Looking back…

Posted under The Rectory Bulletin

“Only fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you” (1 Samuel 12:24).

Onwards and upwards, is the mantra. No turning back, keep your eyes fixed forward. Forget the past and look to the future. The past is history, but the future is bright. Live in the moment!

This might sound good on the lips of a politician or a self-help guru, but to live in perpetual forgetfulness is neither wise nor possible. Better to follow the advice of the Prophet Samuel and trace the activity of God in your life, and from that draw both comfort and inspiration. Join the dots of the blessings and find the picture of the Good Shepherd, guiding you safely on. Help received just when needed, a seeming mishap directing you down a better path, the right person at the right time.

A few chapters earlier Samuel gathered the people of Israel together after a victory over the Philistines. We read that: “Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer; for he said, ‘Till now the LORD has helped us.’ (1 Samuel 7:12). Ebenezer means “stone of help”, and each time the Israelites saw the stone they would be reminded of God’s help in the past and so look to his help in the future. The Ebenezer was a memory in stone.

What wisdom there is in building your own Ebenezers, reminders of God’s help to you in the past. These monuments not only demonstrate God’s blessings to you, but also give you courage when the skies darken. Reader! Get building your Ebenezers!

Psalm 34

I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the LORD;let the humble hear and be glad.Oh, magnify the LORD with me,and let us exalt his name together! (Psalm 34) - This is another of David’s ‘psalms on the run’, composed when he was on the run from King Saul. He had arrived in Gath, but his military fame had gone before him.

The Transfiguration

And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them. (Mark 9:2-3) - The Transfiguration helps you to set “your mind on the things of God”. It gives us a brief glimpse of the unveiled nature of Christ, and demonstrates his divinity. It stops us having a merely human Jesus, but demonstrates a Christ who is both human and divine. It’s full of Old Testament imagery, but the conclusion is clear: behold your God!

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