12 July 2018

Welcome to Thursday’s Podcast.

Our reading today is 1 John 2:28-3:3 but today I will focus on verse 2:

‘Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is…’

REFLECTION:

Before we had children I rarely, if ever took any notice of pushchairs. I never even thought about pushchairs.

That all changed when my wife was pregnant with our first child. Suddenly we thought about pushchairs a lot.

There are loads and loads out there… Some are heavy. Some fold down really small and can fit into the tiniest of cars. Some are cheap and some are eye-wateringly expensive.  As soon as we entered the world of parenting – I found that I suddenly began to see pushchairs.

Today I want to us to think about what we see and why that is important.

In this political climate of confusion about Brexit the Bible makes one thing clear: we are all to be remainers.  Political banter aside… To ‘remain’ or ‘abide’ is our calling in response to God’s infinite love and grace. In fact there are parts of John’s letter which are saturated with how much we are loved by God, but our end of the bargain is to follow him, to obey him and make him the priority of our lives.

In today’s verse John refers to the second coming of Christ. There’s lots to say about this truth – Christians believe that Jesus will return one day. This was really, really important in the New Testament. If you ever hear stories of people who live in countries where Christians are persecuted, you’ll notice something similar: the second coming – the promise of Jesus’ return – is the thing they cling onto.

Why?

The second coming means liberation. It means freedom. It means justice and restoration. It means a new life in the presence of God forever and ever. It means a new creation – free from pollution. A new body if you have a broken body – you’ll get a new transformed body. I’ll have a full head of hair… wow! John expands this in colourful ways in the book in Revelation 21: no more pain, cancer or broken relationships, fear. No more famine. No more war.

It’s a huge promise. If you’re facing persecution and famine and there’s nothing one can do, all you can see is mess and pain – to know that there is a day coming is deeply powerful – it meant that the early church not only survived but thrived because they saw God in every situation.

What do we see? How do I see the future? Am I bleak about it? Do I swallow the media’s narrative of Brexit Britain? I find watching the news sometimes really hard. I find it can rob my heart of peace and of hope.  John is saying: see the situation from God’s perspective.

PRAYER

Jesus, thank you for these words from the scriptures. Father, thank you that you are in control and help us to see things like you do!

Amen

READING: 1 John 2:28-3:3

And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.
If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.