House church

Our Relational God
4/29/2008 9:22:34 PM by: Elsi

“What do you have for me, for Communion this week?” I asked the Lord Sunday morning. In Sunday school, one woman shared her distress that her mother was discounting an achievement. Another shared her pleasure that her father had not said anything negative at a family affair. Someone pointed out that Harvey says our focus is not to know more about God, but simply to know Him. The point was made that know means an intimate relationship. The sermon focused on getting to truly know God, using the interwoven stories of Jairus’s daughter and the woman who was bleeding. And I’m reading a book that focused on God’s being a relational God. Okay, I get it! After all, God could have come to earth as a conquering King, a mighty and distant warrior, a hero to be admired. But He didn’t. He came as a baby, grew up as a child, and was a Man who had friends. In His prayer for the disciples (and for us) at the Last Supper, He said: “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. … A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples., if you love one another.” (John 13:22-35) Jesus, God’s only Son, says we are His friends! He’s not a religion … not a philosophy … He’s a person … He’s our friend. Looking just in Mark, the gospel we are currently studying in church, we find several instances of Jesus’ caring and compassion. For example: He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering." (5: 34) When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. (6: 34) Jesus looked at him and loved him. (10:21) He’s a relational God, a God who knows from experience what it’s like to be human. Again looking only the in gospel of Mark, it’s amazing how many times Mark documents that Jesus reached out to physically touch someone: He took her by the hand and said to her, "Talitha koum!" (which means, "Little girl, I say to you, get up!" (5:41) For he had healed many, so that those with diseases were pushing forward to touch him. (3:10) Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" (1: 41) He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. (6: 5) And wherever he went—into villages, towns or countryside—they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed. (6: 56) Once more Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. (8: 25) But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up. (9: 27) He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, "Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me." (9: 36-37) And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them. (10: 16) So think of our relational God. Think of Jesus, who loved, who touched, who had compassion on our problems. At the Last Supper, Jesus demonstrated His compassion and His love. He washed His disciples feet. He spoke individually to His followers. He even showed concern for Judas. Remember His compassion, His touch, as we take Communion together: Mark 14—While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying, "Take it; this is My body." Then He took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it. "This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many," He said to them. "I tell you the truth, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it anew in the kingdom of God."



 

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