Friday, December 04, 2009

quiet day ponderings

Tuesday was College Quiet Day marking the last day of term for us ministerial students. We were led this time by Steven Bevans (who has been the CMS missiologist in residence this term). I missed the morning session but was there afternoon has Steve led us in reflecting on Luke 10.21-24:
At that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to the childlike; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.’

Then turning to the disciples, Jesus said to them privately, ‘Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.’
As we read and reread this passage different things jumped out ... that revelation is always a gift of God ... what does the word 'rejoice' mean? ... what are 'these things' that the disciples have seen and heard? ... the tension between the blessing of having seen and heard and the demands of discipleship that follow ... the problem of the feeling around advent of having 'seen' and 'heard' the stories so many times ... is there more light and truth to break for ... what new (or old) things will God's Spirit - the giving gift - reveal this time? ... is Jesus being negative about wisdom and intelligence or is his point that we should approach learning like the child - with wonder, with questioning, with joy, with frustration, with dependence on one who will provide answers? ...

In this season of beginnings and endings, looking forward and looking back, in this season of familiar stories, we wait for the advent God to come and reveal himself, God's gift to the world, we wait to join in the rejoicing, we wait with children as they struggle to wait when everything around them suggests the time for celebration has already arrived, we wait to see what 'things' we will see and hear this year, we wait for the Son ...

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