Encouragement for the Journey 20 March 2016

An inclusive Christian community in Auckland, New Zealand

Encouragement for the Journey 20 March 2016

Encouragement for the Journey

Palm Sunday

Greetings fellow Traveller,

Reading these words in this familiar place, you may be aware that today is Palm Sunday with it’s well -known story of Jesus entering into Jerusalem, and, later this morning will be our Congregational Meeting. At a cursory glance it might appear that these two events are not connected, yet, at a deeper level, maybe there are connections.

The story of Jesus making his entry into Jerusalem is a dramatic celebratory event, showing an expression of deep joy for the possibility of political deliverance to come. All the people who lined the streets of that ancient Jerusalem to see or participate in the procession would have their own hopes and dreams, thoughts and feelings. This is perfectly normal for us human beings, we each respond to life’s happenings in different ways. I recall in my past life as a Police Officer when I attended traffic accidents, I knew before I took statements from the witnesses, there would be discrepancies, and each would see and hear different aspects of the accident.

The focus of our Congregational Meeting will be our response to the Engineers Report on our Building. I want to remind you that we each will respond to this discussion in our own particular way. The challenge for us, will be to live in the NOW, within the mists of uncertainty. It is the NOW moment that links the two events, the crowd are in their NOW moment, while we this morning will be in our NOW moment.

A way of looking at this is to appreciate that we are the children of yesterday’s happenings, and the parents of what may arrive tomorrow. What we do today will create our future. To live in the NOW with all its challenges, requires we give opportunity for ‘duende’ this is a Spanish word, which in the arts implies emotion and authenticity.

‘Duende’ is that mysterious power which we feel with music, art, and poetry, it touches our soul but we can’t explain, we are held in its embrace and we are transformed. We feel alive, a new freshness has come into our being, our senses are heighted, and we are in tune with the infinite, the sacred, the One we name as God. We enter the presence of Mystery.

I find this quote from John Cleese (Monty Python & Fawlty Towers) is a helpful way of living in the NOW, while the mists of uncertainty swirl around us:

We all operate in two contrasting modes, which might be called open and closed. The open mode is more relaxed, more receptive, more exploratory, more democratic, more playful and more humorous. The closed mode is the tighter, more rigid, more hierarchical, more tunnel-visioned. Most people, unfortunately spend most of their time in the closed mode.’

To travel with courage in the NOW, requires openness to life, with all its challenges and opportunities, these are always present. Remaining open, enables us to be transformed with new freshness and vitality. This echoes the words of that man Jesus who spoke about being open to life in all its fullness. Surely this is a life with ‘duende’.

The choice is ours; will it be the open or the closed mode?

Meanwhile peace in the NOW of life

Alf