Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Blog from the Beach - 14th of September

It is good to be taking some time out with Debby here in sometimes sunny Queensland. Everyone needs to draw apart from time to time, to find a quieter place to think, to recuperate, to let all the busy-ness of life settle down around you, and just to be.

Whilst relishing this time of rest and solitude, I am all the more conscious of the precious gift of relationships. One of the most amazing messages of the Bible is that we are made in the image of God. In the Christian understanding of God, that image is not just of a single entity, but of a dancing complexity: the Father, Son and Spirit in vibrant, loving relationship together for all eternity. We are made in this image, of God in relationship in eternity.

Human experience of the world is of damaged relationships. Yet in Christ, we are called to something better, to transforming, life-giving relationships. This is not always easy. It is costly and challenging. It requires vulnerability and strength. It demands hope. Yet as we seek for Christ to be formed in us, renewing us from within, we must seek to encounter Him in each other.

St Mary's is a rich tapestry of relationships: children making friends in Sunday Club, small groups meeting and sharing life's joys and sorrows during the week, fellowship together over a cuppa on Sunday mornings, hopes and prayers shared over the phone, a husband and wife catching up at end of a frantic day, people making new friends and honouring old ones: the body of Christ is held together and expresses itself through our connections with each other. How precious these are! Our relationships are the domain in which the inner life of God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - manifests itself among us. Nurturing Christian friends is itself an act of worship of the living God.

As we say, week by week, 'We are the body of Christ'.