Thought for the Day : Wednesday 19 August

Thought for the Day by Bob Shaw from St Michael’s:

Readings: 1 Samuel 28:3-25 and Acts 4:13-31

I want to tell a story. It comes from India and it’s about a couple of tigers!

‘An orphaned tiger cub is adopted by a herd of goats. He learns their ways, how to chew grass, and bleat, both of which he manages with some difficulty. One day a big tiger from the jungle appears and the herd runs away-except for the little tiger who stays and continues to graze. The jungle tiger roars in amazement and amusement. The story ends with the big tiger taking the little one to a still pond to show him the similarities in their reflections; introducing him to meat –whereupon the little one discovers his real teeth- and finally inviting him into the depths of the jungle where he rightfully belongs and can discover the mystery of his own true self’.

Can we see some connections between this story and our strange human experience today? In many ways we, like the little tiger, find ourselves in alien territory and who on earth can help us? Fortunately help is available thanks to Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God who gave up his divine status to share our human life. Like the fully-grown tiger, Jesus introduces us to a more satisfying spiritual food and leads us to a place of stillness in prayer where we can discover our true identity as shaped in God’s own image and likeness. Finally He will enable us to reach our eternal home where love has the last word.

We all have this ‘still pond’ within ourselves, and when we pray we can look in it and see Love staring back at us. If Jesus can call ‘ordinary and uneducated’ folk like Peter and John to be His disciples (see today’s reading from Acts ch4v13) at a time of dangerous persecution,  then surely we too can be led through this frightening experience of global pandemic to be effective signs of God’s overflowing love.

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