Getting back to our roots


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“All I want is for you to be the you I met and married!”  Ouch!

If change is inevitable – and it is – why is my changing so often for the worse?  What do I “put on” that makes me less than I was?  What do I “take-off” that others see as the “me” stuff?

Perhaps knowledge and experience.

I know more and I have done more so I meet each moment with less excitement and more complacency.  Or perhaps a shift in my priorities so that what was important is now periphery.

“All I want is for you to be the you I met and married!”

How can I be the same me when so much has happened in between then and now?

Jesus said to his disciples, “Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here at once and take your place at the table’?  Would you not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink’?  Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded?  So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!'” Luke 17:7-10

Ouch!

I always listened to that “This is the Word of the Lord – praise be to God!” in church and rolled my eyes.

Really God … ?  We are “slaves” at your beck and command … we have no relationship with you other than this very clear “pecking order” … ?  We are to “carry a cross” … live with duty and service and obligation and all that “change for the worse” stuff … ?

“All I want is for you to be the you I met and married!”

Cate b made a comment that sparked this whole post (thank you Cate): “I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. 😁 and my husband loves me for being me.” Teaching the Way

That comment was preceded by this: “I’ve spent many a day, or years, rethinking my Christianity.  We are the church.  We are the church.  Each of us who choose to believe.  I cannot separate myself and “join” a club and buy the T-shirt.  I don’t mind attending and receiving and loving on great people – but don’t put me in a box.”

Ouch!

I think back to the day I exploded with a relationship that has become stronger since.  Then it was a very simple relationship: the biblical God Jesus Spirit and I had come together as One.  What could be simpler than that?

But a biblical God Jesus without any of the “theology” and “isms” that I have since become familiar with.  A God Jesus now draped in “I believe this and that and the other“.  A God Jesus to be defended.  A God Jesus to be my scoreboard.  My performance against others.  In a church and Body of Christ that can be very unforgiving.  That ejects non-conformity as my body ejects viruses.  A “body” using biblical “false teaching” as “purity” justification.

“But don’t put me in a box.”

We box God, we box ourselves, we box others … The “unchurched” … “the poor” … the Pharisees … other faiths … other denominations … other’s beliefs and non-beliefs.  We seek out those who agree with us … distance ourselves from those who don’t …  And then “come closer” to those unlike us with “outreach” …. “engaging with” …  “mission” …  All requiring “safeguarding” … “health and safety” …. needing “funding” and “budgets” …. Which needs “head office” and “committee” oversight …. Because all of “that” requires “resource prioritisation”.

So these verses …

Now I think Jesus is saying over and over …  “All I want is for you to be the you I met and married!”

The “real me” for whom relationship was simple, was in the moment, was OF the moment, had no strings attached, no fitting-in necessary, no “oversight” needed …

Because isn’t that what this eternal “church debate” … “bums on seats counting” … is really all about … this “Getting Back To Our Roots” … ?  And isn’t “the eternal dilemma” really very simple … ?

Isn’t it simply relinquishing control?

That “seniority” counts for nothing … that “hierarchy” counts for nothing … that all the “institutional structure” we so love to create and refine … all of “THAT” is what gets in the way?

And isn’t THAT what the “This is the Word of the Lord – praise be to God” teaches as not just necessary – but what ALL of this is ALL about?

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