Lent for me this year started in my favourite school with some of my favourite people to work with, on the day of the week which if often one of the highlights, or favourites, of my week. I never wake up on a Wednesday and feel I don’t want to get out of the house … I can’t say that for everyday, but I guess who can!
For me, starting Lent in the real world, with real people who don’t necessarily do the God thing felt to be incredibly right and correct. I don’t use the ‘love’ word lightly because I firmly believe it describes an incredibly strong emotion. I also feel the word ‘love’ is overused and so has become devalued. It seems to me that if a person says that they ‘love’ everything then in reality they ‘love’ nothing. But … I love Wednesdays, and have done for the last year … as I get to hang out with some pretty incredible people.
Along with some people from the gathering I am following the Just Love Lent book from Church Urban Fund. I have committed to trying to write something with the gathering once a week using this book as basis. This is this weeks posts and will appear on the gathering facebook page as well.
I have been challenged by some of what I have read in this weeks chapter. The first theme is ‘spiritual and embodied love’.
The book makes some pretty bold and challenging statements:
‘when we love we do not simply imitate God. We participate in God’s very life.‘
‘Our daily actions will form us more and more into‘ (actually the book says ‘should’ but I am not sure I hold with the should statement. I’m not sure I follow a Christ who ever tells me what I ‘Should’ do … instead I follow a Christ who loves me and marvels at what I do in response to that love – which is pretty amazing in itself as I do little!
I love the concept, but am having a challenge getting my head around that first quote. When we love, say the writers, … we don’t just follow God’s example, but we actually become part of God. Jesus showed us how to love, and he leaves a manifesto in Matthew 5. When we join in this kind of love, it is then that we join in God’s own life.
The chapter ends with a challenging question… ‘how do we embody God’s love faithfully and generously?’
So … how do we …. comments?