We are accountable to each other. God created us to be in community and to be unified – one with God and one with each other. Not identical, not doing ministry in the same way, but at one with who God made us to be and live out of that strength, leading and moving with dignity: knowing our worth, knowing the worth of those who lead and move and live beside us, with us.
Transformation in the spiritual life is experiential and perpetual. It is a verb. An occurrence, and ongoing. It is not a one-and-done this side of glory.
“As long as you do not have experience of this dying and becoming, you are only a troubled guest on this dark earth.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Sometimes faith is believing that you are enough, that I am enough – believing that God’s love is the only true standard – and that if I fall short in loving others (or even myself), God’s love has covered even that. Because, you know, grace.
Faith gives us the courage to be vulnerable.
God promised that this new covenant will mean that every bit of who God is and God’s intention for creation will already be writ large on their hearts. This hope is timeless. As it was for the Israelites, so it is for us. Faith is what got them through it all, and it is faith that moves us now.
We can be fewer in number, decreasing in mobility and endurance – and permeate the community, disciple with nothing but who we are. And that is enough. Because God alone, is enough.
The Japanese concept of ma – the sound of silence – is the silence that can be found between sounds. It is being present to the moment, attentive to the noises and sounds – and finding a sense of well-being, even joy, within it. It is only enjoyed, however, when there is true listening. Only when we pay attention to what we hear can we also detect the substance that is in the in between. Crucially, if I’m not listening and noticing those spaces, hearing into the nuance, the life contained with them, I “may indeed look, but not perceive, and may indeed listen, but not understand; . . . [and fail to] turn again and be forgiven.” Mk4:12. I may not turn to you and be reconciled, or truly understand from where you are coming . . . and alienate you.
When I look, actually see – because I’m not paying attention to you if I’m trying to say everything I want to make you understand – when I see you, I notice more about your expression, sense your presence. And it is powerful. This is what Jesus did. He went to the people – the outcasts, the immigrant, ones that made other people uncomfortable – Jesus went to the people and listened. He noticed the sick and healed them, he recognized the foreigner and offered acceptance, belonging. And Jesus said, “Follow me.”
God is mindful of us. God is attentive to us. We are also created in the very image of God, so we are inherently predisposed to pay attention to one another. First, we must believe God IS. That is faith. Faith moves us. Faith isn’t just repeating lines we heard at church or in a song. It moves us toward a path, a way of being, or course of action. Otherwise, it is just memorizing facts for a test – one that doesn’t give us credit in any university or trade school. And it is an act of discipleship.
Wiki-Relating – Day Twenty-Sevenhttps://eirenicole.com/wp-content/themes/crocal/images/empty/thumbnail.jpg150150NicoleNicolehttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/59c708336b44c55aa93e8059ae098e96?s=96&d=monsterid&r=pg
When I was in primary school the only way that I might quickly find information on a particular subject was to go to one of our bookshelves lined with maroon-ish colored hardbound volumes. Carefully spelling out the key word (the Ss were two volumes!) and it would take longer if one didn’t remember “i before…