Sunday, May 13, 2012

Getting to the guts of it

Thoughts for Sunday 20th May ...easter 7 or the Sunday after the Ascenbsion  (this is a rejigging of some of my previous blog material and I will be adding more material later in the week about thoughts I have been having recently)
Readings can be from Acts 1:1-11, 15-26; Psalm 1, Psalm 47, Ephesians 1:15-23; 1 John 5:9-13; Luke 24:44-53; & John 17:6-19
Now this can either be hard or easy!
Because, either the point of the physical removal of Jesus
that we call The Ascension
is an insurmountable obstacle to 21st century rational-scientific minds
or it is as easy as recognising
that in order to mature
we cannot go on having others
doing for us what we need to do for ourselves!
I opt to think, today, about the Ascension
in this latter way!

In the most obvious sense
God wants mature men and women.
People who will have depth and understanding
that is not achieved
by always stepping in making up for our inadequacies.
Any parent knows the truth of this.
Indeed anyone in any relationship whatsoever
needs to understand this,
we are not called to step in and make up
for the inadequacies, mistakes and failures
of others.
However well-intentioned,
this breeds immaturity and over-dependence,
rather than freedom, initiative
and sophisticated maturity.

There is a difference between supporting people in difficulty
and in not allowing people the opportunity to make their own mistakes!

The withdrawal of the physical presence of Jesus
rather than being an expression
of God's disappointment and heartbreak with the world
can and should actually be seen
as a statement of faith by God in you and me.
God believes that we have within us
the means to be effective people
God believes that we have within us
the means to be effective church
God believes that we have within us
the capacity to fail and to know that failure is not the end

This is what is going on

Two encouragements
This is something about the very nature of what relationship
with God is all about
We are not passive observers
of a world in which God is active
but we are ministers of God's presence to the world.

Now what does a minister do?
A minister acts on behalf of someone
So, a Minister of the Crown exercises authority of behalf of the Queen and the Government.
A minister of the Church
acts on behalf of God.
And we understand that Baptism
confers upon you and me
the responsibility
to be Minister of Jesus
We will say We are the Body of Christ
So Jesus can say to the Father...

I am no longer in the world but they are in the world.

Now this 'they' who he is talking about is you and me

We may feel as though this is too hard sometimes
Jesus prays for our protection
he prays that we may be united to each other
and that we may be filled with joy

He does not pray
that we should be relieved of responsibility
or taken out of the world.
But rather that we should exercise this responsibility

It is a great statement of the trust that God put in you and me
as ministers
to act with confidence in the name of the God who equips us for ministry.

May this be ours too

This week
  • Can we look for opportunity to a faithful minister and commit ourself deliberately to God's care and protection as you seek to be more faithful
  • Look at the circumstances in which we live and see where God is calling us to serve others.
    Pray deliberately for joy where ever we find ourselves to be

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