Monday, March 28, 2011
Malice can find root in any heart and it loves to grow, it conquers and it is violent. Violence does seems to be everywhere, wars and rumors of wars are constant reminder of this. Watching the news it is easy to feel completely hopeless and defeated as numbers of people are killed and mentioned with no regard for each of the persons significance, no they are just another number in the news. Nothing more just a number... and if they are not from our country, coalition, or cause, they are even less.
And of course there are reasons for this violence, there seems to be always reasons ... but its not just out there it is also here, just last night watching the news I heard about a girl walking home, three boys pulled up in a car forced her in the car and raped her.
What causes the heart to be so violent. To decide in your heart and further more to have friends who decide together to act out in such a horrific way?
We are so broken... Perhaps this is why I know I need God. These are my thoughts today as I reflect on lent and the news, I don’t want to heavy-handedly explain why you need God too... I just know there was a time when I didn’t think of malice, and hope there will be a time when I/we won't do any either.
Today I am reminded of this quote by Douglas Coupland in his short book Life After God: "My secret is that I need God--that I am sick and can no longer make it alone. I need God to help me give, because I no longer seem to be capable of giving; to help me be kind, as I no longer seem capable of kindness; to help me love, as I seem beyond being able to love."
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the church begins the journey through Lent to Easter, walking and identifying with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, through his example of prayer and fasting in the desert while he was being tempted.
We are reminded again to follow Jesus as he calls us to do, most poignantly as he tells the young rich man to follow him, by putting God first in his life, and selling all his possessions and giving them to the poor. N.T. Wright in After You Believe describes it like this:
"But what we notice in Mark 10 is something which seems to portray in a different dimension. For start, it is a call, not to specific acts of behavior, but to type of character. For another thing, it is a call to see oneself as having a role to play within a story - and a story where, to join up with the first point, there is one supreme Character whose life is to be followed. And that Character seems to have his eye on a goal, and to be shaping his own life, and those of his followers, in relation to that goal."
"The message that Jesus – the crucified Jesus! – is the world’s true Lord is to be made precisely through the church’s following in his footsteps"
This obedience is not works but a building of character, virtue as Wright describes it, that aims at a goal. The goal is for our character to fuse with our maker and develop in us: faith, hope, love, humility, chastity, patience, gentleness, the virtues that our broken world precisely needs. It is in this season that I am reminded, that Christ Jesus our Lord suffered so that we would live, and that we by clothing our self with Christ (Romans 13:14), may bring this same Good News into our broken world.
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20)