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August 29

St Matthew 17, 5 – 8

Something to read

While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!’ When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, ‘Get up and do not be afraid.’ And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone.New Revised Standard Version

To read the King James Version, click here

Something to think about

We are suspicious today of people who hear voices. We have a name for it. We have diagnosed it. That diagnosis, of course, is based on the assumption that such things do not actually happen in the real world. This text reminds us that, occasionally at least, they do.

There are times when God gives us a ‘word’, a truth, an instruction, an insight. Many great Christian movements, including Christian Aid, have been born because a few people sensed that God was directing them very specifically.

It is understandable that people merely take fright at such times. Or they turn it into a sense of ‘awe’ at the experience itself, perhaps turn it into a religious movement rather than simply responding to what is being communicated through it.

Jesus is reassuring here. Really there is nothing to be frightened of here. What could be more natural than that a loving Father is telling us what is on His heart and mind?

Something to do

Think back to times in your life when you thought God was speaking to you. Write down what you thought God said, however imperfectly you think you understand it. What have you done with that since? Or has it now receded into an awesome and reassuring religious experience? Do something about it afresh today.

Something to pray

Father, thank you that you still speak to us today. I am sorry that I expect you to speak so little. I promise to keep my ears open today. Put a fresh word into my heart and mind, if you wish. And give me grace to respond to it.

Today's contributor is JUST LIVING, a fresh expression of church in Devon devoted to the Christian pursuit of justice for the poor and closely linked to Christian Aid.

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