. . . In his heart, "There is no God!"
Yet today in the encounters this was clearly untrue for God, like many other things, is to be found should one have the eyes to see Him.
Many years ago whilst walking with a friend in the country I realised that they we seeing so many things I wasn't - or to put it another way - I was not seeing what they saw. I asked them how It was that they saw so much when I saw so little and was told that I had never learnt to look!
Isn't this the problem with our 'post. hristian' world today? In days past, accepting the concept and presuming the reality of God, people would have eyes which saw Him and His works. Today we have become blind to the things around us, choosing not to see (or perhaps they are merely unable) what is around them.
Today began, as ever with the daily Office and after some forlorn shuffling of paper saw an early Communion service. How is it that some fail to get excited by the psalms such that we are slowly seeing them exit from our worship? The very first thing we say in our midweek service is the Psalm - and some days we gasp and other days we dance, but we are never left unmoved. The temptation to cry, "Hallelujah," is immense and compelling in the extreme.
The creation of tosh as an outworking of our own desires and attitudes is so great. Never is this statement so true than when it comes to matters of belief for here we find the logically doubtful rubbing shoulder with the awe-inspiringly glorious!
Do I do that?
Are there irrational assumptions made alongside the Christian speaking esoterica which confuses and counfounds?
Recalling the essay thrown back because it was 'too theological' and my protests that theology was what it was only to be met with a rebuff which led me to realise that for my theology to be real I needed it to be done in less theological tones such that it could be read by the non-theological. A fellow student protested that it was 'dumbing down' and yet, although the theological terms allow one word where many would be needed, they also, in that one word, alienate and confuse.
So Lord help me to be an apologist (sorry, I meant 'give an answer for the hope that I have in Jesus, the Christ') and to engage with those who are both near and far off. Help me to explain the deepest truths simple, and the simple truths deeply. To make the difficult things of God simple and the simple commonplace.
Help me to visit friends and minister that same Grace that sets me free and makes us one; to never see a client but a brother or sister; to never hide behind the answerphone or the email but to engage as Christ engaged, and engages still.
Funerals and the visits, the legwork, the paperwork, are to be found in abundance and the grim spectre of those not laid to rest before the Bethlehem bit arrives is before us. The chairs, empty around festive tables, will shout of loss. O death where is your sting: O grave, where is your victory?
Nativities and Christingle, carols and mulled wine are racing towards us. Not my busy time, just my more visible time. And who will they see? Those who tell me they are busy rarely are! Those who are never seen are rarely seen working! Which is the truth for me (for many I know can take care of their own attitudes and rarely welcome question or observation from others) and how do I make it Your truth?
Lord, for the encounters had today - may those around me have find the Christ in some measure.
For the decisions and suggestions made today, may Your wisdom and life have been present..
Create in me a pure heart and an honesty that speaks in the silence.
May the Grace of God abound and the light of Christ be obvious in all that I do. Thank you for the meetings made, the Communion (and glow sticks) given and the good cups of tea received. Bring it on today and help me as I lay loved ones to rest I pray.
And may I touch the hearts of the foolish :-)