22 June 2013

How does love make sense?



"…love is only a glimpse or parable of an embracing, incomprehensible reality. It makes no sense at all because it is the eternal breaking in on the temporal.”
"...[we] forget that we are to love our enemies, not to satisfy some standard of righteousness, but because God their Father loves them." 

— Marilynne Robinson from her novel Gilead.

10 June 2013

One Great Reason to Have A Good Day

Not up to par? Feeling not-so-great? Feeling lousy? Feel like this photo? Perhaps a few quotes will give perspective?

"If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn’t rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead." - Timothy Keller

That cut to the bone, but what of it? Words from Pope John Paul II might encourage you:

"Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song."

No? You say you don't feel like it's Easter. Ok. 

Dennis Hopper (allegedly) said more prosaically:
"In a world where the dead have returned to life, the word ‘trouble’ loses much of its meaning."

Yep, the difference it makes to the world starts from within us, as it has to do with the Holy Spirit energized.

But only if we ask: He's not the "FORCE", after all.

"And he [Christ] departed from our sight that we might return to our heart, and there find Him. For He departed, and behold, He is here."- St. Augustine

and, the world about us is better because of Him

"...the effects of Jesus’ resurrection is the beginning of God’s new project not to snatch people away from earth to heaven but to colonize earth with the life of heaven." - NT Wright

As a Christian you can take heart in this one great thing: your ancient brothers and sisters, the first Christians who saw Christ arisen from the dead.

They had seen "the first movement of a great wheel beginning to turn in the direction opposite to that which all men hitherto had observed." - CS Lewis

08 June 2013

Life, Simplified

"Three things that please God most are true faith in God with a pure heart, 
a simple life with a grateful spirit, 
and generosity inspired by charity."

Attributed to Ita

(Called Saint Ita, Saint Ida or Saint Ides, c. 475 - 570, a Celtic Christian)

07 June 2013

Not Yet Home


Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.

At present we are on the outside of the world, the wrong side of the door.

We discern the freshness and purity of morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. 
We cannot mingle with the splendours we see. But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumour that it will not always be so. 
Some day, God willing, we shall get in.
- CS Lewis

05 June 2013

From the Sky


Something of God...flows into us from the blue of the sky, the taste of honey, the delicious embrace of water whether cold or hot, and even from sleep itself. 
CS Lewis in “Scraps,” St. James' Magazine

04 June 2013

Meeting Plato & Shakespeare at Breakfast


I find the phrase “vocation is mission” satisfyingly descriptive. What it means is that which I do every day is my personal mission. 

We are continuously changing people in an ever-changing world and we draw on tried-and-true instruments to form new experiences and things for us, and for people around us. 

That’s the inventive/creative power we have. I love the creative work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. NT Wright said well,

“Those in whom the Spirit comes to live are God’s new Temple. They are… places where heaven and earth meet.” -Simply Christian

The Holy Spirit works with us: He doesn’t come through our door with a signboard announcing his Presence, nor with a Tweet.


If you do a bit of spiritual self-care, rather like getting ready for the day for work, it may amaze you later on at creative God can be in your life.  


Perhaps you might surprise me someday when I come down to breakfast and ‘meet another Shakespeare.’

Plato has told you a truth; but Plato is dead. 
Shakespeare has startled you with an image; but Shakespeare will not startle you with any more. 


But, imagine what it would be to live with such men still living,
to know that Plato might break out with an original lecture tomorrow or
that at any moment Shakespeare might shatter everything with a single song. 


The man who lives in contact with what he believes to be a living Church
is a man always expecting to meet
Plato and Shakespeare tomorrow at breakfast.


 -   G K Chesterton, Orthodoxy

03 June 2013

Troublemakers!

Christians were never meant to be normal. 

We’ve always been holy troublemakers, we’ve always been creators of uncertainty, 
agents of dimension that’s incompatible with the status quo…
[Christians]…insist on the world becoming the way that God wants it to be. 
And the Kingdom of God is different from the patterns of this world. 
~ Jacques Ellul