Father, into your hands

Forty or so years ago I committed myself to Jesus Christ. A glittery eyed young man led me through the sinner's prayer, in which I acknowledged that pretty much everything I had tried, up to that point, by way of making myself what I hoped I might be had been a bit of a flop, so I acknowledged that and asked God to take over. Since that moment, in the back room of the Assembly of God church in Lower Hutt, a lot has happened. I have been Vicar of 5 parishes, accumulated a few degrees and a roomful of books and become a father and grandfather. I've travelled the world and I've accumulated all manner of nicely framed certificates attesting to other people's confidence that I know some stuff. But really, in all that accomplishment, the one thing I have been trying to do, in everything I've done since that Sunday evening, has been attempting to live up to that commitment.  It is so simple and so hard because I am human. The experiences which have formed me, the ideas and prejudices and predispositions and assumptions run so deep in me, as they do in everyone, that I am dragged away time and again from the way of the cross, on an hour by hour, or even minute by minute basis, with, usually, hardly any awareness that it is happening.

Jesus too, being human, was formed within a culture and a religious system. On the cross he came to the limits of his own understanding, but, deeper than his understanding, was the silent presence which never left him; the presence he called AbbaDaddy.  In the end, when all else had failed him and his resources were completely gone, all he could do was surrender and commit himself to the God who was closer than breathing.

To surrender to the constant presence of God and consent to God's action in me is what is required of me also. This IS the way of the cross.

So Lent ends. Not so much a time of penance as a time of reminding ourselves of the limits of most of what we trust and most of what we assume. Lent has been a call to consent: to recognise that we are not as self sufficient or as self determined as we fondly wish to imagine; to stop looking for answers in all that stuff, and instead, give permission to the Holy Spirit to lead us where God decides and to do with us what God wills.

Father. Into your hands I commend my spirit. 


Anonymous said…
Elaine Dent said…
Thank you for these seven posts this week.
Reminding myself each day of the silent presence. Amen