For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”
Matthew 11 : 18 – 19
There was simply no pleasing Jesus’ critics! John was clearly seen as too straight-laced, while Jesus was seen as enjoying a party and making friends with sinners.
Earlier in this chapter, Jesus has been holding John up as an example of greatness. Although he lived in a very different way to Jesus, Jesus wants us to understand the significance of who he was. Both Jesus and Judas have divine wisdom but it manifests in different ways.
There are so many different ways that Christian faith manifests today; something we must surely celebrate! Whether people enjoy lively praise, high liturgy with all the trimmings, or contemplative silence, God is speaking to his followers through it and their motivation to participate is the same – to find a personal connection with the living God.
During recent months when we’ve not been able to gather together in person, the onus has been on us, perhaps more than ever, to find ways of sustaining that connection. Resources have been abundant! At Granton we’ve all had access to weekly bulletins and thoughts for the day and, for those with internet access, to study groups, morning prayers and, of course, our weekly service. Our church is now open to everyone for private midweek prayer too.
Maybe, during this time, we’ve also ventured outside our parish, dropping in on online services elsewhere in the UK or even overseas? I’ve dipped into bits of the Facebook Live services from the Taizé community in France (somewhere I think of as my other “spiritual home”). It’s always a little disconcerting if I join in in the middle of the 10 minute silence, which is central to each service … cue frantic fiddling with the computer volume until I realise!
Online services aren’t going to go away so, for many of us, the world is our oyster. Let’s rejoice that we have the freedom to come to know God in many different ways and be open to new experiences!
Prayer: Loving God, we thank you that we can experience you in so many different ways and find you in so many different places. Help us to be aware of your presence as we go through our day today. Amen.
Action: Find out one fact about a Christian denomination different to your own.