Monday, May 23, 2011

A Christ -centred faith

today's Gospel reading for Holy Communion is John 14.21-26

There's an important message in today's reading. Elsewhere in the Gospels we have heard Jesus say that we must love God and love our neighbour. Today he tells his disciples that:

Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me .

Jesus tells his disciples what they must do if they are to know God's love ... they must love Jesus. More, Jesus says how it is that people are to love him. They are to keep his word, which is also the word of his Father.  Loving God has been bound up with loving Jesus and doing God's will has been bound up with hearing and obeying the word that Jesus speaks.

To state the glaringly obvious, ours is a Christ-centred faith. The Word was made flesh and that Word must take root in our hearts, so that our lives become a constant hymn of praise, the notes of which are our every thought, word, and deed being in tune with the word of Jesus. And quite frankly that is not something that I think comes easily.

It takes hard work.

The work of making prayer a part of your daily routine even when you have a thousand other things pressing for your attention ... and even when you're not in the mood for praying; perhaps especially then. The work of regular worship, of getting up on a Sunday morning to be part of a worshipping community even when you've had a late evening the night before, or when there's a bunch of other things that you might do with the time in your busy weekend schedule. The work of incorporating the word into your daily life and doing the right thing - saying the kind word, doing the good deed, sharing with those less fortunate, foregoing the things that call to you because you know they are not consonant with the faith that you profess.

Looking at that (admittedly only partial) list makes me realise that it's even harder than I thought! But it's what we have to do if loving Jesus is to be anything more than just something we say we do.

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