Wednesday, May 14, 2014

And what exactly do you want?

Fifth Sunday of Easter May 18 May *Acts 7:55-60 Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16 I Peter 2:2-10John 14:1-14
The story is told of St Christopher
that he searched the world over
for the strongest king to serve.
It is almost like Game of Thrones!
Christopher rejected one after the other
even the devil or Satan
Finally he is told to serve God
and he is to do this
by helping people
across a dangerous river.
One night a small child comes
and Christopher carries him across the river.
Christopher senses the burden getting heavier and heavier
as he crosses
and it is only as he gets to the other side
that he realises he has been carrying the Christ child.
It is a very good story, and has a strong moral.
These days it is regarded as legendary
rather than an account of an actual event.
This does not make it untrue.
It rather points us to the fact 
that sometimes deeper mysteries 
like the fact that we are called to serve Christ
in the work we do in this world
are better revealed in story, song, poetry, art...and so on
that we often don't realise that Christ is there.

It is an Easter encounter
we don't realise that Christ is alive
and already amongst us.
He surprises us
by being in the ordinary place.

The disciples have to learn this.
They are often easily distracted
and well... to no be too blunt sometimes
just plain 'thick'

Not unlike you and me really!

What is on offer by Jesus 
is not some fairy tale encounter
nor is it some pious ritual.
It is the glimpse of glory,
it is sharing of the vision of the open heaven
and God reigning in power, peace and love.
St Stephen, at his martyrdom, is able to blurt this out.
Things often become very clear to us
in the valley of the shadow of death.

For most of the time it is a struggle, like Christopher,
to not insist that God does things 
in the way that we want them done
and rather to open ourselves
to the mystery of what God might be offering us.
Not what we vainly want
but what God might be trying to invite us into.

In the halting passage in John 14
 often read at funerals,
Jesus promises a prepared-place.
He is of course speaking imaginallywe are not talking about the Legian Beach Hotel
or some Georgian mansion
But rather of the fact that there is a place.
This is a comfort to the dying and the bereaved, I suggest,
to know that whether we live or whether we die
God has a place for us.
But as we read on we discover that the place is not so much a location
as a relationship....How can we know the way?
and Jesus says to you and me

I am the way and the truth and the lifeI think once we grasp this we are on the way.This is what Christopher found.It is not discovery of the answer it is by entering into relationship with Jesus.

This is the relationship
which will reveal to us
the life of God himself
We Christians believe
that this shepherd
this Jesus
this way, this truth, this life
uniquely draws us into the life of God.

This is not an exclusivist claim
it is the promise and hope of relationship.

I will know God, and God will know me.
I will know and be known.
It is a glimpse of glory.

This week
  • Where is Jesus telling me about himself?
  • What do I tell Jesus about myself?
  • How does this mutual revelation change us both?
  • How do I change my life to better live that experience
  • What will I do this week as I live out of this relationship
  • all seek resolution in practice

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