One day there will be no spoon: a meditation on image bearing and eternal life...

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In my small group last night, I led a reflection based on the seven “I AM” sayings of Jesus. You can read the full refection on my blog.

I was conscious when I was doing it that I often approach worship from where I am and try and spiral my way up to God. This can have the downside of making the worship very me centric and indeed I can end up worshiping a God who I have cast in my own image. I was therefore trying to find a reflection where the starting point was God and his self revelation that then comes down and picks me as part of his story rather than trying to make him part of mine.

Jesus, is for me, part of the ongoing self revelation of God. Reflected in Jesus saying things like: 'if you've seen me you've seen the Father', and, 'I only do the will of the Father etc. Jesus, who is fully human as well as fully divine [altho emptied somehow, denying himself access to the divine credit card], was empowered to live this life through the Holy Spirit. In that way Jesus is the perfect human, the untainted image bearer, who reveals what true humanity is like.

When it comes to being swept up and part of God's story it is not that my needs, desires, fears and brokeness is ignored or glossed over. Jesus, understands all too well the emotions, needs and wants of humanity as he has experienced them, from birth to death, through learning, laughter, friendship, pain and sacrifice. The eternal son, has one arm around my shoulder and the other around the Father, I am seen through Jesus even as my life surrendered to him makes me his co-heir and brother.

When I lead the reflection I was struck in particular by the words of Jesus in John 11:25-26:

"You don't have to wait for the End. I am, right now, Resurrection and Life. The one who believes in me, even though he or she dies, will live. And everyone who lives believing in me does not ultimately die at all. Do you believe this?"

In one of the actions I had given everyone a spoon and asked them to look at their reflection in it. To look and see how in the spoon we could see someone who looks like us but not like us. In the spoon we are distorted, warped, disfiguted and changed. I then put a mirror on the floor with a cross on it. and asked people to look in the mirror and see their reflection, that now that through the life, death and resurection of Jesus, our life, our humanity is being restored - in, through and with Jesus, the perfect image-bearer, we are become clearly recognisable as human.

For me that was a powerful reminder that although my humanity may currently look/feel warped like a spoon reflection - in the eyes of the Father, seen through the Son, who with the Spirit is praying for me - I look like I will when my humanity has been fully restored. Even more, God loves me no more now than he will them. As I can recognise myself even in the warped image of the spoon so we will be recognisable when our humanity is fully restored, our tarnished image bearing nature fully restored in all its created glory. In the same way that the resurected Jesus was fully recognisable and yet at the same time transformed as well.

When we think of death we (I) as christians can often focus on hell - but how often do we think of eternal life through the words/images/invitations of Jesus - that we can have a life lived in the fullness of our humanity, the full life that we were always destined to have?

Jesus us invites us to make our stories part of his story, to make him the central character rather than continue to live as if this story was about us. In him our stories will live on forever...

One day there will be no spoon...

Your thoughts?

What happens for you when you begin to mediate that:

- this life is lived in preparation for the one to come, who we are and who we become counts for something in our eternal identity?

- God is concerned with our whole beings [including our bodies] not just our souls?

- we will be recognisably ourselves - restored and no longer distorted?

Paul Mayers