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  • Helen Bent

The same but different (15-10-21)

A Bible Reading: John 14. 5 - 9 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?


A Thought As many of you know, our daughter, Rachel, recently gave birth to identical twin girls. Having brought up three children, we feel we know quite a bit about babies, but identical twins are a completely new experience. Chloe and Naomi are now nearly seven months old and they are absolutely delightful. The slight downside is that everything has to be done in duplicate and the girls have a knack of sleeping in rotation rather than simultaneously!


When we are together with them, it is easy to tell which twin is which – one is slightly bigger and heavier than the other – but when there is a photograph of only one, then it becomes more tricky to decide whether it is Chloe or Naomi. If you ask me what Chloe is like, because I only have Naomi with me, I could say: “Anyone who has seen Naomi will know what Chloe looks like” and vice versa. Identical twins are of the same essence with, broadly speaking, the same basic DNA. In reality, the genetics are a bit more complicated than that.


This whole experience is fascinating, but it has also got me thinking about the nature of God. The disciples asked Jesus to show them the Father, a perfectly reasonable question to which Jesus replied: “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” Jesus is of the same essence as the Father. He embodies all the same God qualities within human form, so if we want to know what God is like, we just have to look at the life of Jesus. Jesus also tells the disciples that he does what he sees the Father doing. They communicate constantly through prayer. Jesus’ ministry is imbued with the nature of the Father and the Father’s heart for humanity.


The twins will have the same colour eyes and hair. However, their fingerprints will be different and unique to each twin, although they will have very similar patterns. They enjoy being in each other’s company and will sometimes hold hands together, indicative of a deeper bond between them. This reminds me that God the Father and God the Son also live in close relationship, together with God the Holy Spirit, and it helps me to understand something new about the mystery of the Trinity, God in three persons, the same but different.


A Prayer The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore.

Amen.

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