when the shadows come

Its been a while since I posted on my blog. The last couple of months have been challenging but the shadows seem to be dispersing a little, which is encouraging. We are about two thirds of the way through the Foundations course we are running in Balham. Over recent weeks I have had the privilege of facilitating the group we engage with the truth of Jesus our kinsman redeemer and ransom, and in a couple of days we will continue the journey through eternal life.

I have appreciated once again trying to get into the shoes of the disciples during those last weeks and days of their time with Jesus. This morning I realised that I currently identify strongly with Cleopas and his mate walking to Emmaus on the Sunday after Jesus death. They were bewildered. They had expected to see Jesus’ messiahship expressed in specific and tangible, temporal ways – for them it was a revolution and the toppling of Roman oppression of the Jews. But it hadn’t worked out that way. And to make matters worse, events were still unfolding that made no sense at all being completely outside of their frame of reference – the women, and Peter and John all coming back from the tomb with stories of angels, stones rolled away, visions of Jesus himself…. it was all a bit ‘out there’. And, anyway, none of it made up for the fact that their hopes of freedom from oppression had been dashed.

I too from my temporal perspective look to see God’s kindness and grace expressed in life-living every day ways. Often times it is but very often it isn’t and I can find it tricky. In most of these cases all that’s needed is a quick double take and readjustment and I am off and away again, but sometimes my belief can be shaken to the core, or that’s what it feels like, and that’s not so comfortable to live with.

Jesus responds to his disciples with two things, he helps them see reality from God’s eternal perspective. This isn’t simply an intellectual excercise but a process of the heart and mind where revelation leads to understanding. The second thing he does is to breathe on them, imparting his very Spirit and nature into them. Now that he has paid the ransom, the process of redemption unfolds as God himself presences himself in them saying ‘I will never leave you or forsake you’. Here is the eternal grace and kindness of God entering our temporal existence, ready to reveal the myriad expressions of his life and love, his unfolding redemption, his action in the waiting times. Walking with us and transforming our bewilderment into understanding, belief and hope.

In January I posted my reflections on Capital ‘H’ Hope and I think this is what its all about. Relief comes and their are nice feelings when God’s grace and kindness find expression in ways that I can see and experience as goodness; but when those two things dont line up I need to cling to him and trust him to help me see him again.

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