Thursday, November 8, 2012

torches together


We attended a candlelit prayer service last night.
I watched a tall candle go from newly lit to a tiny little stub.
Its wax had become stalactites and stalagmites below it.
Not all candles have this experience.
Some burn and their wax just surrounds their wick, it never spills out around them.

God lights us at the beginning of our lives.
At the end of our lives, we've burnt all our wick. 
But some of us, the wax just stays around us. 
We stay in our comfort zone.

And some of us, we get out of that comfort zone. 
We question.
We invest in lots of lives.
We allow Christ to spill out of us and onto others.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Had a mild epiphany early this morning.

[ [ apparently so did a few others. we're having a blogging conversation about this. click here and here to explore their writings on this topic as well. ] ]

I have realized how important it is to be an open, flexible being when it comes to our walk with Christ.
The importance of dropping all of our presuppositions before reading the Word or discussing it. 
The importance of understanding the historical context of the Word.
The importance of listening. Not only to God and His Word, but to others. What they're struggling and wrestling with. What they have learned in their walk.
The importance of humility

Specifically, I've been really struggling with brothers and sisters who do not have an openness to other points of view when it comes to reading the Bible or discussing it. They discourage questioning Scripture [which is different from doubting]. They're uninterested in the academic side of scripture or theology. It seems they're uninterested in learning of the historical context of scripture because "it is God breathed for our time." They're only basis of understanding God & scripture is what their perspective is.

If one grows up in a Christian home, generally one tends to learn and understand God via what their parents or Church taught them.
That's not a bad thing.
It becomes a bad thing when you limit yourself to only what you were taught by your parents or your Church.
Faith doesn't just stop accruing. 
One day you don't just graduate from faith school and it's all over. 
No. We continue learning about God throughout our lives.

This ties in with what Hännah and I discussed. She mentioned,
"You don't grow up, learn everything, and have an adult faith that never changes because you've got it figured out and studied. Your understanding of truth broadens and deepens with your emotional maturity, personal experiences, and fresh encounters with the word and the church."

A healthy faith is one that is constantly growing, changing, expanding. 
The wax keeps dripping outside of you and your comfort zone.

Unless you're stagnant.
Unless you're a candle that keeps all your wax pooling around you.
You don't invest in new ways of looking at God or loving others.
You know what you know, and there's nothing more to it.
mewithoutYou comes to mind.

"why burn poor and lonely?
under a bowl
or under a lamp shade
.... 
aren't you unbearably sad?
then why burn so poor and lonely?

we'll be like torches...
we’ll be torches together...
with whatever respect
our tattered dignity demands
torches together
hand in hand"

I charge you to not burn poor and lonely.
I encourage you to step outside of all that you know. Explore a side of God you've never seen before. Venture into the historical context of Scripture. Learn about theologies you don't know. Ask someone what they're struggling with about God or scripture. Be a torch together with them.

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