Archive for

January, 2012


Good and bad

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Big principles. Friendship, love, forgiveness, peace lie at the heart of the Christian life.

 Image credits: Incompetech and Nac, reused under CC license

So we strive to live our lives according to those principles; and share this message with others. We sometimes feel at a loss when their worth does not seem to impress on other people. Or when suffering abounds within relationships.

In those cases, we should remember three things:

  • that, in the end, God will make all things work together for our good
  • that we should not judge lest we be judged in turn
  • that our understanding is, and will always be limited, and that there is a time for everything.

Dismissing the “bad things” – war, hate – as not ordained, or coming from the Enemy, is a way to not let them inform who we are, even when they can be part of God’s plans.

Should we also refrain from shouting out against social and societal issues on such a basis?

When we take on the role of prophets, do we do so out of our own understanding of what is “right”, or are we inspired to do so?

What is “right” is not a knowledge. It is when what we do comes from our hearts and is done out of love and compassion, in prayer, that we are doing what is right.

Praying at all times?

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Image by davedhetre reused under CC license

The story of Jesus calming the storm can be read on many levels: at the most basic, it is a display of Jesus’s authority over the storm. On a different level, we can draw parallels with prayer. Looking closer, we notice that Jesus rebukes his disciples when they wake him.

Puzzlement follows. Why should he rebuke his disciples when all they do is give over the matters to him? When they place their trust in him?

There are two elements:

  1. They turn to Jesus when they are most afraid. Only as a last resort, almost reluctantly.
  2. They actually are afraid. This is where we must keep in mind that it is Jesus who suggested the trip.

Praying at all times is important. It is a privilege, and the way to know the peace that comes from God. This should be done in thanksgiving, and in complete confidence that God will see us through.

But in this story, the disciples had to wake up Jesus, because they feared – feared that the plan he had set would not come through. In doing so, they did not recognise that Jesus had authority over all.

When the going gets tough, we sometimes feel like we must pray – “pray until something happens”. Should we do so, or should we simply trust God has heard our prayers?

Still, there is another lesson to be drawn from this story. Jesus woke up. Even when we wake up God for no serious reason, he calms us and the storm.