I think that part of what is happening through these blogs is that it affords me an opportunity to keep things simple! I believe that following Jesus and being His disciple is very simple. The only problem is making the choice for the Jesus Way! That way conflicts with where sin would want to take us. It conflicts too with the world’s view of what makes a person important or worthwhile. The Jesus Way also conflicts with what the church at times throughout her history has seemed to value and treasure and get excited about and motivated by. What I saw today though was that the Jesus Way conflicts with those who take themselves too seriously! How much more harmony could there be in families and in church families if folk did not take themselves so seriously?
The Jesus Way is so simple a child can grasp it. Indeed we need to be childlike – not childish – in order to walk His way. I think in my heart I am so committed to how simple it all is that I don’t really want to be part of any expression of Christianity that is not simply about helping people live the Jesus Life and walk the Jesus Way. Anything beyond that is not for me whoever it may be for. Anything beyond that may indeed be right, but right for others, not for me or those I feel called to minister to whether in person or through writing this blog.
I had a dream last night about an encounter with someone who I have known for many years and who has achieved wonderful things in terms of ministry. In the dream they simply walked past me and sort of contemptuously called me “Boy” as they themselves got into a lift to go up to a higher level. It was as though what I was saying and what I encourage people to lay hold of in terms of Christian experience, commitment, security, discipleship and service was too simple, too naive in their estimation.
I guess some people who perhaps started to read my blogs will have stopped by now, because they are not weighty enough to satisfy them and don’t seem terribly concerned about being up to the minute in terms of current ideas floating around the Christian scene. That is ok. It causes me no offence, neither does it make me feel I should change my approach to make the appeal of the blog broader. For many years when people have asked me what my ministry is I have usually replied “ Well, I don’t know really. I just show up and chat about God; that’s about it really.” I believe Jesus likes it when I keep things simple for me and for those my ministry is meant to touch. My simplicity blesses Him too, though I am sure other things bless Him through others just as simplicity blesses Him through me.
Remember I told you in a blog that I use my spiritual imagination helped by the Holy Spirit to go into a cellar to meet with Jesus? He is always sitting there and I simply come before Him and see what He says or does or shows me. I went into the cellar today to meet with Him. The contemptuous and condescending “boy” dismissal was not in my mind as far as I know. This is what Jesus did: He produced a child’s Xylophone. It reminded me of one that I think belonged to my much loved cousins when they were younger; it had brightly coloured metal keys and it did not sound tremendous but was fun to play. Jesus seemed to invite me to play something simple to him on it, and when I did, He laughed with great joy!
I know there will be some who read this that are sure the music of Bach and Bethel will ring throughout heaven. Perhaps it will, for both are tremendously beautiful and inspiring in their different ways, and such beauty does glorify God. I wonder though if heaven will also ring with the tinny plink plonk sounds of coloured xylophones and the laughter of Christ as God’s children, His cherished boys and girls sing simple songs of joy and love from their hearts.
May these thoughts, this chat, bless you.