Fast and the call to slow down (abridged)

We had Warwick for Spiritual Growth today. Ongoing classes on Spiritual Discipline (different lecturers).
At one point he asked us to think about who we were really – confession etc… he had a limited time and I found it really difficult to work stuff out. What bothers me most deep down? Or is it a changing shifting shaddow between time, experience, growth and relationship?

A concern of mine of late, and I thought about this a bit today when I was sitting during ‘the walk’. I had my back to a gum tree and I was half in the sun – it was windy (I was not walking)… how I really have a lot of difficulty with the concept of Jesus.

We were previously talking about which member of the trinity you relate best to at the moment. So, thinking about it. I haven’t a lot of trouble with God the Father and the Holy Spirit as a lot of this ‘stopping to listen’ has made him far more real. The wind – I was watching it blow through the grass and feeling it make a riot of my hair. Breath, Spirit, wind – mental associations are the concretes I can often find. God was there. The same as with when I found this non-descript rock in the ground next to me with shiny bits all through it. God wants to meet us, for us to ‘come away’ with him, which means more than incoporating him into our lives, but making him the centre and knowing him as life.

I am not entirely sure why I have trouble understanding Jesus. History has been so dead to me for ages. What happened to the imaginative ability to get lost ‘back then’? What killed my love of inmersing myself in the way of life so vastly different to my now? Am I that much of a realist? Have I streched myself that far ahead? What is it like to come to God as a child. So ready to learn, to understand?

How simple it is to go a week – more with the ‘God’ thing there and totally miss such an imperative part of who God is. To ask for forgiveness and forget the cross. I lament the fact that I just don’t ‘get it’. I really want to. I want Jesus as a reality in my one-trinitarian only God.

The three, perfect harmony, perfect relationship. Maybe I don’t understand as my human comprehension sees that Jesus ‘did his task’ already. There! I forget that it isn’t finished. He will come again. How blind I can be…

This is what is bothering me.

I also talked to God about desire. We looked at Ephesians 2 (NIV) I gave myself back over to God to meet me and fill the gaps of want. Odd peace after that, I mean it’s not like the only time I’ve talked to God about it.

I read Ephesians 2 (MSG) just now.

Ephesians 2
He Tore Down the Wall

1It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. 2You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. 3We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. 4Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, 5he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! 6Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.

7Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. 8Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! 9We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! 10No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.

11But don’t take any of this for granted. It was only yesterday that you outsiders to God’s ways 12had no idea of any of this, didn’t know the first thing about the way God works, hadn’t the faintest idea of Christ. You knew nothing of that rich history of God’s covenants and promises in Israel, hadn’t a clue about what God was doing in the world at large. 13Now because of Christ–dying that death, shedding that blood–you who were once out of it altogether are in on everything.

14The Messiah has made things up between us so that we’re now together on this, both non-Jewish outsiders and Jewish insiders. He tore down the wall we used to keep each other at a distance. 15He repealed the law code that had become so clogged with fine print and footnotes that it hindered more than it helped. Then he started over. Instead of continuing with two groups of people separated by centuries of animosity and suspicion, he created a new kind of human being, a fresh start for everybody.

16Christ brought us together through his death on the Cross. The Cross got us to embrace, and that was the end of the hostility. 17Christ came and preached peace to you outsiders and peace to us insiders. 18He treated us as equals, and so made us equals. Through him we both share the same Spirit and have equal access to the Father.

19That’s plain enough, isn’t it? You’re no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all–irrespective of how we got here–in what he is building. 20He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone 21that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day–a holy temple built by God, 22all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.

Ah God shows things with so much clarity now. I missed it all before… This is who Jesus is, what part he plays: the whole chapter full.

“That’s plain enough isn’t it?” 2:19 How God must laugh (in a non malice-ful kind of way) at our fumbling for understanding.

Jesus is/was the saviour but that has never stopped. “Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day–a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.” 2:21-22

How much we claim, or even sit comfortably where we hold what know as the sheild of Christianity. And we are so daftly clueless until God whacks it infront of us and calls us to pay attention.

“You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone.” 2:19
“God does both the making and saving.” 2:10
I haven’t a clue until I’m shown. I want to search, to show my willingness to be shown. I want my life to be seeped in God reality, to learn the unforced rythms of grace (Matt 11:30)

“God will create a new thing in this land: A transformed woman will embrace the transforming God.” – Jeremiah 31:22
and although I am no Israel, that does nothing to change the fact that God can and does change us – transform us from what was to what we can be.

And this weeks task was entirely optional. To fast something. It is never food for me, when I think of this. A week without msn. I wouldn’t do it unless I hadn’t previously been considering it. To use the time for God and for more sleep – to take better care of me.

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