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Matthew 16: 13-20 (NRSVA)
13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ 14 And they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ 15 He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ 16 Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ 17 And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’ 20 Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
“You canny argue people into the Kingdom of heaven” me to the Rev Albert Bogle circa 1988. We were just at the start of recording what would become “Lamplighter” our first album. Albert started off a session (as we were in the recording booth) by giving some ministry over the mic to the laconic wonderful — atheist — Derek, our engineer. “This song’s about how Jesus did…” and Derek broke into Albert mid-flow over the talk back mic with a “were you wanting me to record all that?” Which I thought was kind of funny cause you see Derek didn’t – at that time – get it. He hadn’t experienced Jesus for himself. Yet. We went on to record our second record “Run Scared No More” about a year later, same engineer, same place. A funny thing happened. Sometimes in life God speaks to you and you“get it”. During the Run Scared No More sessions my brother Campbell and I — we had a few conversations with Derek and sharing about faith.
Some years later when that studio burned down — it was Albert that Derek called first. You see he had begun to get it.
We witness often simply by being who we are. Just like my late brother Campbell. He witnessed Christ by word, but more than that he witnessed by deed, by being simply himself.
There were hundreds of people at his funeral, they filled Winchester Cathedral. I know some of them “got it”, I know this, because they told me after. “Blessed are you for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood but by my father in heaven”. During their physical time with Campbell they perhaps didn’t feel the stirring of the Spirit. So few of us do at times. It was afterwards, in the wee small hours, when it’s quiet, when we can hear that still small voice. The whisper of the Spirit. That’s often when we “get it”. In a roar (and that happens too) or in a whisper — that’s when we experience for ourselves that glimpse of the kingdom of heaven.
“Aye” said the Rev Albert Bogle circa 1988 “but you can show them the way.”
Lord, let me experience you
Lord, let me know you
Let me “get it”
And when I “get it”, lead me in the way.