Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sharing our faith - why don't we?

This week I came upon a quote below in one of the current books "actively residing" in my daily meditation spot, "Writing in the Sand, Jesus & the Soul of the Gospels" by Thomas Moore. I think the quote in its view of the "change" that faith in God and in Jesus brings to my life serves to relax my apprehension about being too pushy with my faith, about embarrassing others with an outward commitment to live as Jesus would have me live - perhaps even relaxes my reticence toward declaring faith stories and beliefs with friends and acquaintances.

"Establishing the kingdom in the world doesn't mean converting people to a belief system but creating the climate in which a spiritual vision combines with deep engagement with life.......Anyone who wants to follow the Jesus way and be part of the kingdom has to do the same: cultivate a fresh new vision about human life and then do what is possible to heal the world. Metanoia (change) comes at a great cost. You are asked to give up an understanding of life that has been in place for a long time. You are invited to live by a set of values that don't offer ego rewards at first but only reward you after you discover the joy of community and agape, the law of love. You are also faced with the challenge of living by values that contradict those of normal society. The new world you find on the other side of change demands courage - and sometimes your very life."

This change (metanoia) in behavior may be something that as an always "working-on-it" Christian I take for granted, although with only a small amount of reflection I see that my life would be a lot different than it is now if, during the course of it, I had decided that church was a bore, Christians were all hypocrites, Jesus was a nice man, and God is a bearded guy in the sky. (Probably some of that last statement is true and some of it total fiction for me.)

My point is that the change that my attempting to live in accordance to the great commandment (Matthew 22:37-39) is ever present. It's most obvious for me occasionally when I've come out with some outburst (usually in the presence of my spouse) about how stupid someone else's actions are or have been, how I can't stand to be around them, about what I would like to say to them if I had the chance again! After the outburst, I often say, regretfully I know that "stupido" is a child of God also! I think if there was no "change" in my life that my outbursts would become regular, my dislike and bitterness would fester and grow and my life would become less than it is now in my continuing efforts to live through my baptismal vows and my faith.

Now why wouldn't I want to share what I believe about my God, my church, my belief? How about you?

SS Image Greek Orthodox Church in Athens, Greece

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