A risky post!
It has been a long time since I last blogged! Time passes fast in a swirling blur of activity! Over the last couple of years I think Glyn and I have accepted the title of “pastors” and begun to settle into what this means (albeit in a “steep learning curve” kind of way). We have experienced many ups and a few spectacular downs! I can’t speak for Glyn here, but certainly for myself – I have never wanted to run away and quit something so sincerely (and so frequently) before! This role comes with immense privilege and blessing, and also at times immense heart ache and soul searching.
Working with people and loving people can be a risky business (if you don’t believe me – ask Jesus or simply read the bible!). It is a privilege to journey with people around our community – sharing life with all it brings, and learning to allow ourselves to be mutually known and mutually vulnerable. The tension is that along with sharing beautiful friendship, we all have the capacity to hurt one another deeply. We can pour our heart, soul, and love into a relationship, (taking the risk of being honest and real, exposing our tender inner being) and someone can still choose to reject us, and say “no thanks”. This really hurts!
It is a comfort to read God’s word and know that this kind of experience is not a huge surprise to God. Jesus went through it – sharing life, love and experience with people – then finding these very people doing a complete U turn and animatedly participating in the crowd shouting “crucify him!”. How did Jesus respond?
With bitterness? By plotting revenge? Wallowing in self pity? No.
He continued to love, and lay down His life for those very people who aggressively rejected him.
Our human nature is programmed to “defensively react” to hurt. Our Holy Spirit filled nature encourages us to “lovingly respond” as Jesus would. It is not always automatic to go straight to Holy Spirit nature as our human nature will want to get in first. Pride, justification and self defence, injustice and anger all jostling to get in quick with their pointy elbows trying to be first in the queue!
This is another example of “Dying to self” pushing those things to the back and inviting Jesus’ response in our lives. Not as easy to do as it is to type!
So as we live and work in our community please join us in praying that as God’s people, we will all learn to lay down the human nature and ask for Holy Spirit nature. Not easy, but this is surely the key to a revolution in love. We want to be known for the fruits of the Spirit – even if people don’t know that’s what they are!
P.s we need your prayers for this please!
God bless and love,