ask and it shall be given to you…
That sounds great...if we ask do we just get it?
No, it doesn’t work like that
But the youngest son asked for all his money and he was given it and left…
Wait a minute: this is the story of the prodigal son, who asked his dad for his inheritance. His dad gave it to him and he left with his pockets bulging. But then what happened
He spent all the money and wasted it, and then he decided to go back to his dad and ask to be taken back in and his dad said okay, so he got what he asked for twice!
Yes, but there’s more to it than that…can you image his father standing at the window day and night, with only a candle flickering for light…waiting for his son to return
But he does return
Yes, but when he comes back his father is shocked because the son asks to return home as a servant
Why was he shocked at that? It was to show he was sorry for going away in the first place and wasting all his inheritance.
It’s more than that, the father replied, ‘you can’t ask to be my servant because you are my son, always have been and always will be and there’s nothing you can do to change that… I will always love you no matter what. You don’t need to ask.’
So how does that work then?
The son got more than he asked. He got brought back into a good loving relationship with his dad and this is what happens when you ask about love: you never get what you ask for, you always get more.
Seek and you will find… Zacchaeus;
Seek and ye shall find… Brilliant! Who wants a game of hide and seek? (ask kids)
No!!! It’s not so much about seeking out each other but seeking God’s gifts.
Oh… I remember talking about that over the last few weeks… love your neighbour, and your enemy and pray.
So you do sometimes listen! Remember there was a tax collector called Zacchaeus, nobody liked him, because of his job. He was desperate to see Jesus, but there was a really big crowd gathered to see Jesus and he couldn’t see over them.
So what did he do then?
He climbed up to the top of a tree so he could see Jesus, and when Jesus saw him, Jesus invited Zacchaeus down for a chat and then Jesus invited himself for dinner.
Did he have the beef burger of blessedness from last week?
You have been listening! Because Zacchaeus kept seeking Jesus and trying to live like him, despite others not liking him, and because he discovered the gift he was, he helped change the world by changing himself.
So it is about seeking the gift you are?
So can we still have a game of hide and seek?
No! But after church we can and bags I’m allowed to hide.
Knock and the door will be answered to you… friend through roof
What about knocking then?
There’s a great story about knocking
Oh, did someone knock the door of the house Jesus was in?
Even better…they knocked a hole straight through the roof!
Through the roof?
Yes, straight through the roof…their friend was paralyzed, and four of them carried him on a mat to the house Jesus was teaching in.
So why did they not just knock the door and go in that way like normal folk?
Because there was a big crowd of the religious people already in the house listening to Jesus and you know what religious folk are like, they had sat in that seat all day and they weren’t going to move so they couldn’t get in.
So what did they do?
They carried their friend on a mat up onto the roof, and knocked a hole through the roof and lowered their friend down into the room where Jesus was…and because of their faith Jesus healed him.
So we need to knock holes through roofs then?
Don’t try that here! But what it really means is: keep knocking, keep going, even when there’s obstacles in our way, keep going because the kingdom doesn’t need people to sit around and wait for things to happen, but to keep going until they do.
So it not about actually asking, seeking or knocking
Well it is and it isn’t. Asking is about asking to be (like the lost son, restored), seeking is about finding the gift you are (like Zacchaeus) and knocking is about never giving up. Ask seek and knock for justice, peace, love between us and there we find the kingdom of God right in the middle.
Ask, Seek, Knock
May we have voice to ask
vision to seek
and purpose in our knocking
and God beside us in the transforming kingdom
and the grace…