Over a year since we arrived as a family in Worth Parish (I know, how time flies!) it is probably a good time to rest and reflect on ‘What kind of priest am I or will I become?
Jeremiah’s reading this morning offers a sobering warning about shepherds (or priests) that get things wrong, who scatter rather than unite (as the Ephesians reading calls us to do) God’s people. I pray that I might be one of the latter shepherds that God will raise up for his people, that will keep the branch of David – Jesus Christ as the cornerstone of theirs’ and the people’s under their care, lives. I know I won’t be able to do this under my own strength and as my Home Group this week discussed I will need the guidance, gifts and power of the Holy Spirit to help. What does that actually mean?
These are all grand words but how do I live a life connected to God through the Holy Spirit? How do I discern what is God’s will and what is just my will? How do I know when not to pander to people’s desire in order to ‘people please’ and when to disciple with integrity and authenticity to the Gospel with words that might be come from love but might be uncomfortable and difficult to hear. I think that the answer might lie at the heart of all our responses to God.
To be a Christian I have to be willing to open my heart to the Holy Spirit and equally willing to let go of the worldly things I hold tightly onto in order to be transformed, spend time reflecting on the teachings of Jesus from the Bible, to spend time in prayer both talking and listening to God, to regularly rest and to know that I am loved for who I am not what I do. Then, and only then, might I be used by God to be a priest that unites people in Christ rather than scatters.