reload The Race by Maurice McCracken

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Letting it all sink in

posted by Little Mo | Permalink | 6 comments
Again, I have been ages: and this is a sort of break from my 1 Corinthians talks, but I have been busy/away.

Currently I am in the states, Ohio to be exact coming to the weddings of a couple of friends, who have conveniently decided to get married a week apart from each other in the same place!
I spent Sunday catching up with a good friend, which got me thinking...

I think if I was to sum up what 1 Corinthians 12-14 was teaching me, after a couple of months reflection, it wouldn't be that the gifts are there to teach us Jesus is Lord, or even that love is more important than gifts (true as these things undoubtedly are) but that the body of Christ is there to teach me and to model to each other, the nature of God himself. Every command in those chapters, it seems to me, is rooted in the trinitarian understanding of God, and the things we do are to reflect and help us understand that, to model and grasp the way God has acted towards us,

Just now and again I guess you really experience that. Like I said, I spent Sunday catching up with a great friend who used to be part of my church. As we talked about grace, about struggles, about what we like about each other and also what we see needs to change in each other; as he affirmed me as a friend and brother, I found myself overwhelmed with gratefulness. I am incredibly grateful for our friendship, but as we spent time together, my heart started welling up in praise for the Gospel: because in this friendship with this Christian brother, different as we are, I experienced and grasped a small bit of the way God has treated me in the Gospel. I found myself thinking "this friendship is making me more into the person that God wants me to be, it is making me love, it is making me put Jesus as Lord". THAT is what 1 Corinthians 12-14 is all about. I think. In my humble opinion.

Recently I had a small and friendly bit of argy bargy with a colleague who told me I was being too reductionistic in my view of discipleship in saying it is all about teaching and learning grace. Well, depends what you mean by teaching and depends what you mean by learning. Discipleship is not just about listening to talks about two ways to live and trying to put them into practice by being good and doing evangelism. It is, however all about learning and living grace. But that happens in so many ways, as the Bible's truth sinks in to us through it's demonstration in the life of others. Learning grace and trusting it happens in our shared life together.

I really miss my friend Brodie - as we talked in the park in the pretty university town in South West Ohio we both shed a few tears (big men that we are - sorry Brodie to publish your weeping ways on the internet) The challenge I came away with was to see this level of modelling the nature of God and the Gospel happen with Christians I see all the time, and especially in my church. We have a long way to go. Praise God for teaching getting it to sink in through the blessing of my good friend.

PS. I wrote this on a mac - what cool computers they are: I am really tempted to christen my credit card by getting one here!