Lisa Bright, a member of the team supporting our Parish’s Season of Renewal, presents our Gospel Reflections for the next few days. Today Lisa reads from the Gospel of Luke (11: 29-32) in which a growing crowd presses in on Jesus as he addresses them saying, ‘This is a wicked generation. It is asking for a sign but the only sign it will be given is the sign of Jonah’. Lisa says when she was reflecting on this Gospel passage, she imagined herself in the crowds that were getting bigger and bigger. She imagined herself pushed to the front and watching this man, Jesus, speaking to the crowds, when a question was posed to him (we don’t hear the question in Luke’s Gospel but a question is noted in the corresponding passages in Mark and Matthew’s Gospel). We can assume from Jesus’ response in Luke’s account, that a question came up about a ‘sign from God’. Lisa asks, can you hear the question being offered from the crowd, “Give us a sign that you are the Messiah!” “Yeah, prove you are the Son of God!”. Continuing to imagine herself in the crowd watching Jesus, Lisa tried to think of Jesus’ tone in responding. Was Jesus feeling frustrated at the people asking for a sign? By this time Jesus had healed quite a few people, fed over 5000 people with loaves and fishes, and preached on many topics. What more of a sign did these people need? On the other hand, did Jesus remain calm, realising that people sometimes take time to see what is right in front of them? Jesus reminded the crowds of the prophet Jonah and how a sign can be offered through a person inviting people to think about life and make some changes. In Jesus’ preaching, that is what he was inviting these people to – to think about their lives, to grow and to be united in love with God. Jesus is offering the people – and indeed us – an invitation to look deeper at what he is offering. Jesus is calling us to have faith in what he is offering, that is, to have faith in the God who loves us and wants to draw us closer to this love – to live lives to the full. Lisa asks, if a sign is being asked for as ‘proof’, what does that do to the invitation? What does that do to our faith? Are we entering into a relationship with God based on our own discernment, relationship and trust with God? Are we spending time to get to know God for ourselves, or are we waiting for undeniable proof of God to appear in our own life? We are called to be in relationship with our God – a relationship of love and mercy, compassion and joy. We can witness this through ‘signs’ AND we can strengthen this by getting to know THE SIGN – the Son of God. By encountering Jesus in the everyday – through prayer, through reflection, through service, through ministry, through our everyday actions of love – we encounter Jesus in new and deeper ways, if we are open to seeing those encounters as encounters with Christ. What are the ways we can get to know Jesus deeper every single day? What are the signs in our lives, where we can recognise God’s unwavering love for us? In closing Lisa says, may we all be witnesses to God’s amazing love in our lives and in our world.