Jesus ignores the world’s popularity lists. It means he welcomes all who society rejects. The doors to his kingdom are flung open to the sick, the sad, the uneducated, and un-pretty; to the picked on, the beaten up, the socially awkward, and homeless; to pushers, dealers, con artists, killers; to the addicted, or emotionally unstable; to you and to me.
In this life, we constantly walk the faultline of Creation and Fall: the joy of the good; the frustration of our many limitations.
Life is both fruit and fight.
The subtitle for this piece could be ‘Why I think it would be awesome if I led a Harvest Festival assembly where I lit a cigarette and made all the children cry’.
We want to focus on our achievements rather than our powerlessness. But this is not the way of the kingdom, and the cloud of witnesses tell us we are not alone.
There are times when faith seems like a sturdy house, and other times when faith seems like the tiniest rowing boat, lost in an ocean of uncertainty. This week, my social media timelines are full of people feeling overwhelmed, either by life or by faith.
When I was thinking about Bible verses for when you are feeling overwhelemd, 1 Kings 19 came to mind – Elijah running away from his people, his mission, and even God.
The Kingdom of God is frustrating, mysterious, slow, inefficient.
I love the church, and I love the evangelical tradition, but sometimes I fear it has not equipped me for dealing with anger, or indeed any strong emotion. I am here, carried on a whirling tornado of fury, and all the church says is, “Stop feeling angry.”
“Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” Jesus – Luke 24:39
I have a confession: I often think of myself as a ghost. I don’t do this consciously, needless to say, but there is something about my self-identity that tends to forget I have a body. As a child, I was bony and awkward, but intelligent.