Bit of a time-warp again with the lectionary. Which prompted this …
My experience of church is that teachers are attracted to church. I trained to be teacher years ago. I found out that qualifications and academia were my push. Teaching and I never met in the arena of qualifications.
What I have learned since is that teachers as a group need things. Usually before change happens. To see the conclusion. To know how to reach the conclusion. To reach consensus for both. To have a teaching plan. Because teaching is a vocation. Teaching and hierarchy is an extension of a teacher’s living. And teachers are as much in denial as I am. We all want someone to believe in us.
Time-warp!! Even though I am still in the stable, these verses are in the empty tomb … Mary and a day not yet begun. Simon Peter and the disciple whom Jesus loved (more). The race to the empty tomb. The hesitancy. The rushing in. The neatly folded head wrappings. And he saw and believed.
I wonder if the disciple whom Jesus loved (more) was a teacher. A need to take us through the process to belief. A need to see the conclusion. A need for you and I to journey those same lessons. To discover the same truths. And to be able to say “I believe” as we believers say together.
“I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.”
I wonder if we are trained to see the bible as a teaching aid. I wonder if we are taught to not spread the Good News, to not share the Gospel, and to not make disciples. I wonder if we are taught to teach the Good News, to teach the Gospel, to teach others how to be disciples – to teach others to say “I believe”.
I found that being taught to say: “I believe (in what you believe in) … ” is my push. It keeps me in the arena of qualification. I have found that belief and being are different. I have found that belief and relationship are not the same. I have found that believing in love and loving are not just different languages – they don’t exist in the same universe. And I have found that not to be the consensus.
I believe the bible is my tapestry threaded with my God. I believe in finding my God who may not be the God you walk with today. For you and I are not the same you and I as yesterday. And our God meets you and I where you and I are today. I believe that when you teach me, you teach me where you are today, and I believe I believe that. But I may not meet God as you teach me to meet God. And I may believe in your God and I may believe in you. But might you be teaching me how to meet your God, might you be teaching me how not to meet my God? Might you be teaching me about love, might you be teaching me I don’t need to know – I don’t need to become – love?
“He saw and believed.”
Do you notice that none of these peeps saw me, Paul? Not in that moment. Do you notice how you are taught to think “I believe they did”?
I am still in the stable with baby Jesus right now. I am not ready to believe in your God right now. My God is so tender and small. So vulnerable. So needy. So innocent. So perfect. I want to hold this baby for ever. I want to waddle with this baby for ever. I want to be this vulnerable for ever, for I am this needy in so many moments. And I can be this innocent always if you let me.
Will you let me?