Last Sunday we talked about how we as the people of God are called to live and demonstrate what it looks like to be human under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, as disciples of Christ, in the world.
There is so much that confronts us that in the midst of struggle, especially in our economic struggles, we tend to focus upon ourselves – life becomes about making a life for ourselves. But in seeing Jesus coming to the Church in Thyatira (Rev. 2: 18-29), we see that his eyes are ablaze and his feet burnished with bronze. These images of Christ Jesus remind me of John the Baptist declaring that Jesus will baptize us with the Spirit and fire (cf. Matthew 3: 11-12), which reveals that Jesus’ coming to us burns the “chaff” in our lives, in order for us to remain focused upon the calling within our lives. Furthermore, the image of bronzed feet reminds me of Isaiah 52:7, where expressed is, “how lovely on the mountain are the feet of them who bring good news.” Jesus’ coming is a coming bringing the light and life of the Gospel of God’s reign – to make all things news.
In all this, Jesus comes to us to remind us that our living is not about ourselves, and what we need to survive, but we are called, no matter how difficult life becomes, to live as the people of God, disciples of Jesus Christ, being a sign of God’s reign being present, being foretaste showing how human life is lived under the transformative rule of God, and being instrument – partnering with God in bringing about God’s reign, where God’s will is being done on earth as it is in heaven.
So then, how are we to live?
In our time of engaging Scripture, there was one thought that struck me deeply. We got talking about marriage and marriage struggles and the point that was being made was the importance of fidelity. Fidelity, faithfulness, enables a marriage to whether difficult times – it is when infidelity or unfaithfulness enters into a relationship that we find that the marriage suffers deeply – feelings of betrayal.
Likewise, in being called to be the people of God in the world, as the disciples of Jesus Christ, we are called to live focused on the ways of God, the ways of Christ, to live our lives in faithfulness to him, in fidelity to him, living out his purposes, living in obedience to God’s will. This is our calling – Jesus comes to us with blazing eyes and bronzed feet to remind us that our living is not about ourselves, but what God is doing through us to redeem humanity and the earth. Life can easily distract us so that we focus upon ourselves, but daily we need to be open to be reminded through Jesus’ coming to live in fidelity to him, in faithfulness to Christ Jesus.
I came across this prayer this morning in my time of meditation:
“O Eternal God, though you are not such as I can see with my eyes or touch with my hands, yet give me this day a clear conviction of your reality and power. Let me not go forth to my work believing only in the world of sense and time, but give me grace to understand that the world I cannot see or touch is the most real world of all. My life today will be lived in time, my body will be clamant, but it is for the needs of my soul that I must care most. My business will be with things material, but behind them let me be aware of things spiritual. Let me keep steadily in mind that the things that matter are not money or possessions, not houses or lands, not bodily comfort or bodily pleasure; but truth and honor and meekness and helpfulness and a pure love of yourself.
For the power you have give me to lay hold of things unseen:
For the strong sense I have that this is not my home:
For my restless heart which nothing finite can satisfy:
I give you thanks, O God.
For the invasion of my soul by your Holy Spirit:
For all human love and goodness that speak to me of you:
For the fullness of your glory outpoured in Jesus Christ:
I give you thanks, O God.
I, a pilgrim of eternity, stand before you, O eternal one. Let me not seek to deaden or destroy the desire for you that disturbs my heart. Let me rather yield myself to its constraint and go where it leads me. Make me wise to see all things today under the form of eternity, and make me brave to face all the changes in my life which such a vision may entail: through the grace of Christ my Savior. Amen” (John Baille, A Diary of Private Prayer, 53).
Living and praying in this way is being faithful to Jesus Christ as people who have been called and sent by God, as Christ’s disciples to live revealing a different reality in the world.