Tuesday, January 03, 2006

1st post 2006

L I S T E N carefully, my child, to your master's precepts, and incline the ear of your heart.
These words of Proverbs 4:20 "Dear friend, listen well to my words; tune your ears to my voice." [The Message] are the opening words of the Rule of Benedict for a new year. It goes on...
Receive willingly and carry out effectively your loving father's advice, that by the labor of obedience you may return to Him from whom you had departed by the sloth of disobedience.
These opening sentences bring into focus the twin reminders of listening and obedience. It's listening that I want to reflect on.
Benedict quotes Proverbs as saying, “Listen.”
John in Revelation 2:7 [The Message] says, “Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches. I'm about to call each conqueror to dinner. I'm spreading a banquet of Tree-of-Life fruit, a supper plucked from God’s orchard.
That refrain runs through out the pages of the Bible.
In other words, pay attention, attend to the important things in life, let nothing go by without being open to being nourished by the inner meaning of that event in life. If we do not live life consciously, are we really living?

One part of spirituality, is learning to be aware of what is going on around us and allowing ourselves to feel its effects. If we live in an environment of corporate greed or personal violence, we can’t grow from it spiritually until we allow ourselves to recognize it. At the same time, another key aspect of spirituality, is learning to hear what God wants in any given situation and being quick to respond to that, to “welcome it and faithfully put it into practice.” To see the greed or sense the violence without asking what the Gospel expects in such a situation, is not spirituality. We need to hold these in balance or better yet, in tension, being very much aware of what God is doing in us and around us – let’s never be so proud that we forget that God is as much at work around us as he is in us.

In this new year, let’s live with eyes wide open – to God and what he is doing – to the world and it’s hurts and its beauty. Steve Taylor has writen:
"...the Spirit of God in the Bible is heaven-bent on blowing away domestication. In the Old Testament, the Spirit is ruach, the wind of God. In the Middle-East, this ruach is the wind that blasts grit through desert gully, spitting sand against the worn rock. It is a wild, primal, and powerful wind. In the New Testament, the Spirit moves the Church beyond walls, beyond culture. It is a wind that blows beyond ones comfort zone. Always the Spirit is in the world.

Blow Spirit blow
through this world
through our lives


The Righteousness of God said...

Been in the weather observation booth . . . . and here is my report: "Well Jim...I have 'listened' and 'seen' more excitement in the Sargasso Sea. I certainly am up for a bout of watching the paint dry as the next part of my assignment."

Anonymous said...

thanks for quoting me. the quote actually comes from my book, the out of bounds church? learning to create a community of faith in a culture of change, zondervan 2005.

steve taylor

Scott said...

Thought provoking comment by Steve Taylor.

For a minute I thought Steve Taylor had written something that wasn't satirical for a change, but now I realize it's another Steve. Anyway, gotta go listen to "I want to be a Clone"....