Reflection Sunday 25 July 2021
Who is this?
In last week’s Gospel reading we heard that Jesus and the disciples had no time to rest because people continuously came to Jesus, day after day, looking for healing, seeking salvation.
This week we hear that even though Jesus crossed to the other side of the sea… a large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick. So… Jesus went up the mountain and sat there with his disciples and when he looked up and saw a large crowd coming towards him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?”
The story then continues with the well known ‘Feeding of the five thousand’ before Jesus withdraws again up the mountain because he realises that the crowd want to make him king; before coming back down to the shore and the account of Jesus walking on water.
Who is this Jesus? Who is this that turns five loaves and two fish into enough food to feed a multitude? Who is this that walks on water?
Who is this? The crowd thought Jesus may have been a prophet or a king, perhaps the disciples were left just wondering, who is this?
Who is this? This is not a bad question to ask. This is not a bad place to be on the spiritual journey. During this current Covid-19 lockdown in Sydney I have spoken to some people who are busier than ever and I have spoken to some people who are bored out of their minds and to
others who are worried about having no income and what the future
holds. Whatever our situation let us ponder this question: Who is this?
We may need some help to ponder this question? We can spend a
whole lifetime tossing this question around in our minds, approaching
question from an entirely intellectual stance and end up knowing a lot
about Jesus but perhaps not knowing Jesus as we might know a close
friend or lover.
In Colossians 2:9,10 Paul writes: For in Christ the whole fullness of
deity dwells bodily, and you have come to fullness in Christ… (read
this several times, sit with the words, notice the words rather than
trying to understand them with the mind). What does this mean
about God’s relation to us and our relation to God? How are we
connected? What is this fullness? Who is this that dwells within
us in fullness? Ask the question, but instead of thinking about it,
be still, be silent, listen… Who is this?
We tend not to like silences in this day and age. Many of us find
silence very uncomfortable. We don’t want to sit still and listen
and watch and observe the world around us. We are easily bored,
wanting mental stimulation or to be entertained or challenged.
For those who have too much free time during a lockdown perhaps
this could be a good opportunity to look within, to face some of
the things that stop us from living life to the full, that deflect us
from exploring the fullness within because we are scared of what
may come up from our past. But remember beyond all that pain
and shame there is a full life within us wanting, willing to live,
awakening us to (its) presence and mystery and wonder.
Who is this?
Photo: Clonmacnoise, County Offaly, Republic of Ireland
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Minister of Campsie Earlwood Clemton Park Uniting Church Congregation