Monday, 9 May 2011

Step Six

GospelJohn 6:22-29 

Refuge posts on the causeway to Lindisfarne

After Jesus had fed the five thousand, his disciples saw him walking on the water. Next day, the crowd that had stayed on the other side saw that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not got into the boat with his disciples, but that the disciples had set off by themselves. Other boats, however, had put in from Tiberias, near the place where the bread had been eaten. When the people saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into those boats and crossed to Capernaum to look for Jesus. When they found him on the other side, they said to him, ‘Rabbi, when did you come here?’
  Jesus answered:
‘I tell you most solemnly,
you are not looking for me because you have seen the signs
but because you had all the bread you wanted to eat.
Do not work for food that cannot last,
but work for food that endures to eternal life,
the kind of food the Son of Man is offering you,
for on him the Father, God himself, has set his seal.’
Then they said to him, ‘What must we do if we are to do the works that God wants?’ Jesus gave them this answer, ‘This is working for God: you must believe in the one he has sent.’

Step Six - Became entirely ready to have God remove all our defects of character

In school we have been discussing saying 'sorry'; particularly saying sorry when you don't mean it. Not lying exactly; but sometimes the word is an automatic reflex (which I have often used on lamp posts and post boxes) or the magic word to get the response you are looking for. The students particularly related to this one; the threat of being grounded, to   get a situation over with, to avoid having to address the real issue.  Using 'sorry' as a end word so that you can get back to what you were doing without actually learning any lessons, changing behaviour or seeking reconciliation. Just like bread, it can serve only to fulfill the needs of the moment. 

Truly sorry is so much more;regret, remorse, a desire for reconciliation and redemption.
To know, without doubt, that you have wandered far from home and taken the darker path.  To be redeemed is to be bought back from this shadow place you have ended up in. 

It is very rare that you are able to buy yourself back - memories of Grimm's fairy tales and deals with the devil - which are never a good idea - usually it involves a rescue. Fair maiden or gallant knight - someone else has to come and get you back; to give the kiss of grace so that you may live happily ever after. 

Jesus tells those who follow him that he is the rescuer; that the words that he brings will change us, will heal us and will feed us with the desire to live in God's light. 

But there is no good in hiding in the corner, or pretending that you can make it out on own -  you have to shout it out - 'I want to be rescued'.


1 comment:

Margaret said...

This is the very lesson I've been learning this year. Now, I'm much more comfortable surrendering to Godde and saying I'm handing this challenge over to you. What a blessing.