Crowded Religion

Do you ever feel like just a number in a crowd? Maybe you work in an organisation with many people? You may even feel this way in a church or even here at Cedars from time to time? The crowd is that feeling you get that nobody notices you or your contribution, or worse that feeling that nobody understands your current needs and challenges.

It’s worth noting that Jesus not only spent a lot of time with crowds but also a lot of his energy trying to get people to understand his message was very personal.

In John chapter 6 Jesus was attempting to show the crowd there’s more to him than the amazing miracles he does! He wanted them to know that his miracles were a sign of God’s great love for every single person.

I was reminded of how personal God’s love and care for me is on our recent family holiday. You see I received a small boat last year for my 50th birthday. Our whole holidays were to be family fun in the boat! After spending three hours to get to our destination, we finally put the boat in the water. As I started the engine a loud alarm started screeching immediately. Straight away I knew there was a serious problem. Over the next 24 hours every boat store rejected any possibility this could be fixed as it was the day before New Years Eve. I’ve got to tell you I was gutted, I had been looking forward to this family trip for months. As a family we said a simple prayer asking God to intervene. After exhausting every possibility of having it repaired, a miracle happened. A mobile boat mechanic had the exact part needed tucked away in the back of his garage. It was installed and our dream family holiday recommenced.

I know what you are thinking… “big deal! It’s just a boat” or maybe you’re thinking “my quota of miracles from God would be better used on more important miracles like the sick being healed!” But that’s the point, Jesus knows me and understands me, his love and care is not corporate, it’s personal. The truth is I have seen God do these kinds of miracles all my life and every time it reminds me how God’s not into crowds, he loves us uniquely and individually. I don’t believe there is such a thing as a silly request to God, he is listening whether we believe he is or not. In fact God gives us some pretty clear direction on our requests. “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”

So what thing can you ask God for that you wouldn’t normally “bother” him about? Talking to God isn’t the exclusive right of church people, anybody can ask. You’re not a number in a crowd…at least not to God…Go ahead…ask away!