Even though I had a great trip overseas, it is great to be back home — thank you to everyone who travelled with me in prayer, and for those who were landed with extra work as a result of me being away!
Well the week that I left it was at least 35 degrees in the city bowl, so you will understand that my system was in shock when I landed in Minnesota to sub-zero temperatures, getting to as low as -17 degrees at one point during my visit.
In fact the day after I arrived my hosts thought it would be a good idea for me to try cross-country skiing to acclimatise. I thought so too! I figured because I could down-hill ski that cross-country skiing should be a breeze. Before clicking into my skis I looked with envy at the experienced cross-country skiers gliding briskly and effortlessly across the smooth, white carpet of snow. I pictured myself soon imitating them. In short, I was confident.
My friend advised that I stick to the cross-country track (two parallel ruts in the snow that help to direct one’s skis). I admit when I heard this I thought to myself that I was being unnecessarily stifled. After ignoring the advice I soon found myself “slip sliding away” down the broad path of aimlessness — with no control to stop myself. Humbled I decided to take the advice and get into the track that I now realised was there to enable, rather than curtail my freedom. I soon became very appreciative of those who had gone before, who had carved out the track in the first place.
As we start our Lenten journey I suggest that we step into the carved-out tracks of the faithful who have gone before us, and be increasingly deliberate in our devotion to Jesus. To enter the track of prayerful silence and reading the Scriptures not just to be informed, but transformed. To hunger for justice for another human being who has been wronged, and to share mercy with someone who has wronged us. To live in reverent relationship with creation by preserving our natural resources.
This track is for our freedom! Alan
Sunday 13 March 2011
This is the second of a four part look into the concept of Choosing Life. It is well advised you watch last week’s video before this one.
We use a method of textual analysis to see what different pieces of scripture mean by looking at them through different guises. Last week we ask the question: ‘What does the text say about human beings’? This week we ask the question ‘what do we learn about God from reading the text’?
This past Tuesday we had our first Order of Donkeys’ meeting. This is the name we have given to the Leadership Team at CMM, reminding us of that old, old story, and our single most important task is to humbly carry Jesus into this city.
We realize that in order for us to faithfully carry Jesus in this city our most important task is to safeguard and grow our relationship with Jesus through prayer and reflection on the Scriptures, together. We have therefore not only committed to hold each other accountable to prayer and devotion, but also agreed to meet at CMM on a Sunday morning at 9am before the service to pray together. This actually may be the most important decision the Order of Donkey’s ever makes! This is open to everyone!! How good it would be if we could all gather for prayer practice at 9am before the service.
Wednesday Church is alive and nourishing. Remember none of us can survive longer than three days without water. Wednesday Church promises living-water to inspire, challenge and comfort. Once again how awe-some it would be if all us met midweek to worship God and grow as a Christ-centered Community. See you there, Alan.
Our lives are ruled by fear. If you live South Africa, the high walls are symbolic of the fear of what lives outside. Jobs we deplore that have good benefits are symbolic of our fear of not having security.
Yet, when we look beyond the walls of our homes, and embrace our neighbours and strangers, something beautiful happens. When we quit high paying occupations to pursue financially risky activities that bring us to life, something beautiful happens. We love those around us, and we love who we become.
And so, if we want to be saved, and we want to be loved, why are we slaves of our fears?