Monday, January 14, 2008

Do you remember the song: “What if God was one of us?”

It asked the very simple question, if “God” was “one of us” what would you expect of Him? How would you react if you knew that “He” worked in the city, caught public transport to and from the office, went for walks in the park and ate regularly with his friends in his favourite cafe. Imagine if God worked “part-time” in your office, or served behind the counter of the local butcher shop. As I write, an electrician is replacing some lights in our house. What if he was God? Would that change our concepts? Would that change our spirituality?

“If God was one of us” what would he be like?

Would we notice Him?

It is amazing that this song was written and it’s questions asked, when Christmas is still celebrated every year. Does this mean that the impact of the true message of Bethlehem has been totally lost on us.

God was “one of us”. He was a stranger walking home along suburban streets every day passing simple folk, just like you and me, as they all made their way to and from work. He was part of the “everydayness” of life. He was bumped into, he was sat beside, he was heard, he was interrupted, he was questioned and he was answered. He laughed at other peoples jokes, he told stories, he sang and danced, he lived with us, a “normal” man in a “normal” world. He had a mother and a father, sisters and brothers, aunties and uncles, friends and enemies. In between the miracles and the teachings was a life that was just like any other.

How strange.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Spirituality must be far more than simply being rescued from “fire”. How appallingly selfish it is to base one’s spiritual quest on “dying right”. Surely spirituality leads us to life. Surely this life is a journey into functionality, and it has it’s greatest fruit in the lives of all we deal with. Good, bad and ugly alike! I often worry that we spend so much time searching for personal purity… being right with God…(think about that for a moment, it is a contradiction to the cross). . that we simply forget that, in Jesus, we have been reconciled with God, it has been done. There is nothing we can do to add any “greater rightness” to what has already been given to us. In fact, it has nothing to do with “being right with God”. It has everything to do with love overwhelming the unlovely. Forgiveness overwhelming the unforgivable. Grace liberating the "unworthy", and our response in being loving, forgiving and gracious

If we continue to strive for personal purity to gain something from God are we “Falling from grace”? Are we saying; “Grace is not enough, I need to prove myself, I want to be “blessed” on my own terms”? Can you see the absurdity of this? Is grace weak?

Or is it simply that we cannot trust grace?

Furthermore, in our pursuit of “rewards” we make ourselves the object of grace. Faith becomes self-centred. Spirituality is rooted to our own lives, our own expectations, our own comfort and our own destiny.

Yes, we can rest in the love of God. We can marvel at his nature, his grace and his forgiveness, but if this doesn’t lead us to be loving, gracious and forgiving then it simply is a coat of high gloss paints that is as shallow as the teachings that prop up our spiritual ego.