Sunday, 23 September 2012

The phone is ringing...

I'm not going to jump on the Clegg bandwagon and apologise for not blogging in a while. Instead I shall simply say I've got a new job, and have been very busy.

In truth, I've had a number of ideas for a blog, just none of them made it onto the screen. In fact, this blog is now on its 3rd rewrite! And I guess that just goes to show me how much I need to write this down. Whether for my benefit, or yours. I'm guessing at the former!

For those who follow me on twitter, you may have seen a question I put out on Saturday night - "Judas, good guy or bad?". This question was sparked by a late night conversation with a friend. The conversation was started by us seeing Jesus Christ Superstar. Incidentally a very good show, and well worth seeing. It raised some pretty interesting other questions for me too.

Back to this conversation though. It was with an undecided Christian. I say undecided, as he wouldn't say he is Christian, but is very willing to come to church, and often asks what I deem to be searching questions. I tried not to let our discussion surrounding the show get too theological. Partly because I don't class myself as a great theologian, and the show is not designed to do that.

However, I got to talking about the role of Judas, and how we as The Church view and portray him. Jesus Christ Superstar heavily uses Judas, and it got me thinking about his life, and his role in Jesus' life. If we look at what he did, we all say how bad it was that Judas betrayed Jesus, to death on a cross. But that looks at one very small part of the story.

When we look at the bigger picture, we know that Jesus comes to save the world. We know that Judas betrays Jesus to death on the cross. But we also know that 3 days later, Jesus rose from the dead, and then ascended into heaven, to sit at the right hand of God for us. In death, Jesus conquered death. As the great hymn says "Death has lost its sting".

But it cannot have been easy for Judas to do this. That is how I saw it portrayed on stage anyway. And I can't find any reason to believe that Judas found it easy. However, I accept that someone had to betray Jesus. And God gave that calling to Judas.

I don't think any calling is easy. God stretches us, moves us out of our comfort zone. But he is always there equipping us, and holding our hand. But when God calls us, do we answer there and then? Sometimes it feels like I'm not in control, and I want to be in control, so I wait for a time when I do feel in control. Or I decide that its not the right time. Or I think I might just be deciding when the right time is, and then something gets in the way.

I'm finding it too easy to run away at the moment. God knows why. I just wish he'd share it with me! Sometimes, in fact probably most of the time, we know, we just need it affirming. And when I don't have constant affirmation, I start to panic. And then panic leads to doubt. And that means that just as I'm reaching to pick up the phone, I accidentally hit the reject button. And then I don't listen to the voicemail for a while.

Calling is not an easy thing. Sometimes we just need reassurance that we are treading, or about to tread, the right path. But always know, that God is walking beside you.

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