As I have done previously, this morning I am recycling a ‘thought for the week’ that I have circulated to the Ministers in our Association.
This morning my Facebook feed is full of photos from my friends of their children dressed up as characters from books to participate in World Book Day. It’s very entertaining, especially trying to work out whether I remember those book characters from when our children were younger, or even from my childhood. Some of the ‘book’ characters seem a little tenuous – I am not sure how many ‘Power Rangers’ books there were, for example. But you can see that the children are really proud of how they look and I hope they’ll have a good day.
It got me wondering. Which Bible character would you dress up as? This is not an out-of-season plug for ‘Get in the Picture’. I recognise that for many of the characters involved it might not be very obvious which one we are at first glance. But you might put in some interesting touches to show who you were: to distinguish between Mary and Martha you might carry a cushion to sit on or wear a pair of rubber gloves and carry a mop; to distinguish between Moses and Joshua you might carry a fire extinguisher or a hard hat.
My personal devotional readings at the moment are exploring Nahum and Jonah (sharing the theme of Nineveh’s relationship with God and his people). I remember leading an all age service once at my first church and coming into the church wearing torn clothes, bare feet, drenched head to toe and covered in seaweed. I began with, “You’ll never guess what happened to me on my way here this morning…” and told the story of Jonah first-hand. He must have been quite a sight when he turned up at Nineveh looking rather dishevelled and smelling of dried fish vomit. Perhaps that’s why they paid so much attention to him.
In her reflection on my reading this morning (looking at Jonah’s psalm in the fish, chapter 2:1-10) Anna Robbins commented: “We can never win at hide-and-seek with God. It’s not just that he’s good at finding us. Rather, there’s nowhere we can go that he isn’t there already.”
That could be quite scary if you were trying to run away from God but it’s also a reassurance. It’s true of all of you that you do as a Minister. He’s waiting there for you in Scripture even before you begin to write your sermon. He’s already there in the hospital ward when you go to visit a terminally ill person. He’s there in the difficult Deacons or Church Meeting. He’s already there in the life of the person who is not yet a Christian and wants to find out more. There’s nowhere we can go that he isn’t there already.
Be blessed, be a blessing