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Living in a tent

May 19, 2012

Over the past few days I have blogged about what Church leaders are supposed to do, and one or two people have kindly suggested that the focus on what we do is misplaced. THANK YOU you have anticipated the last blog on this theme (for now anyway!)

While what Elders do is important, that is true for all of us who follow Jesus  – but what our top priority is who we are, and particularly who we relate to. The bible tells a story of Jesus turning up at a house as a guest, I’m sure that he would have been welcomed and had his feet washed (really important in the Middle East, much as offering someone a coffee is in the UK today), but after the initial greeting the hostess rushes off to make sure everything is ready for the dinner party. Her sister just sits and listens to Jesus telling his stories – after a while the hostess finds resentment creeping in “tell my sister to come and help” she demands. http://bg4.me/K0KQmX

The surprise of the story is that Jesus, who spends so much of his time telling people to do things “follow me”, “go and preach” “give to the poor”… tells Martha, the busy hostess that Mary “has chosen what is better”

So what is important is not so much what we achieve, but who we listen to. In fact Jesus spends a lot of time just hanging out with people, sometimes people who didn’t fit the religious identikit! Clearly for anyone who takes following Jesus seriously we need to spend time hanging out with Jesus (The early Church leaders put prayer and reading the Scriptures/Bible as their number one priority. http://bg4.me/K1hbJj ). But for Church leaders just being with people is crucial, Jesus is described as pitching his tent among us (John 1:14). Just turning up and being – joining in what other people are doing, having a laugh, sitting alongside people who are suffering. The boffins call this being incarnational – We can call it being in community.

 

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