Reflection for Sunday 4th July 2021 by Canon Dean Fostekew

Submitted by Dean on Sat, 03/07/2021 - 11:11

“Look into the eyes of another human being and you glimpse God.” Ezekiel 2

“Is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon and are not his sisters with us?” Mark 6:3

There is a person, with whom I am acquainted who is not easy to converse with at times as they can come across as somewhat different. This person, loves the Lord with a passion and yet belongs to no congregation. Sometimes in conversation they can come out with the most profound and thoughtful comments. So profound that they can often draw one up short. I was reminded of this person by the prophet Ezekiel:

“O mortal, stand up on your feet and I will speak with you.”         Ezekiel 2:1

Sometimes it is the most unlikely of people that God chooses to use as a messenger or prophet. People that many of us might rather ignore or write off. Take John-the-Baptist for an instance. A woolly, hairy man, half-undressed and living in the wild on locusts and honey – not the first person you might expect Jesus to ask to baptise him! Or Richard Holloway, who has said and continues to say things that are profound and help many understand what we mean by God. Many of the saints are similar and the records of their life bear witness to the fact that things they have said or done have so dramatically changed things that one can only assume that they came from God or were divinely inspired.

What strikes me so forcibly about Ezekiel’s comment is that God can talk to us face to face if he pleases. Stand up and face me God says, join me in face to face conversation. Wow! Usually we hear of people hiding from God but apparently this is not always the case, if God wants to God will talk directly to us, person to person.

I think, my friend, may be one of those people to whom God talks to directly. So deep are their comments that I have certainly learned not to judge by appearances. God choses whom he wills to reveal himself to and not whom I might expect him to do so. I suspect my friend does not know how profound they can be at times in their explanation of God and God’s ways. They may not be an obvious prophet but then what does a prophet look like any way? A carpenter from Nazareth?

I am heartened by the fact that God can talk to us face to face if he wishes, although we may not always realise that he is doing so until after the event. God talks to us through each other because of the mutual image of God that we share. When we look into the eyes of another human being we can spark the image within them and ourselves and it is this, that I believe, is looking at God face to face.

“O mortal, stand on your feet and I will speak with you.”

The moral of this sermon is ‘watch out’ who you are talking to because you never know who might be talking to you through them!