Friday, 25 January 2013

Dig deeper wells

How deep do we go for our spiritual resources? When all seems arid and dry, are we left panting & despairing, or do we know deeper sources that can nourish us and enable us to continue?

A shallow spirituality will be thrown off course or simply give up easily by whatever difficultly turns up. Lets be clear - things to throw us will come: wobblies, issues, problems, maybe even downright confrontation. The point is how we deal with them, and that relates to the quality & depth of our spiritual plumbing system.

I was struck by Job. By chapter 16 things are really looking down, which given the circumstances is no surprise. Yet in the midst of the gloom Job still maintains a hope that surpasses those who have tried to come alongside him. In 17:10-16 he exhibits a deep conviction that hope can be maintained in God.

The 'comforters' paint negative images (e.g. chapter 15), with them all pointers start to point south. But for Job, resurrection is possible (14:14), along with redemption and forgiveness (14:16-17).

Our hope most not be just for the grave, but beyond it. As we increase our work, as we find ourselves doing more in mission, I believe we must learn to dig deeper wells to tap the depth of resources that we are going to need.

Its time to dig deeper wells.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Which Mountain?

Hebrews 12:18 - 24 makes a big contrast between two mountains. On the one hand there is the mountain on the desert journey. Access was restricted, only Moses could climb. The people, being unholy, had to keep their distance; there was fire, darkness and other pyro-technic effects to re-enforce the point.

The other mountain is God dwelling with people, already figuratively described in the prophets - the place where people could come to meet with God. It is accessible, it is a place of celebration, it is where God is with the people. Note that God is still described as 'Judge of all', and so presumably still requires holiness. Through Jesus bringing the new covenant holiness is now possible. Sacrifice and sprinkled blood feature on both mountains, but are in completely different leagues.

The author it is quite clear: as believers in Jesus we live in the times of the second mountain, where God can be approached. Whereas at the first people asked to keep their distance, in the second believers can now come up.

The question is: in the way that we relate our faith to other people (be it verbally, through our actions, or the way we live) which mountain do we portray? Number one, with its boundaries, trembling and fear, or number two, with its joy, acceptance and living presence?