But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.
Matthew 13 :16 – 17
As a parent, I’m sure I’ve occasionally fallen into the trap of saying to my kids that they have it easy compared to when we were growing up. It was something that used to drive me mad when my mum said that to me but, considering she lost many of the opportunities of young adulthood to World War 2, she was probably right! It’s not always easy to imagine what other people’s lives might have been like.
I wonder how easy it is for us to put ourselves into other people’s shoes when considering our faith? What would it have been like to have been one of the Prophets, who had the absolute conviction in the promise that the Messiah would come but didn’t live to see it? What would it have been like to be one of Jesus’ disciples, to witness his love and power at first hand? Or simply to have been someone in the crowd, listening to his parables? Do we ever use our imagination in our Bible reading to read beyond the page and put ourselves in their place?
And what of those who might wish they could put themselves in our shoes? How are we viewed by the many persecuted Christians* who long for the freedom to share their faith with others and to worship in safety? Might this encourage us, when we think about invitation and sharing our own faith?
(*There are reportedly 260 million persecuted Christians around the world according to the 2019 World Watch List. https://www.opendoorsusa.org/)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank you for the trust that you put in your disciples; for opening their eyes and ears so they could understand and encourage people to follow you. And we thank you for the trust that you put in us to carry that forward. We ask that you will give us ears to hear, eyes to see and the courage to live up to that expectation. Amen
Action: Pick a favourite Bible passage and find a quiet space to read it. Picture yourself as one of the characters in the scene and see if you understand things better or in a new or different way.