This week I have faced two challenging questions, both of which caused me to ponder. On Monday, Beaver Green Year Five pupils all came to St Francis to do a ‘Faith Journey’ around the church, as part of their RE syllabus. One pupil asked me an amazing question, ‘How do you know God is alive; how can you prove it?’. Then on Tuesday afternoon, as part of our Great Chart Lent Group, looking at the Lectio Divina Course, we were asked to describe a time God had spoken to us and how we knew it was God?
My answer to these questions comes in an illustration of God at work in such a way, that it could only be God. Tesco at Park Farm, have supported Make Lunch through their second hand book sales for the last three months. This week I went to collect a cheque for £700 from Community Champions, Jenny and Amy. I left the shop with £600 in cash! Tesco gave us £100 in advance in December to buy food for our Christmas Make Lunch roast meal. So in December, I piled the trolley up with everything on Jacob, our chef’s, list and went to the checkout. A Tesco assistant came to help me put everything through the till and then asked me if I knew how much I had spent. I replied that I had no idea but that I had £100 in cash and I was trusting God that this was the right amount.
Everything went through the till and it came to £152.82; the shop assistant said, ‘Clearly your God got it wrong.’ Then we put the Clubcard in and both looked at each other, the total was £101.01! ‘So your God is alive then’; my reply was, ‘he can be your God too’! We both knew something very special had happened at that moment, God was at work.
Watching the Lectio Divina video this week, we heard Sister Mary Magdalen say, ‘Lectio is the moment where I have a personal encounter with Christ; guaranteed!’. She reads the Bible every day following the four stages of read, meditate, pray and contemplate with an open heart, expecting to hear God speak to her because He loves her. The joy in her heart was clear for all of us to see.
Our God is very much alive and he longs to speak to us in all sorts of different ways. Lent is a time for self-examination; it is also a season for giving God time in our busy lives. We are created to be in relationship with God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God speaks in many different ways, we are all unique and God speaks to us all differently.
Sister Mary is in no doubt, when she reads her Bible she is guaranteed an encounter with Jesus. I would like to suggest that our challenge this Lent, is to carve out time (however short) to spend with God, listening and watching for signs of him ‘speaking’ to us. It may be through his creation that he speaks, through the voice of others, by things that happen or by reading the Bible with things that jump out at us. We all have ‘L’ plates on; the wonderful truth is that God loves us and wants a personal encounter with us. Can I suggest an entry in our diaries this Lent? ‘Busy – time with Father, Son and Holy Spirit’.