Spirit & Life
Paul’s metaphors are as relevant and fresh today as they were to the Thessalonians. This year holds shadows of catastrophic disasters – in fires and storms; as species disappear forever; between neighbouring countries; from relentless political greed; where power gobbles that which is not its own; amid the silent stealth and aberration of pandemic; engraved in the faces of displaced, distraught victims of other’s cruelty; through the fragile cracking of ‘steadfast’ democracy – reality’s shadows have brought life-changing suffering and grief. Darkness has been unexpectedly birthed, with terrible pain.
Part of the work of the church is to teach us to listen in a world that only wants to speak. We learn to listen, not just for information; but also for discernment, sifting through the questions of life. We learn to listen, not to react quickly to every dilemma, but to respond thoughtfully and prayerfully. We learn to listen not only to speak, but so we can speak truthfully, kindly, and compassionately.
What the world sees as tragic or empty, Jesus sees as blessed: humility, mourning, gentleness, peacefulness and other virtues. Jesus can encourage us to live in the spirit of the Beatitudes as He lived them himself.
Our faith journey is not simply a piece of puzzle that we drop into our jigsaw of life.
The Great Commandments encompass living every moment, every day, every action, everywhere, that is, the whole of life in/through/with the transformative Wisdom of God.
Isn’t it strange that sometimes in the most unexpected ways, in our most vulnerable and fatigued times, there appears a sage voice with perceptive wisdom and a calming presence?
A “Don’t worry. Be Happy” interpretation of this passage completely misses its significant message. Paul is not calling us, as God’s people, to be dismissive at all! Rather, together, purposely leave with God the very human perspective of anxieties, suspicions and apprehensions, and instead, take on the Way of Christ and together, live well, safe in union with Jesus.
Ps 19: 1-6 How clearly the sky reveals God's glory! How plainly it shows what he has done! Each day announces it to the following day; each night repeats it to the next. No speech or words are used, no sound is heard; yet their message goes out to all the...
Phil 2:1-13 Your life in Christ makes you strong, and his love comforts you. You have fellowship with the Spirit, and you have kindness and compassion for one another. I urge you, then, to make me completely happy by having the same thoughts, sharing the same love,...
The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”
Letting go & forgiving from the heart seems one of the hardest human acts. The emotional pain often takes longer to heal than the physical pain.