meant.  Then the angel told Mary, “Don’t be afraid! God is pleased with you, and you will have a son. His name will be Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of God Most High. The Lord God will make him king, as his ancestor David was.  He will rule the people of Israel forever, and his kingdom will never end.”

Mary asked the angel, “How can this happen? I am not married!”

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come down to you, and God’s power will come over you. So your child will be called the holy Son of God.  Your relative Elizabeth is also going to have a son, even though she is old. No one thought she could ever have a baby, but in three months she will have a son.  Nothing is impossible for God!”

Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant! Let it happen as you have said.” And the angel left her.

So there I was, minding my own business, and I got this message.  Strange really.  But you know how you get this funny feeling when God is trying to tell you something, that niggle that there’s something he needs you to do for him.  I try and do it – after all, he usually keeps on at you until you do!

But this one was a bit more odd.  More than a feeling, more a presence – God there in front of me.  All very confusing really because he seemed to be saying I was going to have a son.  Nice prophecy that, when I’m settled down, a baby boy to look forward to.  I always wanted a baby boy.

But that wasn’t quite what God was thinking.  He meant now!

Well you’d think God would understand the facts of life – after all he made them.  But, it turns out, this was going to be something different.  God’s Spirit was going to fill me, fill me full of God and fill my womb with his child. Wow!

I questioned him about this, these kind of things don’t happen.  But he pointed me to Elizabeth.  How did I think she’d got pregnant at her age after so many years of trying unsuccessfully?  God is doing something strange with the laws of reproduction.  Doing something very special to bring about his promises.

So, it seems I am to have a baby, but it’s a baby for God – his son. I’ll say it again Wow!

God has chosen me, he does things like that.  Chooses us to help him do what he needs to.

I offer myself to him to use – there’s no point arguing with God when he asks you to do something for him!