In this passage Jesus is speaking to his disciples, his friends, his followers. They are the ones He sent to make this world new, to work towards the coming of his Kingdom of love. They are the ones that must shine heavenly light on all people. They are the ones who heard the truth of God’s love and grace and had the guts to shout it from the roofs, even if it cost them their popularity amongst the people. They are the vessels of Godly hope in a broken world.
Religious leaders often don’t like messages of God’s love and grace. They want expensive grace that costs a lot of money and a lot of religious effort, prescribed by them. They force ordinary people to pay them, making them rich, making them the only doors to God. They oppose the bearers of the good news of God’s grace. They oppose unconditional love. They want to be the only gatekeepers to God, at their religious price. Their methods include judgmentalism, and turning a blind eye (silence)…Yes, they are still amongst us!
The trusted few of God must proclaim grace and Godly love to all people within this opposition of religious leaders. Especially to the poor and the sick. They are the trusted few of God who walk this earth with a message of good hope en encouragement to all people. They proclaim the gates are opened. We need no gatekeepers. Jesus opened the gates to heaven for all to enter. For free. Mahala. Judgment is removed. They are people like you and me. Ordinary people, born from a woman, but with a Godly light in our hearts. Calling from the roof tops they say: God loves!! God cares!! God is with you!! God forgives!
These trusted people of God bring hope through caring, listening, just being a friend, living Godly love, talking about God’s grace and love. They pray with people. They cry and laugh with people. They teach. They bring informed knowledge to the misinformed. They sit with the sick. They sit with the poor and the rich. They cross boundaries of culture and race and class and gender and politics and age and religion. They go wherever they are sent. Everywhere they go they light up candles of hope. They make people see God’s heart again. They bring hope and trust in God. They remove fear for God and life and death.
Here Jesus says to us, these bearers of his good news: YOU ARE WORTHY. VALUABLE. PRECIOUS. SPECIAL.
On the old one cent coin on South Africa we had an image of two sparrows, reminding us of our worthiness in God’s eyes. We don’t have one cent coins any more, but the promise still stands: We, the bearers of grace and love to all, we are worthy, valuable, precious, special to God.
He watches over us. He even counts our hair! He knows of everything happening to us. He is aware of us. He never takes his eyes off us. We need not to fear. We are of great value to God…..
To think about:
- Are there still vessels of hope, working for God today in your community? Are you part of them?
- Do you realize your worth in Gods eyes, as His vessel of hope?
- How do you experience the opposition to the bearers of Godly hope in your community? Who are these people?
- If you know another bearer of Godly hope, go and tell that person of his/her value in God’s eyes. Tell the story of the Sparrows.
- Let’s thank God for his unconditional love for us.
Written By: Dr Lourens Schoeman, Management CMD/Usizo Aids Trust Ladysmith and Msinga
Dr Schoeman is a Trained Churches, Channel of Hope’ Facilitator and CMD/Usizo Aids Trust Ladysmith and Msinga supports four practicing facilitators in this area who train an average of 300 church leaders per year: Rev Bonginkosi Sithole, Rev Samual Zuma, Rev Simon Mnisi, Elder Mafika Xaba.