Now is the Time to Grow

We are coming up on a part of the Christian year that I like very much.  We will be reminded that Jesus gave his followers a new commandment, to love one another as he loved us.  Soon after will come his post resurrection departure and the outflowing/inflowing of the Holy Spirit.  The church will then enter into a long season of immersing itself in the gospel stories for the primary purpose of learning more deeply how it was that Jesus loved us and how we might apply those lessons to our own lives.  


As late spring rolls into summer and then autumn, the question will remain the same.  If we are to love one another as he loved us, how exactly did he do that?  What is it about what he did, how he lived, who he met, what he taught, and how he engaged others that is to become the way for our lives in the times and places where we live?   It is discipleship formation time.  For many of us, Mark will be our guide.   I think of Mark as a rough, no-nonsense sort who may not exhibit a lot of patience with us “greenhorns” but will never let us down, will make sure that we get that which is most important, and will deliver us safely to our destination.   It is the time for laying the foundation on which the next generation of believers will build.  It’s a good time.  It is a time to grow.

5 thoughts on “Now is the Time to Grow”

  1. Is there a connection between \”scandal\” and \”grow\” by way of how surprise works against the grain? Jesus surprised against the grain; provoked scandal. Is this, somehow, native to growing in and through love?

  2. Tom,I\’m struggling with this but I think the answer is yes. It\’s the scandal that breaks us out of complacency and opens the way to growth. The problem is, I suspect, that most of us don\’t want to be scandalized out of complacency. We would prefer to use the sanitized illusion of gospel scandal to reassure us of our own prejudices.

  3. imagine how scandalized \”the church\” would be, if today, the pope, the ABC, the grand whatever, were to say,I have had a vision, there is no one who is separated from God, there is no one who is un-pure, unclean, unacceptable to God, just as they are! The only people who displease God and separate themselves from the kingdom are those whose desire for wealth and possessions and security keep them from giving all they have to those who have not, from caring for the stranger who comes to their door, from caring for the ill and infirm. There is only one sin that cannot be forgiven, and that is to be so concerned about status and self that you cannot be the face of compassion to all you may encounter, cannot forgive those who wrong you, and cause you to consume more than you need. It does not matter if you call on the name of the Lord and do the \”right\” things, All judgment comes from God, and only God knows what is written in the heart.I think there would be scandal if this were to happen, and I think there would be growth, maybe not in numbers, but in something else

  4. Bruno wrote: \”All judgment comes from God, and only God knows what is written in the heart.\”I suppose I would modify this: Since only God finally knows what is written in the heart, Last Judgment is His alone. —So the problem is my acting as if my judgment could be final or last. Rather: I\’m always trying to judge again based on trying yet again to read what is written on my heart, on this other\’s heart.Now: how does scandal help here? Jesus provokes scandal where the self-righteous act as if their judgment is final. But surely I know my own capacity for self-righteousness? Most especially in love and its failures. So: do I know how to recognize that I am the scandal when judging finally? And if I can recognize that, will the way I love change even in its failures?

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