Sunday, 1 December 2013

What if ...... ?

I have become increasingly concerned about how stuck we as Christians can get, with our own traditions, with our own view of God, with our own interpretation of Scripture. At times this strikes me as arrogant, as if we know everything, or even the mind of Christ. I have just finished reading Barbara Brown Taylor's book 'Leaving Church'. It charters her own decision to leave full time Christian ministry after 20 years to pursue God outside the institution. For one who has given her life to a similar path it is deeply challenging, particularly as now it is 25 years since I gave up the normal world of work for serving in the church. The challenge is however interspersed with insights which resonate with me, discoveries I too have made - particularly that God cannot be found in a box or Christian experience, at any one time held up as the definitive answer. Life is but a journey of exploration, when we think we have found something that deepens our spirituality in one direction, by keeping looking we find something else somewhere else. Advent is a time of looking, searching for meaning once again in the incarnation, that profound yet simple story of God coming to us. An intrusion that the religious did not welcome. So my Advent pondering this year take the form of 'What if....' I will challenge myself as I ponder and pray on these and hope I will challenge others too. Day 1 - what if there had been room in the inn?

1 comment:

  1. Your question at the end raises so many others. What if 'inn' is a mistranslation for 'guest-room' or 'upper room'? How do we escape the myth perpetuated by nativity plays and so many carols that Jesus was born in a stable? What if Joseph's relatives actually did welcome Mary and Joseph into a family home whose guest room was full but who were willing for them to share with the family (and their animals) on the ground floor? What if the welcome was there for the baby but turned to rejection as that baby grew up and presented challenges that could not be easily stomached? What if we humans really did welcome Jesus and his message? What if we welcomed God and the kingdom plans that may be very different from our plans?