Worthy?

That’s my Father! Sure, my eyes had run through Revelation 4 before and gazed with wonder at the awesome One on the Throne before. This time was different. My Bible was closed and I sat in the swirling clouds of despondency, low confidence and feelings of worthlessness that have surrounded me for as long as I can remember. Suddenly, the thought burst through the gloom: T Continue reading

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Emetic

It is so easy to strut around as if I have all God’s light to myself. It is too easy to stop my ears to the gasps of others who glimpsed a side of God different to the one I see. Religion, so often, speaks to my desire for certainty. I am frail, timid, naked even and so I knit garments of fundamental belief, drink elixirs of hastily mixed verses and puff my chest out with self-congratulatory pride. Continue reading

What You Need

I have lived with an au pair, cook, nurse, teacher, confidante, chauffeur, counsellor and disciplinarian. All these were my mother. She has been what I needed her to be at that exact moment. She has been all that and a whole lot more. She is my father’s wife, my brother’s mother, her patient’s nurse and midwife. There are lots of other relationships she has with other people, interacting with them in ways she and I never could. Continue reading

You Are The Light. Shine Bright

“You are the light of the world.” Us? It’s a scandal. Here we are, struggling along just like everybody else. Get close enough to any of us to peer past our perfect perfumed smiles and you will see that none of us has it together. If Jesus wants to brighten up this dark world, He should install better lighting.

But… Continue reading

Fearless Trembling

We’ve become a little too nonchalant about Jesus. In our songs and conversations, we have reduced Him to a permissive accomplice, a smiling confidante in constant agreement with our every whim.

He is an eviscerated Christ, mutilated by our pride. It is our pride that’s behind it all. Why else would we define boundless love as unchallenging approval if we weren’t obsessed with puffing ourselves up? If, as our mantra says, Jesus fully understands and loves us, He then should challenge us to be and do better. That would involve a lot of tough conversations.

Of course, in Jesus, the Divine has been encapsulated into accessible humanity. Jesus comes to us at our level but we should always remember that He is stooping. His total humility cannot obscure His terrific condescension. He is like us but a whole lot more.

Revelation is meant to be taken seriously. That’s why John’s vision of Jesus was so striking as to make him fall flat on his face. As I heard Sigve Tonstad say, “Revelation is meaningful because understanding is possible.” Quivering fear stands in the way of understanding and so Jesus must bid John, “Don’t be afraid.”

Somebody ought to forward that memo to dour-faced evangelists bent on striking hearts with fear. Revelation is meant to inspire obedience springing from understanding. They need to learn humility too because their prophetic charts and proof texts can lead them to trust in their limited knowledge of the future instead of the Jesus who holds it.

We need to keep the balance between the “God out there” and the “God in my heart”. Both perspectives are true but both have pitfalls: fear and presumption. The line between fear and reverence is a frightfully thin one but we can and need to tremble before Jesus without fearing Him. This is only possible if we behold Him as He is revealed.
 

Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash