Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Quick thoughts on "Remaining Faithful"

This couple of paragraphs (below) from Henri Nouwen is much needed. An extra reminder to me which is a "serendipitous coincidence" as one of the key themes that is jumping out in my Sunday sermon's preparation is that Jesus' focus for us is to be faithful not successful. I know that too often this "being faithful" and not "successful" focus is used as a cop out for lack of growth and even declining church attendance and commitment. Also related of course to the misuse of the "remnant theology" found in the Bible as if to say that a dying church is an automatic sign of faithfulness!

But when understood and applied correctly, I think it is an important biblical concept that will result in "success" (as a by product). Of course the "success" may not be the kind of success that is sought after.

Oh, the passage I am working on and referring to is Luke 19:11-27 (The Parable of the Minas / Pounds) . Not something I have the time to blog on yet as my priority is to work on and finish my Sunday sermon preparation! :-) I wonder if I should use this Nouwen quote on Sunday .... haven't mentioned him for months so should be ok! LOL Don't want people to misunderstand and think I am a Nouwen junkie :-)

Remaining Faithful (Henri Nouwen)
Many people live with the unconscious or conscious expectation that eventually things will get better; wars, hunger, poverty, oppression, and exploitation will vanish; and all people will live in harmony. Their lives and work are motivated by that expectation. When this does not happen in their lifetimes, they are often disillusioned and experience themselves as failures.

But Jesus doesn't support such an optimistic outlook. He foresees not only the destruction of his beloved city Jerusalem but also a world full of cruelty, violence, and conflict. For Jesus there is no happy ending in this world. The challenge of Jesus is not to solve all the world's problems before the end of time but to remain faithful at any cost.

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