Joining this spiritual Royal Family


There is a phrase: “The Royal “we”” – the use of the corporate “we” when talking about “family business”. I keep bumping into that in prayers. When “we bring” this and “we offer” that and “we pray for this” and “we pray for that”.

I bumped into that thought (as I used the same “royal we” in those open prayers of intimacy) during a gathering that was both challenging and intimate. The first step in a journey together – from “followers to friends”. Stepping together with the One who connects us all.

“All I have known is (this brand name denomination) for five decades. The language we use (in this denomination) is my language. And what you call “labels” and “church speak” is how I speak. I use the words I use because they are all I know – and they are what I believe – they are legitimate words.”

A paraphrase of something said.  At least two of us feeling unsafe.  Or is that “challenged” – and is that different from being unsafe?

There was “a fog” at that point. A sense of not knowing where this was going, why all these questions and challenges, why no obvious reason for another’s discomfort, why such “nit picking” on language we all use all the time … the language of the spiritual Royal Family to which we each belong.

We have a Royal Family in the UK.  The struggles of the spouses marrying into the Royal Family come to mind. The struggles of “why?” … why the “fighting the establishment” … the pain of the “nods and winks” of a language I will never master … of those who assume I will (and can and should) … of assuming I too will put aside my own sense of right and wrong .. my own experience and my own moral compass for “the good of the family” .. the growing frustration of “is this as good as it gets?”

We have a number of royal marriages that have crumbled under that duress. All recorded and charted in great detail in the global news media.  Royal Families splitting asunder is big juicy news!

I wonder if the twelve disciples had the same kinds of conversations as they sat around the camp fire night after night with Jesus. I wonder if the “sameness” of these “issues” happens generation after generation – each generation working through “relationship issues” with God and each other. I wonder how the twelve disciples digested and chewed over what they had seen and heard each day – these followers to friends – this kind of seeing and hearing:

“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.’ Then the Pharisees said to him, ‘You are testifying on your own behalf; your testimony is not valid.’ Jesus answered, ‘Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid because I know where I have come from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. You judge by human standards; I judge no one. Yet even if I do judge, my judgement is valid; for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. In your law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is valid. I testify on my own behalf, and the Father who sent me testifies on my behalf.’ Then they said to him, ‘Where is your Father?’ Jesus answered, ‘You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.’ He spoke these words while he was teaching in the treasury of the temple, but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.” John 8:12-20

In the bad old days when black was black and white was white – when knowing right from wrong was easy-peasy – when it was always the Pharisees wot done it, guv’nor!  The Pharisees who (obviously) no longer exist – but are forever branded as the bad boys of the bible.   I wonder –

Can age and experience – the length of time we have been doing something – our proficiency in something … can that be a hindrance to anything (if we allow)?

Can being “a Christian” for decades be as much a “hindrance” as having rejected the Lord and church for those same decades? Is this much-lauded “maturity in Christ” – which always seems to be measured in years of “coming to the Lord” – just another self-imposed obstacle to closer relationship (if we allow)?

And is “being around” a certain type of “Christian” a good thing or not? And why do we prefer to be around Christians so much? Why do we not see Christ in each living creation – maybe dormant – maybe silent – maybe screaming love in words we do not recognise as “the love of God” – a love and language that sees denomination – sees “religion” – as too constricting?

And when we come together in love – just who is my relationship with?  When the disciples came together night after night – away from the hustle and bustle of “ministry” – who was their relationship with?

And why did Jesus choose that way?  A small number – a “core” – a bunch of non-obvious “spouses” joining this spiritual Royal Family.  Where was all the “why” stuff?  Where was the common language they had to learn?  Where was all the putting aside individuality in favour of the corporate “we”?  Because they were also the product of “bad religion” – they also had the temple industry and the “Temple Tradition” (just as we have our own “Christian Tradition”).  They had “issues” – they had “but it is complicated” (much more than us!) – they had challenges – they felt unsafe from time to time (probably most of the time).

So just why did God Soft Hands Jesus “make disciples” that way – and why do we so rarely (even though we love to quote “The Great Commission”)?

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10 thoughts on “Joining this spiritual Royal Family

  1. “The Pharisees who (obviously) no longer exist”…not so sure about that, which is why I think you and so many of us tend not to feel safe when we approach with questions or new thoughts or ideas.
    Why so many entrenched in “the way we’ve always done it” tend not to feel safe when approached with questions or new thoughts or ideas.

    And we all need to pray to, depend upon, and allow the Spirit of the Father and GSHJ to open our hearts and minds to what it is God really wants from us, what direction He really wants us to take…together in unity.

    • Susan, I sense an awakening. Many – here and locally. In odd places and expected places. Lights going on. Little flickering lights – but light is light.

      “All we need to do … ” is all we need to do! 🙂

  2. My dearest brother; (because the Spirit created the bond, not us) I truly had to read this, come back, read it again, and come back and read it again! You know how when you’re cooking, (or Mandy is cooking!) there are times you need to let some sauce, or soup, or stew just simmer? Take stew for instance; you have all that meat, vegetables of different guides, you add some water and then the gravy or sauce. Then you let the flavors, slowly come out of their respective organics and since they are all in the “same pot” they start to mix, and coalesce into something that is oh so much better than the individual parts!! I can’t wait to taste it!
    Oh wait, this is an analogy! It’s the same thing with this article and your questions that cause reflection. Let it simmer a bit more, let me taste it a bit now, how is it coming? Time, pressure, sharing what comes from within each of us; that was Jesus’ way. Put a few people in a pot, let them experience thinking in a new way until what’s on the inside of each starts to come out and mix into something even greater than the individual parts.
    THAT, was the beginning, right there with the 12 and the odd numbers that tagged along, but mainly the 12, where the CHURCH, the true, spiritual, Spirit-filled Church began. Jesus took the base, which was the Word of God, Truth and He added some hearts that were tender, ready to blend with others who knew that the people seeking Truth, needed some fresh “manna,” and not the same old dish they were being given by the religious leaders of their time!
    No, my brother, I don’t imagine those initial 12 felt “safe” very often what with new blends of old ideas and new ways to look at what had been there all along. They probably sensed safety at the feet of the Master, listening, absorbing, simmering with new ideas. But then, they were told to “go out and —–” No not safe at all. But then I pose this question; if the teacher didn’t play it safe, should the student? If the Master is not playing it safe, should the servant? I know Jesus posed that same principle to His followers. It still applies.
    That “new recipe” wouldn’t have become as great as it did, if there wasn’t some heat, some “lack of safe.” We grow when we have to think outside the norm; when we have to act, outside the norm. That is what Christ demands for us to be strong, to be different than the world, and the things the world is willing to compromise with. It doesn’t mean we can stop actively giving love to others, it just means now we do it with understanding, with knowing what the stakes are, so to speak.
    Will you love others, not just for the moment, but into eternity when this flesh is shed? (Not just you brother, this is rhetorical for all of us!). Will you love by doing what is not safe, to try and ensure that you bring along others with you on this road that is neither broad nor winding? Sometimes “straight and narrow” might seem the safest route, but isn’t really; and what when we veer to the right or the left a little? Are we as part of the “stew”‘ willing to reach out and leave the safety of our path, to help another back unto the “straight and narrow” or will we succumb to comfort? That was the difference between the religious leaders of yesteryear and Christ Jesus; it is the difference between many religious leaders today and Christ Jesus.
    I look at it this way today, in a way I couldn’t when I was younger for time DOES give us renewed perspective, but how important is comfort and safety in a span of 60 to 80 years, compared to JOY, PEACE, pure comfort and safety, in the presence of our Heavenly Father for ever and ever and ever into eternity?
    I CHOOSE to take the sometimes harsh, uncomfortable and different approach, if I can help bring others along for the eternal adventure!
    My dearest brother; I LOOK forward to being a part of the product of the “Master Chef” as it were! Come on, don’t be afraid, jump in the pot and anyone else reading this and taking it to heart as well. You’ve already demonstrated in the questions you pose that we are ready for the “final course!”
    Love you brother, God bless you oh so much for your gift and the willingness to put it out there!

    • “They probably sensed safety at the feet of the Master, listening, absorbing, simmering with new ideas. But then, they were told to “go out and —–” No not safe at all. But then I pose this question; if the teacher didn’t play it safe, should the student? If the Master is not playing it safe, should the servant? I know Jesus posed that same principle to His followers. It still applies.”

      Still simmering wonderfully!! ((hugs))

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