Early in the faith walk we find that we have this insatiable hunger for the Word and for its meaning. We feel that we must nail it down, and consequently we devise our own systematic theology. It goes through constant and repeated revision.
We meet people whom we know to have a solid grip on Gospel hope and a delightful image of Jesus, but they do not sound the same. They have come from different trials and victories. They have been touched undeniably by the Shepherd’s hand. They extend a brotherly hand but perhaps we recoil because their novelty poses somewhat of a threat.
And admittedly they put wrinkles into that systematic theology of ours. But fret not; that leads to growth and not declension; to essential points of agreement and not schism; to simple human courtesy and community.
I often wonder whether it would be sufficient to show the world the extremely unselfish decency and courtesy of the Master as a fellow traveler (Luke 24: 27-29). We are surrounded by people without time or interest or apparent peace. What if we could demonstrate the grand measure of such things available in the Saviour, and reinforced to be so in the Gospels. Would this of itself bring in new disciples? Must it always be nothing but the blood and anguish of Golgotha? Jesus again portrayed as the selfless victim, to the new-coming inquirer?
These days many of my posts reflect on fellow believers who march to a slightly different drum, and that is OK. I am learning, and in my maturing I come to grips in an honest way with how little I have actually nailed it down.
This tentativeness in my ethic leaves room for the unexpected and the “exceeding abundantly above” (Ephesians 3: 20, 21). May I always remain teachable and slightly off-balance. Come in new ways, marvelous ways, Jesus. Only come.
And give me new avenues to help others to see.
Note: A friend’s poem helped me in this