Reflections 22nd August 2010

Through the daily Eucharist readings this week, we have been exploring some of Jesus parables describing the Kingdom of Heaven. What Jesus actually describes is not, the physical attributes of the Kingdom of Heaven, so much as the owner/ruler of the Kingdom, and the desire of the owner to gather his people into the Kingdom.
In the preface to his book ‘The Holy Longing’ by Ronald Rolheiser (Doubleday). Rolheiser quotes Teilhard de Chardin, a scientist and mystic, who asked why so many sincere, good persons do not believe in God. “His answer was sympathetic, not judgmental. He felt that they must not have heard of God in the correct way”.
As bearers of the invitation, within our families and our local community, perhaps it could be worth looking at the way in which we share our faith and the invitation. What do our lives say about God?
Do our actions match our words? Do we use Christian/Church jargon or language, which is easily understood? Despite our ready welcome, do we somehow present an exclusive façade?
I remember attending a particular church, for the first time, years ago. As a little girl I had always worn a hat to church… we wore our “Sunday Best”. This continued into my adult years (not the hat but the “Sunday Best”) so, on this particular Sunday I arrived, was welcomed, and then, very loudly, told “Oh we don’t get dressed up here.” I am sure the woman who said this was trying to put me at ease… but I felt embarrassed and wanted to slink away.
At another church, the majority of the men wore shirt and tie, if not jackets… and some wore waistcoats. A number of young people tried that church but felt they couldn’t fit in… especially as no one spent time trying to engage them in conversation.
I thank God that the Kingdom of heaven, as described by Matthew is a place where the King cares nothing for our outward appearance, or the words we speak, so much as the state of our heart.
Blessings to you all, Rev Shan