Thursday, February 28, 2013

See I Am Doing A New Thing

Sometimes what you know about God can stop you from discovering what you need to know about God today.

Sometimes the revelation of Jesus you have already received can stop you from receiving the revelation of himself that Jesus wants to share with you today.

One of the things Jo and I know – not simply as head knowledge but as lived experience; not information, but transformation – is that God is faithful.

We don’t need to learn what we already know. And while it is good to share what you have discovered with others, you don’t need to keep going back over things. The foundation of your house doesn’t need to be checked on every day. Of course, there may be times when the earth quakes and you are reminded that the foundations are good. And yes, sometimes foundations do need attention. But there is a whole house to explore, to furnish, to decorate, to live in, to throw parties in...

The thing about houses is that ours tends to come with my job. My current post comes to an end in June (at the latest) and we don’t yet know where we will be living then.

We have found ourselves in a similar place before, when the thing Jesus wanted to reveal to us turned out to be his faithfulness. In the place we find ourselves in, it would be easy to see this as a reinforcement measure...but that would be a mistake. Although we have moved around many times over the years, we have not made the upcoming move before. Jesus doesn’t want to remind us of his faithfulness; he wants to show us something else, to do a new thing. But that known faithfulness can easily become a mantra that reinforces what we already know to the exclusion of what we might discover.

The other night we were travelling home late, having spent the evening with friends. On a fence post on the side of the road, we saw a barn owl: something we see from time to time on that journey, that we look out for and enjoy, but hadn’t seen for a while. The following day was full of sunshine and warmth, the garden a riot of crocuses (crocii?).

Little things; but the situation we are in, which had felt for me a holding on as testimony to God’s faithfulness, feels very different: as if, in letting go our grip on what we know our hand is open to receive something new.

With Jesus, information tends to follow experience as explanation, rather than precede it in preparation. We don’t know where we will be moving, but we are experiencing a revelation of God’s gratuitous goodness, and playful sense of fun.

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