I awoke to another wonderful day of sun as the birds where flying around with the usual excitement as the sun was coming up. I seem to have a gaggle of seagulls using the street lights as a launching post for diving down and flying around, before coming back and knocking each other off as they squabbled for a place on the renowned perch. One bird was free from that struggle, it seemed to just be gliding around without a care for the world not worrying about positions on the street lamp.
The Lord remembers us and will bless us:
He will bless his people Israel,
he will bless the house of Aaron,
he will bless those who fear the Lord—
small and great alike.
There is no question in my mind that I and my family are blessed. God tells us here that He blesses small and great, they are of equal importance to Him, position, money, job title or any other earthly thing is of no importance to Him. I used to work in a school where the children really looked down on the cleaners. They would just throw litter on the floor expecting the cleaners to pick it up. One day I was walking behind some children when they dropped some litter and then remarked “it was okay because the cleaners would pick it up because it was all they were good for”. Apart from making the children pick it up and telling them how an offensive attitude that was to staff who worked at that school, I was really shocked that children would think that. One school employed sixth formers to clean and pick the litter up and this seems to change some views on people who did these lower paid jobs. We are all equal.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Is it a sign of old age that you think that the moral values of the young are slipping? Probably not!
But being concerned for children’s morals and their beliefs is not a sign of getting old, but a sign that someone cares for the children. Our children grow up and we are faced daily with worries about whether they will get the right career or whether they will go to the right school, but I find myself thinking and praying about my children’s spiritual health more than anything. I pray every day that my children will not turn away from their faith like I did when I left school. I don’t just want my children to come to church on a Sunday, but actually experience God everyday, to know what it is to pray to him and have Him answer you in His own particular way.
This prayer also goes out to children that I teach. I can see many that are not believers and are just going through the motions, and sadly this is not good enough in God’s eyes. When I grew up I learned all the things to do, but after a while it just didn’t seem real, because no matter how much I repeated the same prayers, or say them as quickly as I could, nothing happened. Perhaps I was expecting a shiny angel to appear? But Jesus warns against this saying prayers for a pretence, Jesus warned the Pharisees of that very fact.
“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. 14 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.
This is a pretty stern warning. But I wasn’t just saying the prayers when I was younger to show off, in fact I said prayers in my bed most nights, but I think God really wanted me to test my faith and go on a journey before I returned to worship him with my heart.
Our countries churches are a great place to go are meet others, or explore your faith, and people even think that they have some sort of spiritual charge to them as they remember the many thousands that have come to the churches to pray in previous years.
But we do not need to journey to these places to talk to God, but they can help. In a busy noisy world, these stone buildings are a reminder and a sanctuary from life, so that we can come and together put our cares and worries on God’s own Son and He in turn will instruct the Holy Spirit what to pray and God will lead us in our life.
I pray that all God’s children remain with God, and that they do not fall away – keep them close Lord.
I pray for those children that are rebelling against people in authority or position,
that they should see that God has their best long term interests at heart.
I pray that all children come to realise that God sent his only Son,
to die for us on the cross at calvary,
and did so for us,
so that we may be free from condemnation,
when we stand in front of God the Father once more,
Jesus will vouch for us as His own adopted children of God.
I pray for all souls that are just going through the motions of saying prayer,
that God comes into your heart and you experience His love and blessing in your life,
no matter your colour or creed, no matter what job you do, no matter your size, small or great,
for all are equal in God’s eyes.