lite of the world

20 07 2014

I’m not usually one to bang on about duty. The Protestant work ethic ends about 10am after my first hot chocolate. But. Yes, a cheeky but.

I have a worry that there are too many people like me in danger of leading the faithful into a lackadaisical lazy religion-lite. I’m so fearful of placing a burden on people – the burden of religion, of ‘works’, of doing lots of churchy things and being busy – that I fear I under-emphasise the commitment and the cost.

lite of the world.001

 I wrote this at our last parish Day of Prayer:

Lite of the world
means you just come and go
as you feel like it
especially when you need something
or have nothing better
to do.

Light of the world
means we are sent
into darkness
to serve the needs of others
often at great
intentional cost. 

So many people do not realise that the faith, fully and properly lived, is about intentional cost. Duty. Service. But it is so hard to talk about this sort of thing without sounding like a grumpy old vicar who just wants his church full of busy guilt-ridden high-achieving religio-warriors with no time for their family or work or getting out there being the light of the world. Believe me, it’s really not that.

It’s just that it’s tough being the light of the world. Religion-lite is so much easier. So much less demanding. But let’s not settle for that.

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2 responses

20 07 2014
carol

At last it is so good to hear someone say that duty (responsibility) is not a bad thing. Duty is doing the right thing when we dont necessarily feel like it.
Many of us go to work when we dont feel like it because we have responsibilities to our family whom we love and serve, surely it is no different with God? The trouble with religion-lite is that ‘our feelings’ become our god/idol, and we put our wants before duty/responsibility, which is a slippery slope that leads to sloth. Old fashion thinking maybe but nevertheless I think true. Obedience (as any child will tell you) can be a pain! Obedience for a christian may mean we have to sacrifice our ‘feelings and wants’ and do the dutiful thing that God commands.

22 07 2014
Hope

we are all – ordained or lay – called to a sacrificial, sacramental ministry… that is what the priesthood of all believers is about, and that is what it means to be a member of the Body of Christ.
But… yes, here comes the “but”… that kind of ministry is something into which God _gradually_ draws us.
Yes, we need to “count the cost”… but if I’d known at the outset just how costly this life in Christ was going to be I’d have been too scared to commit.
What actually has happened – and no doubt will continue to happen – is that, tiny baby-steps at a time, God reveals more and more of His love to me and as I respond in love to HIm, asks more and more of me in sacrificial service.
And truly, truly – His yoke is easy and His burden light.
So surely we need to allow _God_ to draw each individual deepr into Him and into that kind of service… we can never judge for another how much “more dutiful”, “more committed” they should be.
Casting the first stone whilst having a flippin’ floorboard in one’s eye springs to mind… 😀
(and I speak as someone who, just this afternoon, has been gently chastised by a fellow-pilgrim for being unduly frank with her…)
mea culpa… mea maxima culpa…

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