Repeatedly allowing ourselves to be challenged by beauty helps deepen our soul’s capacity to find joy in it.
How can anyone, especially counselors and pastors, hope to have healthy relationships with our people when we find it hard to… relate?
When we think about the journey of Christian transformation most of the time we want things to change quickly for the better.
If I could turn back time, I, probably like you, would most likely not ask for the gift of suffering in my life. I can truthfully say, though, that it has been a treasured gift and one I would never want to return!
I have been struggling with tasting, with swallowing, with eating, and definitely with seeing ANYTHING as good.
The church is his eyes to see people. It is his arms to hold people. It is his hands and feet to serve people. It is his legs to move towards people. It is his back to help carry the load. It is his mouth to speak love into people.
What if all of my failures, partial finishes, inconsistencies, and shameful secrets are access points from my story to God’s love?
The point here is that what Jesus is offering is a connection so deep and life giving that the only way to begin to describe it is with water and intimacy. Life and meaning are only found completely satisfying as we find both in relation to our Creator.
Who do we see Jesus confront with their sin in the Bible? Religious people who already think they are righteous friends of God. How does Jesus respond to the rest of us? Check out the 4th chapter in the Gospel of John, the famous story of Jesus and the woman at the well.
For me this is a marvelous example of how Jesus handles our shame.
Depicting Christ as a frail moralist unconcerned with those who follow him misses the target all together. Many people that I talk to more or less think of Jesus in this way. Somehow they’ve come to believe that Christ is more or less a divine Santa Claus: watching them continuously, and keeping track of good and bad deeds but instead of presents or coal, their actions add up to riches or retribution in the life to come.