Friday, 23 March 2012

The Word that Nourishes us

Recently, I heard a rumour that Saint Matthias National School was reducing to one teacher and the enrolment would be 14 as of the autumn of 2012. As the chairperson of the Board of management, I was caught off guard; currently, Saint Matthias National School has an enrolment of 19, to be 20 before the end of the year, and there are parents who have already expressed their intentions of enrolling young students for the next academic year. In addition, the school knows now that they will have been allotted two teachers and a resources teacher for next year. So the rumours of a school that is closing or dying are untrue, reflecting the imaginations of people who have extracted meaning from small pieces of information, and like any recipe for disaster, taken these small pieces and cooked them into a dooms day prediction.

We humans, as a species, are very skilled at creating something out of nothing. By taking pieces of information, kneading them into a whole, and offering the product as the daily bread for the local community, we direct the trajectory of an entire group of people, amazing! Who would have thought that words could be so powerful, but they are.

Our words chosen carelessly can undo, divide and demolish quicker than any wrecking-ball. Our words chosen carefully, can build up, sustain, and nourish a community into the future.

As we consider the death and resurrection of Jesus, the reality that God brings life out of death, let us remember that Christ is our Good Word, that Word which brings life out of death. Let us also consider how we might construct our own words and conversations to restore life where it seems doomed, to build up those around us when they feel weighed down, and create possibilities of life where others are looking at death

Monday, 5 March 2012

Living in Christ gives us the eyes to see.

One thing that God has planted deep within my own spirit, is the awareness that God desires to bring all people into life at all times, no exceptions.  That means you!  So if you are reading this, you might stop and consider all the ways God is calling you into life.  If you are thinking of the tragedies of your life right now, and how your life is cursed, then stop, just stop and begin in a new place.  Try, as hard as it will be to remember that place, that time, when there was real and genuine blessing in your life, the kind of blessing with no deceit, no manipulation or malice; there in that place you will see God's grace alive and well.  If you could dwell in those moments where you were aware of God's blessing, there life never ends.  But God's salvation for us is no mind game, it is real.
I live in my head a lot, and in my head I try and try to figure things out.  I try to figure life out, I try to figure people out, I try to figure me out, I even try to figure God out.  You know what?  Mostly I get it wrong.  I might get it part right, or even mostly right, but figuring life mostly out is like following a recipe and getting most of the ingredients into it; the finished product will not be what you set out to make.
There is an answer, and that one answer is Christ.  In Christ, when you place your life there, you are given the eyesight of the heart to see into the darkest of life's situations, and see life at work; there, living in Christ, you will see God at work.  Now I cannot understand Christ, I cannot figure out how life is offered there, but I have and do experience the life there that I am speaking about.
So when I lost a niece to cot death, and a dear friend to suicide, and another friend to a tragic disease, there in Christ, living in his grace, my life was and continues to be sustained.  Christ carries me through these dark valleys.
If you have never tried it, I invite you for the next month, to get down on your knees everyday for just a minute or two, and ask dedicate every action, and every breath of your life to Christ.  Then, see where it leads you.  It will only be 30 minutes to one hour out of the next month, but it might be that one hour that makes all the others liveable.
God Bless, and the peace of Christ reign in your heart!