A few years ago, my grandson, Max, when his sister Sophia was a new baby, was pretty jealous of sharing his parents’ attention with this newcomer.
Max : “Dad, you are a person.” “Yes.”.
“Mum you are a person.” “Yes.”
“And I am a person!” “Yes.”
“But Sophia – a sausage, burning.” Smiles.
Still makes their Dad chuckle.
So what is a person? Yes, much more than a sausage! Even a sausage burning.
For Jesus, the one whom God sent to show us what He is like, the most important thing was meeting people. Talking to them and showing that he actually cared that they were there. That they were persons. He heard the cry of their hearts. He entered into their lives.
I like what a friend wrote recently about music and song, wonderful though they are: “You may be the only person who connects with someone on a personal level who then shows them that someone actually cares. This, to me, is more important than all the songs you can write, sing or play.”
People really want to know that you care about them. We so need to get to know them on a deeper level and create true relationships with them. We need to laugh with them, cry with them, eat and drink with them.
So where did Jesus meet with people in his days as a Jewish man? Yes, in the synagogue, as he was a Jew. But in the synagogue, it inevitably led to controversy with the strict religious, or conflict over his teaching and then forcible removal. So it was mostly on the street, in the open, at dinner parties, weddings, funerals and especially with his followers and ‘sinners’ over meals.
And, he doesn’t suggest his followers attend anything like a ‘worship service’ or a church or to go to a synagogue service! Nor were they told to create such human constructions, but to simply go the houses of “people of peace” and accept their hospitality.
After his death and rising and the out-pour of the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ followers continued to meet in Jerusalem in homes and at public places to be part of a whole new community of the Spirit. It was all about loving, caring relationships instead of laws, rituals and legal requirements. Real persons.
That’s because Jesus and his Dad are persons. We also are persons ‘made in his image’, wonderfully designed and wondrously equipped to be God’s friends. And so God still meets persons on the street, in the open, at dinner parties, weddings, funerals and especially with his followers over meals.
Why do we so often deny our uniqueness, our special-ness, our design, the purpose of our existence here on Earth? Why do we continue to deny the greatest matter of all? Why do we keep on ignoring such a gracious and welcoming Dad?
I would welcome your answer.