Thursday, 6 August 2009

Go with what you know?

Opening Prayer

Here I am Lord,
Listening
Speak to me
within my heart and soul.
I am listening.



Ephesians 4:20


‘Your mind must be renewed by a spiritual revolution’


Reflection


Ambition is a wonderful thing they say. To be more than you are – to have a vision of something more – and to want to achieve that vision.


We are encouraged to be this way.

In worldly ambition we are meant to be on an uphill journey; and to be confident of success we follow the mountaineers rule of safety – maintaining the ‘three points of contact’.

So, when climbing the ‘ladder of success’ we keep one foot on the lower rung; our experience; the job we’ve already got; the places we already know; everything that we are happy and secure about.

Then we reach out, knowing the we have the support network in place; both hands holding on to friends; co-workers and supporters; knowing they will be there for us in our climb.

Only then do we reach the other foot towards the next rung; confident that it will be there; in expectation that having done everything right we will be moving on up. It’s a brave soul who would do it any other way.

Yet in faith we are meant to be brave souls – having come to some point in our lives when we realise that the world isn’t always right; the rules don’t always help and security is not always for the best – we need to consider another route.

Jesus was never good at keeping rules, considering the safe thing to do or climbing ladders; in fact he never even got on the first rung. His success meant surrender and descent; A revolutionary path that meant there is more to life than this, even if this is all I have ever known, because now I have faith.

To have the faith and trust to jump off a ladder into a swirling mist trusting that God will catch you. How hard is that? Not a thing I manage to do very often.


Yet Jesus did it for us and God caught him.

Contemplation
‘Gonna be a revolution’

It is always strange to me – which is why I mention it so often – that the Christian faith has such a comfortable feel to it.

We can be moved by the efforts of the early church to live within the Jewish and other cultures and how they need the encouragement of Paul’s letters to keep them true to the faith.

But we need Paul’s letters too. We can easily be misled by the world around us into accepting a way of life that leads nowhere. Spending money on the ‘next best thing’. Living out hours of imaginary lives on the TV. Setting our sights on a life that collects ‘stuff’ when we don’t need ‘stuff’.

The achieving and collecting that marks us out in the world is not what will help us in the Kingdom. It is how Jesus teaches us to be that we need to listen to. Like the Beatitudes which make a desire out of being poor and meek, we need to see the world as revolutionaries.

Think about what there is in your life that marks you as a Christian – are these the things that ‘society’ seems to value?

Do you ever question them or feel you have to defend them?

How do you feel about the idea of preparing for a life beyond this one?


Closing Prayer
May the blessing of the Sacred Three
The Father who gave us the Word
The Son who is the Word
The Spirit who opens the Word within us
Be with us today and evermore.
Amen


wordinthehand2009

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