Tuesday, February 06, 2007

the experience of the Christian life

As I am older, I really am less into experiences, as in looking for some experience. But I'm more into experience as simply the reality of the life we live together in Jesus, day after day.

It's a life of ups and downs, and ebbs and flows. There are the moments when all seems clear. And many times when it's just clear enough to proceed. But other times when all seems dark, and one is at a loss.

We need to see the experience of the Christian life as a journey. And a journey we individually are on, yet as those traveling with others on the same journey. So that we have our part to uphold. But we can't make it on our own. And others need us along the way. This is how God makes it for us. Not unlike "Christian", in John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress.

And it's one of being interactive with God, with people, with the world and with ourselves, through all of life. Having in it a dynamic that is living and breathing and keeps moving us on. In a mode of being in this together with God. And growing more and more into the likeness of Christ. As we seek to do our part in mission to the world.

On the one hand, God is at work to make all things new in our lives and out from our lives to others. On the other hand, this does take time. We need, in God to see the vision. To have eyes, by faith, to see what God wants to do. And even to perceive something of what he is doing. To know that God often wants us to slow down and better take in, then learn better to participate in his work in our lives and in the world.

How do you see the experience of the Christian life?

9 comments:

L.L. Barkat said...

a slow unfolding of the heart of God to my senses... and an invitation to "come in" to what I see and feel there...

Ted Gossard said...

L.L., Thanks for your take. I'd like to understand more about that. Evidently it's through God's creation that he reveals something to you through your senses? I'm sure there's more than that, too. God's creation does certainly speak to us, at least it did to people in Scripture, to be sure.

andre said...

I like what you say here -

"... we can't make it on our own. And others need us along the way."

I'm not sure I understood this when I was younger. I'm beginning to understand how important it is. It's a mark of humility to acknowledge our need for others - as someone once said, "sanctification is a community project". We're not meant to do this alone.

L.L. Barkat said...

Yes, certainly creation is one source of revelation, but so are the people of God, with all their special gifts... the hospitable cooking of one, the beautiful song of another, the steady smile of yet a third. God's heart can unfold to us in so many ways through his people; I just hope to be able to respond with the courage and generosity to emulate.

Ted Gossard said...

Andre, Good point. I'm not sure that the theology I held to when I was younger really had any place (or enough place) for the kind of community that is so much a part of the Story of God we find in Scripture, coming through loud and clear, from the dissonance at the Fall to the New Jerusalem at the never ending ending. And this all, in mission from God to the world.

Ted Gossard said...

Hey, too, Andre. I love your quote and remark. About humility and sanctification being a community project. Amen. Amen. And Amen! I hope I'm beginning to really get it that clear.

Ted Gossard said...

L.L., Thanks for spelling that out so wonderfully. So true. This is surely the greatest gift I receive (it seems to me) out of our homegroup. And from other Christians. Amen to your thought that we would respond in that same love and life of God in Jesus.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Ted for your comments. I'd like to picture what you've written about the experience of the Christian life as being in community with God and with each other. God invites us into community, through Christ and in the power of the Spirit, and then graciously helps us to live it out.

Ted Gossard said...

Anonymous, Thanks for your thoughts. Your way of putting it is helpful. It's as simple as that. We need to be engaged in that way, as we try to work through the issues and challenges we face.