Spiritual Seekers

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One of the memories I have of my children growing up, is that incredible innocence you can see, when something good happens…… a light bulb moment occurs. Let me explain, I have been sharing a few memories with my grandson about his Mum and Auntie, memories that made us laugh, memories that made us sad, memories that made his eyes grow wide open in amazement, and I could see the total disbelief in his eyes and the long drawn out .. Nooooooo!!

At that moment as I looked at him, he was ready to accept anything I said, for he trusted every word that I uttered. That is quite a powerful position to be in, to know that you hold the power to influence another person’s thought process.

Faith is a little like that; people who ask me  ‘why do I have a faith? are not being awkward, for I think for the majority of people there is a true desire to seek the meaning of our existence, for we are all human and therefore spiritual seekers.

What I find wonderful about the Jesus of History, is his capacity to know who were the Spiritual seekers in his Jewish context, then he would reach out to them, say the right words and produce the right action, that would influence their understanding of who God is and how best to seek God.

Our task as Spiritual Seekers and Disciples of Faith is never to think we have all the answers, because God is always breathing within creation, a movement which will inspire others, a dance that will lead us on a different path, a whisper that will energise us.

God will use other people to help us on our Journey of faith; we must be humble enough to recognise this and gracious enough to receive.

God who breaks the bounds of Time and Space

May we always dance with your Spirit

To create and energy for ourselves and for others

May we always breathe in your Spirit

To bring a peace into our lives and other peoples lives

May we always walk the path of humility

To be aware of your love for us overflowing and free for all.

We ask this through the Christ who brings meaning to our lives

Amen

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The Journey begins ..

Jesus walking on water !

It’s been nearly two weeks since Easter, and we should be full of the joys of Spring, for through our understanding of Resurrection, the Jesus of History and been changed to the Christ of Faith … yet for some people… Spring has not arrived (quite literally here in England !! ) and the cold winds of depression and weariness can easily fill the void in our lives, where Holy Saturday seems to loom equally large.

As Easter people, we should be living in the light of the Resurrection … living with hope filling our lives, however today’s political and economic climate can be so overpowering, that it engulfs any hope we may have experienced on that Easter morning, and our Easter euphoria may only last a short time.

It seems to me that ‘Holding on’ to what is good in our lives is the key; not to be consumed by the negativity that the culture dictates , but to recognise that our journey HAS begun … and that Jesus said it would not be an easy road that we travel upon. On the road to Emmaus , the two companions were frustrated about the political unrest in Jerusalem, and distraught about the crucifixion and death of Jesus, nevertheless they recognised Jesus , not through conversation, but in action, an action of breaking bread.

The only way that other people can recognise the risen Christ … is through our action; so we need to encourage each other, support each other, be inclusive, recognise when someone needs a shoulder to cry on, be sensitive when difficulties arise, speak about injustice and know that through our actions, other people may see the Resurrected Christ, then Christ then will become alive, and real.

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,.            Teresa of Avila

Weaving the ‘Resurrection story’ in our lives

easter day

The more Easter sermons I share with congregations, the more I pay attention to and am amazed by the loud voice of the women on Easter Sunday !!! They play such a central role on this great day. They stand in such stark contrast to the disciples, all who had fled, and now declare that the women’s story is an idle tale or outright nonsense.

Good news is what we hope for, we long to hear it but it often requires a leap of faith, a willingness to believe what we have not seen with our own eyes.

As Martin Luther King once said Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Good news can transform us and everything we know, but……. sometimes we are not quite ready for it.

Resurrection is seen and experienced in the quality of the lives of those who live out their faith in the Risen Lord We see it most clearly in the transformation of Peter, who went from misunderstanding the Scriptures to interpreting them through the lens of the Resurrection. We see it in Paul who had set out to put Christians to death, only to become the champion of “dying and rising with Christ.”, but the resurrection is not just for people… it is also situations and relationships, where all seems lost , then a new spark or light rays shines through and shatter doubt , fear and injustice, and replace them with strength and hope.

Such lives are evidence that Jesus has risen from the dead and is alive in the world today. By this I mean we see with new insight , we see the world through Jesus eyes, not through our own , if we accept that at Easter something happened to transform, renew, and enthuse the disciples… well I want some of that, and I expect we all do . This is the resurrection. Making a brand new start today …through the eyes of the resurrected Jesus

God has woven resurrection into our daily lives so we can learn the shape of it and perhaps learn to trust the strength of it when our own time comes.

We are “Easter people”……. when we put on brand new lives, not merely brand new clothes.

Easter Day is the key to our faith and to our hope,

It is central to everything that Jesus taught, concerning himself and the Kingdom of God

It is central to everything that the church has proclaimed, since the day that Jesus ascended into heaven.

Alleluia .. Christ has risen !!

Prayer

Loving God

we thank you today

for that which we cannot understand

but which we can appreciate, and experience.

Pour out upon us, a renewed faith in your power

and the peace that comes with hope in you

and in the resurrection of Christ our Lord.

Amen

Growing in Grace

ImageOne of the most wonderful, comical and I think realistic observations of teenagers growing up are in the Harry Enfield TV shows and the sketches of Kevin and Perry. Teenagers at their worst, speaking in monosyllables, teenage babble, and Kevin has a total disrespect for his parents. I can recall this programme vividly as I had a teenager at that time….who had adopted some , although not all I am glad to say traits of Kevin and his friend Perry.

Everything was an effort.. to communicate … to learn… to generally be sociable and polite.. and as for Church.. well I think it was fair to say .. it was not high on their agendas….. and being connected and having a relationship with God was like speaking another language to them

Did you know that the Bible only gives us one story and one comment on the life of Jesus from the time he was approaching the teenage years until he’s a thirty-something starting his ministry?.. Luke 2 : 41-52

He is twelve years old.. on the verge of adolescence, and he has a mind of his own… and to a young man who has his mind set on learning about God and growing in grace , he cannot see why Mary has panicked so much !!

I remember experiencing the terrible possibility of losing my grandson William… It was a couple of years ago, granted a lot younger than Jesus is supposed to have been … but I had been walking with my mum at the Lowry centre.. He was with me on moment.. then gone from my side the next.. my heart sank , then panic , then fear , then how do I explain it  to his Mum. We found him a minute later sat on a step, watching the rays of the sun through his fingers !

Teachers tell us that Children are a joy to teach , yet they also tell us of children who disturb others , and that all too often they come from Dysfunctional families … indeed the Christian church is often referred to as a dysfunctional family… with petulant teenagers, rival siblings, anxious Mum’s and judgemental Grandfathers and Grandmothers

However the key ingredients for families… is to be nurtured in God’s grace .. to be immersed in the grace that God Gives us… not the Cheap Grace that Dietrich Bonhoffer speaks about, that is  Grace which ignores discipleship, Grace that ignores the cross and Grace that does not require repentance.

To Grow in Grace means to aware of God’s goodness , to be aware of the bountiful gifts God wants to give us .. Jesus recognised this as he sat in the synagogue as a young man, he recognized God and wanted to Grow in maturity, wisdom and stature.

At the start of the New Year, and as 2013 progresses, I pray that all people grow in wisdom , surrounded by God’s Grace… what a world that would be !!

Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.  Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 

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