Monday, December 22, 2008

moment by moment

Midweek Meander Well, here we are midweek again….how’s your journey with Jesus going? If you’re like me, it’s day to day (which I think is progress from week to week). But I’d like to get it to moment by moment. Paul wrote that the goal was to pray without ceasing. Since I’m teaching Hinduism right now at Kent’s Hill School, I have to think about that differently from the type of meditation that require one to stop everything they are doing. (Not that that’s always a bad thing at all!). I learned at this year’s Society of Biblical Literature meeting that scholars have now established Buddhist thought had reached what we know call Palestine in the days of the early church. I have to think that what Paul is teaching is more like the constant mindfulness that Buddhist practitioners strive for. Except that for Paul, that mindfulness is Christ shaped. I’ve been asked more than once how I can refer to “joy” so often. Isn’t it a rather naïve or overly idealistic approach to life? For me, recalling joy on a regular basis is a litmus test of how “in Christ” I am. When I feel myself doing a “gut check” whether I can authentically sing off “in joy,” I know that I need more focused, Christ shaped, awareness. Joyfulness can feel thin when I let things interfere with my connection to the living God. But it’s never the “big things” that interfere. On the contrary, the bigger the challenge, the more naturally I turn to God. It’s the little things that interfere with joy. Thus Paul’s call to practice prayer becomes more pressing in the minutia. (Who was it that said the devil is in the details?) It’s the little things that wear us out and drag us down if we’re not ever mindful of God’s priorities, the greatest of which is to love us, each of us at every moment, and to love us into loving each other just as thoroughly. (deep and wide, deep and wide, there’s a river flowing deep and wide….) I can’t fill myself up with that kind of joy, much less others. But I can open myself to the never ending source. The one who preaches to me, N. Gordon Cosby puts it this way: "Too many tired Christians are trying to be good news for the world. God is saying, 'I want you to trust me. I'll do the majority of the work. I want you to go along with me and just watch the miracles.' What's the good news for you? Are you having a good time in life? Do you have news that's so good you've got to share it? Do you feel safe, inwardly? Are you trusting the goodness and grace of someone who loves everyone? We need new forms for sharing the good news of God. The good news has to be embodied---so we must BE before we DO. Our first task is to become new creatures. Like C.S. Lewis said, "God doesn't want improved creatures, but a new creation." Source: Conversation recorded in the newsletter of Wellspring, a ministry to renew and revitalize the church ( 12-17-08) May your day, no matter what kind of day it is, be full of Christ. In Christ’s Joy, Karen

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