Ask And You Shall Receive
In our lives, it can be hard to ask for things – for help, for advice, or even for the material goods we need to survive – food, shelter, a raise. It can be hard to ask the people we are in relationship with for what we need – more clarity, a different form of affection, or to consider a different point of view. We have been formed by a society that is painfully individualistic, one that expects us to make our own way, and assumes that an inability to meet our own needs by ourselves is the result of weakness. When we struggle to ask for things, to be vulnerable with those around us, I wonder if it is because we feel a sense of shame that we are not meeting the expectations of mastery and independence that is culturally expected.
But Jesus invites us to ask – to bring our needs, our desires, our deepest longings and hopes to God. What a radical thing, that the same God who created heaven and Earth wants to know what is on your heart: “So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Jesus teaches us many things: how to love others, how to serve neighbors, how to live a life in community with one another. We often use the language of “radical” to describe the Christian life. And this would be true – because Jesus is always pointing us towards practices and habits that are so unlike those of the society that surrounds us. And so it is radical because opens up for us flourishing where there was only suffocation, relationship where there was only fracturedness, life where there was only death. Ask, my friends, and you shall receive.
– The Rev. Canon Greg Baker