We were travelling SH1 between Christchurch and Picton this week. Due to earthquake damage people are working hard to fix the roads. At one stage we were following a vehicle which was our guide through a particular tough bit of road. The pilot vehicle ensured we were in the right place and at the right speed.
Who do you follow? How do you determine the pace of your life and what ‘side’ of the road you are on?
In this week’s text Jesus asks ‘follow me’. Why is that so difficult?
Last Sunday we had the pleasure of attending MCC Oasis Lite in Christchurch. Neil lead a thoughtful discussion on the barriers that we all have in changing our minds and seeing things differently. The focus was on John 12: 36-40 (which is slightly after our text for today).
Their eyes are blinded,
their hearts are hardened,
So that they wouldn’t see with their eyes
and perceive with their hearts,
And turn to me, God,
so I could heal them.
If we are to truly follow Jesus it means changing lots about our lives. To love our neighbour might mean some discomfort for ourselves. Maybe that’s why we don’t want to see?
Kate from Anglican Advocacy Wellington is enabling followers of Christ to make a stand at the Petroleum Conference next week. She talks about how our actions are increasing climate change and how neighbours in the Pacific are in immediate danger due to these changes.
Making changes often involve saying sorry first. Kate will be facilitating a ‘reconciliation/confession’ space during the protests next week. (Find out more here). Representatives from the Church will invite strangers to hear Christians say sorry for the Church’s role in harming the environment, and invite them to share their own ‘sorry’ if they wish.
Powerful or what?
Still, the power of ‘not seeing’ can be so overwhelming. I think too of our use of plastic and how convenient it is. Today I walked and picked up all this plastic rubbish on a small stretch of beach at Sunshine Bay, just 10 minutes from Picton.
How can we follow Jesus when we are so blind to the needs of the planet, our neighbours and sometimes even ourselves?
What does it look like when our eyes are open? Is that when we turn our faith into action?
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