Thought for the Week
There’s an old Jewish story that goes like this. There was once a rabbi who came across the prophet Elijah. Excitedly, the rabbi asked Elijah, ‘When will the promised Messiah come? And Elijah replied, ‘Go and ask him yourself.’ ‘But where is he?’ asked the Rabbi. ‘He’s sitting at the gates of the city.’ ‘But how will I know that it’s him?’ And Elijah began, ‘He is sitting among the poor covered with wounds. Everyone else unbinds and binds their wounds all at once. The Messiah unbinds and binds one wound at a time so that he can be ready in case someone needs his help.’
This is a profound story. A messiah is someone who brings peace and justice. In the Old Testament, the Messiah was the promised one who would establish God’s kingdom here on earth. For us as Christians, Jesus is our Messiah. He frees us from hatred and oppression, racism and war. He’s the great Saviour who brings with him freedom and peace. And throughout his life, Jesus was like the messiah in this story. Jesus became like us taking on all the woundedness and pain that’s associated with being human that he may bring healing to us.
I’ve been thinking of this in connection with pastoral care. At Knox Church, we believe that caring for one another isn’t only the job of a few people. Rather, pastoral care is something we all undertake together. Imagine a church where we care deeply for each other. Even though we are wounded people who are trying to bind our own wounds, we also choose to be present with others so that we can help them with their wounds. My hope and prayer is that all of us can be found at the gate like the Messiah—not being so preoccupied with our own wounds that we can’t see others in need—but choosing to sit with and listen to the needs and stories of others. And through that, bring something of God’s attentive presence into the lives of those around us. Seb
Weekly Prayer Points
Pray that we will continue to be a church community that cares for one another. Pray that God may use us to show his love and kindness to those around us.
Pray for those organising the Presbytery Gathering on the 14th of August. Pray for all the catering and practical needs as well as the refreshment and encouragement of all who come along. Pray that the rejuvenation they receive from the Holy Spirit will give fresh life and hope to the church communities they are from.
Thank God for our 24/7 Youth Workers. Pray that as Teresa, Tusi and Jared continue walking alongside the young people at Waitara High School, that God would give them wisdom and great relationships with the teachers and rangatahi.