|Pen and Ink Reflections||
What can one person do? Well, if they are like Philip in today’s story quite a lot! Philip says to Nathanael, ‘come and see.’ Philip is a quick learner. A few verses earlier when the first disciples said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, where are you staying?’, Jesus replies, ‘come and see’ – and Philip has learnt the value and the power of that response. It is a wonderful – indeed a wonder-filled phrase. ‘Come and see’, ‘come and see’ – just let that really sink in; let the possibilities of that incredible phrase penetrate your being...
Do you feel that God is pleased with you? I do hope so, though I know that at times I myself have not been sure about that, and it is an area with which many people struggle. We are in the season of epiphany – the season of revelation, which is what epiphany means. Our readings for the next few weeks reveal something of who Jesus is. But in doing so, they also reveal something of who we are and who we have the capacity to become.
What jumps out at you in any Gospel story? Asking that question is part of the practice of Lectio Divina – divine reading of the scriptures. If you are not aware of that spiritual pathway, do speak with Penny afterwards! Approaching scripture that way, today it is the phrase ‘by another road’ which springs out for me from the text. Now I know that is partly because, in returning to Sydney very soon, I am taking ‘another road’ in my life and ministry this year. Indeed, this Gospel passage came to mind vividly when I came to accepting a fresh calling in the Uniting Church. What I have to say today is linked to that reflective unpacking. Yet isn’t ‘by another road’ a great phrase for most of us in our world at this time, as we emerge from 2020 where old roads (literally and metaphorically) were difficult if not impossible, and as we begin a new year? Let me suggest three ways in which this may be so, drawing on the story of the Magi. For there are at least three great questions which the Magi pose, and embody, for us all. How, that is, will we learn, love and light up our world, so that we too journey home ‘by another road’?...