‘Always Winter… Never Christmas’ (No 11)

So, having made your journey up from the valley to the Edge and you’ve beheld his glory, what will your response to Jesus be? Having made your way through these perplexing times of Covid-19, of so many deaths, of so much isolation and social distancing, what will your response to Jesus be?

Jesus in the Gospels stories calls people again and again to embrace the life of the Kingdom and to know his life deep within them. He yearns for them to say ‘Yes’ to him that they may become the person, and the people, God had made them to be.

In the story of Zacchaeus, a small man because he was merely rich, is turned upside down and inside down out after Jesus had gone to his house for tea; as the old song goes. When Zacchaeus embraces the ‘Yes’ of Jesus’ Kingdom life he becomes more the man he was made to be as he rebuilds the bridges and ties of trust with his neighbours by opening his heart to the poor and by being willing to reimburse any who he may have defrauded.

‘Yes’ is what Jesus and his message is all about. ‘Yes’ describes how we walk in his way. If you think a bit about it, if you say ‘No Lord’ to Jesus it is a contradiction because to call him Lord, means our answer can only ever be ‘Yes’ to what he says. Jesus in his life, his ministry and his death was a ‘Yes’ man through and through. But his ‘Yes’ was not one rooted in a self-serving manner but as a servant who was willing to give his all.

Jesus’ ‘Yes’ was a ‘Yes’ of surrender, commitment and obedience – three words which disturb and even frighten us. We hear these words, and we assume this means we will be taken advantage of or taken for granted. Sadly, we know this sometimes happens, and it is a risk we take when we say ‘Yes’ to Jesus, but we know Jesus lived it first.

When Jesus said ‘Yes’ to his Father whether in the desert, in Gethsemane or at the cross he said ‘Yes’ knowing his ‘Yes’ meant surrender, commitment and obedience to his Father’s will. On the cross he committed his spirit into his Father’s hands because he had learned to say ‘Yes’ before and that when he said it, he was securely loved.

May we all learn to do the same as we say ‘Yes’ because when we do this, like Zacchaeus, we will learn what this big life of love in Jesus is all about.

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