Sunday, October 24, 2010

The first thing I noticed in church this morning was ...

Ben's green shoes. Ben's very green shoes.

That aside it was an excellent morning - and that's not something I say very often.

When I arrived I wasn't really there and it took me a while to tune it. Frequently I don't succeed but the worship was appropriate and good and then Sue explained the Palestine Israel situation using the analogy of a quilt - and that suddenly made sense.

And then Ben came to speak about the beatitudes - part of the sermon on the mount and the bit that goes along the lines Blessed are the ..., and he was really excellent. Very challenging and thought-provoking.

Jesus said blessed are the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers and those who are persecuted. A list so far removed from what is me that it had me squirming.

It's what I aspire to - sometimes. Other times I don't even bother to try. The public face of my Christianity can be so different from the private me. So I could have come away feeling totally condemned and guilty, and possibly driven away from God rather than drawn closer, had Ben not ended by saying that the gap between private and public can only be filled by the grace of God.

Yes, Christianity is about being transformed but for me and lots of us that transformation will be a lifetime task. And God knew that. That's why we need Jesus to step in the gap.

Thank God for Jesus.

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