Last week in the service we spent some time remembering ourselves as children, trying to remind ourselves in of that pure, un-marred, inherent goodness within, that we are the deeply and dearly loved children of God, always. Which feels a little easier to tap into, when we literally picture ourselves as the children we once were. If you missed that, you can always go back on our website or the app to revisit past practices and keep implementing them in your ongoing everyday life.
Bur for right now, in light of everything we’ve just heard in this morning’s message, I wonder if it’s time to specifically re-visit last week’s practice, but pointed in a different direction.
I don’t know who comes to your mind, when Mike talks about how we break this commandment and harbour murder in our hearts. But likely somebody does. Perhaps a few somebodies.
What would happen – what could happen – if you did the same thing, making the (genuine) effort to remind yourself that they were once just a tiny, probably adorable, un-wounded and un-wounding babe-in-arms too. And that child is still in there, just trying to survive and find love. Same as you. What if you literally stopped to picture them as such. Pushed yourself believe it. And let that ignite a softer posture of love in your heart.
What could that change – if we were really willing to follow Jesus, that closely in heart?
So here’s what we’re going to do. Choose just one person, in your life, where this is a struggle for you. And I want you to just close your eyes, and then picture their face. Imagine how affectionately God sees them, how he holds them tenderly, as his beloved child.
But sit with it, really sit with it for some time. And then, return to the words of Numbers 6 we used earlier this morning. And in your heart of hearts, speak the blessing:
The Lord bless you, and keep you
The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you
The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.
Speak it more than once, maybe speak it over and over – out loud, or just consciously in your thoughts. Imagine speaking it to them from an internal posture of unguarded love, as much as you are able. Trusting the Spirit of Christ within you, to make it more and more real with every breath.