Spirit & Life

A Different Way of Being

Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30
“Now, to what can I compare the people of this day? They are like children sitting in the marketplace. One group shouts to the other, ‘We played wedding music for you, but you wouldn’t dance! We sang funeral songs, but you wouldn’t cry!’ When John came, he fasted and drank no wine, and everyone said, ‘He has a demon in him!’ When the Son of Man came, he ate and drank, and everyone said, ‘Look at this man! He is a glutton and wine drinker, a friend of tax collectors and other outcasts!’ God’s wisdom, however, is shown to be true by its results.”
At that time Jesus said, “Father, Lord of heaven and earth! I thank you because you have shown to the unlearned what you have hidden from the wise and learned. Yes, Father, this was how you were pleased to have it happen.
“My Father has given me all things. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
“Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest. For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light.”

Let’s not miss the joy! Nor miss being comforted by the certainty!
Jesus highlights the very human attitudes that can so easily develop when we allow ‘religion’ to override ‘faith’. Nor lose sight of our being and belonging in the family God. It is too easy for practices to reflect judgement, myopic viewpoints and the contrary attitudes that comes with being ‘stiff-necked’ in our faith expressions. In so doing, we miss listening and learning, and most importantly, hearing God speak to us in so many unexpected ways. We miss the Wisdom of the Spirit being revealed to us, and lose the Way of Being to which Jesus calls us.
Jesus’ prayer highlights that personal and gracious love that comes to us as we share time in the care of our loving God. So many people are weighed down in so many unexpected ways. Layers of complication often are added to our already layered life. It is true that the unexpected simple things, as well as complex shock or sorrowing, become the ‘straw that breaks the camel’s back’. They are what often breaks down our resilience and joy, and seem the burden too much to carry, after being able to handle so much.
The Way of Christ focuses our loving and being, and thinking and doing.
Let us follow Jesus’ way to identify and lay down that which make the heavy burdens;
to take rest in the midst of the layers of life and responsibilities;
to learn through God’s gentle love, sharing and taking moments in the everyday;
to find rest for our soul.

NB: Have a cuppa (hot Chocolate is good!), sit outside or in a quiet space, and enjoy a peace-filled moment with God

Warming Presence
Slowing in the midst of busyness, I take this time, O God,
to focus on the warming cuppa and share in this moment with you.
I give thanks for the time with you, O timeless One.
It is I who pack so much into my days that I miss you, and long for you.
You are never far away.
I give thanks for the warmth of the cup, O Warming Presence.
As I hold it, I am reminded that you hold me always.
It is I who step apart from our space together.
I give thanks for the sweet smell, rising in the steam, O Breath of Life.
I too often forget the simple joy of finding new life and sweet goodness,
in the simple act of breathing in freshness, and breathing out all that has passed.
I give thanks for sipping the comforting fluid, O Refreshing One.
Too often, I miss the precious life-giving nourishment in my quest for better or best.
This is the best, as it is now, here, present, in the sipping and savouring of the drink.
I give thanks for the life-giving energy, O Vital One.
As simply as drinking from this cup, you offer energising vitality when I most need it,
And it is there, to sip and savour every ‘mouthful ’at any moment in my day.
So, as I take time in this moment, feeling warmth,
breathing in sweetness of life,
breathing out, letting go of all that weighs me down,
I cherish the refreshing nourishment you offer,
And savour the renewing vitality, in this moment, in this cup,
with thanks, O gentle, humble Giver of Life, ever present, ever there. Amen

© Rev Anne Hewitt 5/07/2023
This reflection & prayers may be shared as long as the original writer is credited.

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