It’s cold in Melbourne now. August is here. By the end of this month we will get the first intimations of warmer air coming down from the north. By September we will enjoy more puffs of Warm and maybe even the first thunderstorm of note. Death and rebirth are written into the seasons. Already the flowing plums are stating their witness to life. Every year pink buds on a certain tree reveal their colours to announce the coming spring and the rebirth of warm.
In his book ‘Falling Upward’ Robert Rohr talks of the bounties of being undone, the virtue of failure, the height that follows the pit and the resurrection that can follow the death of the self. He notes that it is a pattern of life or more accurately the pattern of those who advance continually into life without limit. This is the pattern Jesus entered. The pattern Jesus established as the new and living way to enter the new creation. In Him, which is in life, we have the constant privilege of new birth and new creation in our present life. Christ in you is not only the hope of glory. It is our ever present and emerging glory that can be ours every day.
Years ago I read Rev. Gordon Moyes’ declaration that ‘Christianity is not a religion. It is a person.’ I had already sensed this having realised that I had spent a lot of effort drinking the milk carton instead of the milk. I read this from his book Discovering Jesus when I myself was half-dead with personal trauma and desperate to find a new and living way.
Well you can, There is a living way. It has a name and He is REAL.
Robert Rohr writes, ‘The death and resurrection of Jesus was necessary to create Christianity. The loss and renewal pattern is so constant and ubiquitous that it should hardly be called a secret at all. Yet it is still a secret, probably because we do not want to see it. We do not want to embark on a further journey if it feels like going down, especially after we have put so much sound and fury into going up. This is surely the first and primary reason why many people never get to the fullness of their own lives. The supposed achievements of the first half of life have to fall apart and show themselves to be wanting in some way, or we will not move further. Why would we?’ As a result many plod in circles. They don’t see the elephant in the room of their long held ideas. They cannot see it because its giant bulk is sitting on them and suffocating them with darkness.
I don’t just make this stuff up. The Lord puts seeds into my mind that He wants me to set forth in these posts. This is not because I am particularly holy or known for great piety. But it is because I am fixated on Him, on life and on His life in particular. I’m impatient of humbug posing as holiness and rubbish masquerading as religion. I will not settle for bits of life when what’s on offer is so simple, extravagant and abundant. The religious life that many of us live in His name is a terrible, cumbersome, institutionalised, distortion of what He means as the Kingdom of Life. It doesn’t have to be this ugly, contrived or discombobulated!
Father is far nicer than most of us think. Jesus is Himself and not a compilation of what many of us think He is. God loves us as we are and not as we think we should be. Father’s passion is not morals or performance – it is you! Stop working on receiving Jesus into your life and rest in the fact that you have been received into His. You’ll have more joy and your wife and family will find you a lot nicer person to live with!