Church of England · Churches Together in Britain · Felixstowe · Lent · Sermon · The Velveteen Rabbit

Becoming Real – Day 13

Becoming Real: 40 Days with the Velveteen Rabbit

Day 13 – Wednesday after Second Sunday of Lent – 3rd March2010

To Read:

And they had splendid games together, in whispers, when Nana had gone away to her supper and left the night-light burning on the mantelpiece.  And when the Boy dropped off to sleep, the Rabbit would snuggle down close under his little warm chin and dream, with the Boy’s hands clasped close round him all night long.

from The Velveteen Rabbit
by Margery Williams

To Reflect:

The writer to the Hebrews in the King James Version records ‘It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God’ (Hebrews 10.31).  When I read this verse I am often confused.  I find it difficult to picture a God who is active in the judgement of a wayward creation.  Sorrowful over our wanderings, longing for our return, definitely, but a God who is somehow ‘out to get us’ when we sin – even when we are wilful in our wickedness – I find difficult to grasp.

I am much more in sympathy, with the idea that it would be a terrible thing to ‘fall OUT of the hands of the living God’.  When it comes to being handled by God I have always found myself drawn to the words of Isaiah

Can a woman forget her nursing-child,
or show no compassion for the child of her womb?
Even these may forget,
yet I will not forget you.
See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands; 

(Isaiah 49.15-16)

And so our rabbit too learns the joy of being ‘held by God’ and begins a journey of intimacy with the one who cares for him and perhaps even in an odd sense – needs him to be close.

It is not easy for everyone to stop and simply rest in the love of God.  Some feel there has to be an appropriate distance – our ‘terrible’ God needs to be kept at arms length.  After all is not our God ‘a consuming fire?’ For others (and I freely admit to being one of them) ‘rest’ is most definitely a four-letter word which can have little to do with the calling of God.  I want to be out and about ‘doing the stuff’ not snuggled up tight in the arms of God with no possibility of activity until dawn!

Sometime today try to put aside any preconceptions you may have about how God works amongst us and spend a few moments simply resting in God.  If it helps put a night light on the mantelpiece and snuggle down in a comfortable corner of your home or place of work. Allow yourself to be wrapped up in the arms of God’s love.  Put aside whatever picture you have of God which drives you to over activity or to an unhealthy ‘fear’ of God’s presence and let yourself be loved.

After all ‘God so LOVED that he gave……’ What will you ask of God as you rest in God’s arms?

 

To Pray: 

Lord,
I’m not always eager to do your will.
I’d often much rather do my own will.
Please be with me on this Lenten journey.
Help me to rememberthat your own spirit
can guide mein the right direction.
I want to “fix” my weaknessesbut the task seems overwhelming.
But I know that with your help,anything can be done.
With a grateful heart,I acknowledge your love
and know that without you,I can do nothing.

 

© Andrew Dotchin – 2018

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