Daily Reading for June 12 • The Day of Pentecost
In the Gospels we watch a Christ who, in dismissing certainties, shows us what freedom might mean. We watch the way in which he enters into people’s lives and dissolves an existing situation, whatever it might be. The likelihood was that the condition had promised security, safety, but now Christ challenges the people to leave their nets, or to leave a nice safe booth, and follow him. He says to Peter, James, and John, “Come,” and to Matthew, “Stand up, move, walk, come with me.” Our God is a God who moves and he invites us to move with him. He wants to pry us away from anything that might hold us too securely: our careers, our family systems, our money making. We must be ready to disconnect. There comes a time when the things that were undoubtedly good and right in the past must be left behind, for there is always the danger that they might hinder us from moving forward and connecting with the one necessary thing, Christ himself.
When Brueggemann writes about the Jewish people at one historic point in their story, the sacking of Jerusalem and the loss of the temple in 597, he uses the word relinquish. It becomes a metaphor for the opening up to the new gifts and new forms of life given by God that become possible just when everything seems to have come to an end. Of course there is loss and it is right to grieve and not to pretend otherwise. Insecurity makes certitude attractive, and it is in times like these that I want to harness God to my preferred scheme of things, for it is risky to be so vulnerable. Yet it is this vulnerability that asks for trust and hope in God’s plans, not mine. So I try to learn each time that I am called upon to move forward to hand over the past freely, putting it behind me, and moving one with hands open and ready for the new.
From To Pause at the Threshold: Reflections on Living on the Border by Esther de Waal. Copyright © 2001. Used by permission of Morehouse Publishing, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. www.morehousepublishing.com
editor’s note:This is my final posting on the Speaking to the Soul page, as I turn to other ventures and seek to simplify the demands on my time. I offer profound gratitude to Jim Naughton and to all of you readers who have encouraged me in this offering for the past seven years. They have been a daily discipline that has brought me joy, and has renewed my appreciation of the remarkable people who have lived their faith in such infinitely varied ways throughout the ages.—Vicki Black, email@example.com