Monday, 29 April 2013

Shadows




People's lives can emotionally move us with great power.

We can be captivated by their stories.

Like dancing shadows we watch and wait to see how their story will unfold.

Yet all to often people simply remain like a shadow behind a screen to us.  We have been moved by their life, captivated by their story, and yet ultimately they mean very little to us.  Merely another moment of entertainment that has little effect upon us and the way that we live.

'Love one another'.

Jesus commands us to love one another.  To command something of us is to reveal how passionate God is about this and how important it is to our own flourishing.

If we stay detached from each others lives, like shadows behind a screen, then while we might be moved, their lives mean very little to us or the way that we live.  To love one another calls for us to go beyond the screen and meet each other in the light, sharing the reality of each others painful shadows, and living in such a way that each others stories are lived together.

If the Church is serious about our call to go into the world and share the gospel, then we must stop observing from the sidelines the shadows of peoples lives and enter into their stories, sacrificing ourselves for their sake.

'This is my body, given for you.'

In the video a man dies.  And while the story of his death may have moved us, ultimately it means very little to us.

And that is the challenge we face with Jesus.

'This is my blood shed for you.'

Jesus' birth and ministry, life and death may intrigue us, move us and even entertain us.  We might find Jesus interesting and challenging, but when we reflect on our own lives we realise that He has very little to do with it.

He is simply like a shadow behind a screen.

'Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.'

Jesus is calling for us to move behind the screen and be a part of His life, to join in with the dance of God, to share in the love of Father, Son and Spirit.

He is inviting us to have our own lives and stories shaped and transformed by Him that He will no longer be an interesting but unimportant figure moving in the background of our lives, but the One who shapes our very selves.

We are invited to share in the Divine dance of God.

And we are called to invite others to be part of it too.

So that calls us to step out and go and to take seriously other peoples lives.

It is time to stop looking at the shadows behind the screen and to step into the Light of the Risen Son.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Bombs, Heartache and Peace

On Saturday 13th April a bomb exploded on a bus in Pakistan killing at least nine people.

On Sunday 14th April a US drone attack killed four people in a village in Pakistan.

On Monday 15th April eight people were killed by a bomb blast in Afghanistan.

On Monday 15th April three people are killed by a bomb blast in Boston, USA.

On Monday 15th April at least fifty five people are killed by bomb explosions in Iraq.


Woman and children, fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers.

People.

People made in God's image.

Murdered.

We need to change our ways.

Violence breeds violence.  Murder generates more murder.  When we kill we are changed and something within us dies.

When one human kills another we strip them and ourselves of our God given humanity and identity.

Peace will never come through our violence.

'Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.'

'Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you that you may be called children of your Father in Heaven.'

'If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.'

'Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.'

'And with a loud cry, Jesus gave up his spirit and died.'

Jesus has given his life so that we might live and be people who give life, work for peace, pray and seek the Kingdom of God.  We look for the day when swords will be beaten into ploughshares, and today, by the grace and Spirit of God, we work towards that future reality.