Lent – Day 3

Are you impressed to see three Lent blogs in a row?  Me too!  Though I may have to reflect on whether the cheesecake I ate last night after Pizza Praize was a reward or comfort eating? (I gave up comfort eating for Lent) The Pizza Praize event that the youth group of the Church had put together was excellent.  With games, music, bible reading, prayer, activities and food – it was original for Forth though many others would call it Messy Church which is run along very similar lines.  The atmosphere was fabulous and photos will be going up on the website shortly. About 48 people went, of which half were children, and some of whom were not church folk.  Yet what saddened me was how few came from the established Church.  Now you might argue that it simply wasn’t their cup of tea (or kind of food!) and you could justifiably say that the weather was not helpful (the snow and hail was certainly tough going for those who walk) and people do have other commitments.  But still I felt saddened.  So that is why I question whether the cheesecake was reward or comfort. And then I read today’s material.Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.  Matthew 5:5A tough one because people who are meek usually don’t inherit anything except the jobs noone else wants.  Rarely I suspect will you ever find a high-flyer in the business world who you would call meek.  You only have to watch The Apprentice to know that.  Our understanding of meek is usually wishy washy and soppy, a doormat, someone who will bend to your will with head bent.  So when we read this line in the Beatitudes we think that we too should be like that as Christians.  However Scripture is full of stories of God’s children being anything other than meek.  When Elisha is called a baldy by a bunch of boys in 2 Kings 2, he calls down a curse on them in the name of the Lord and two bears attack the boys.  When the apostles or Paul are pulled before judges and kings they plead their case with passion and conviction.  When Jesus meets the temple sellers in the Temple courtyards, he turns tables and puts them out.Being meek isn’t about being a doormat for God, it is about being humble before God.  And this is what Jesus teaches us again and again.  At his baptism – this is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased.  His 40 days in the desert where again and again Jesus refuses to put God to the test.  At the Transfiguration on the Mountain.  Before Caiaphas and Pilate and most importantly upon the cross.  Jesus wasn’t meek about the message he had to bring.  He allowed himself to be humble before God and by doing so ‘inherited the earth’.I find it really challenging at times to keep going.  Workload, family pressures, doubt and pride all get in the way.  And of course disappointment.  Not unusual I suspect for many of us.  But when I remember that the Church already has a Messiah, that God is the one in control and that although I frequently step into the unknown – I step with God, then I am happier to be meek.Nick Fawcett writes:Isn’t that what discipleship should mean:  being ready to speak out against wrong and stand up against evil, to take on a challenge and venture into the unknown, meeting obstacles, difficulties and disappointments, yet, if it is God’s will, persevering to the end, risking all if necessary. This is the meekness Jesus showed and his followers showed in the early church.  This is the kind of meekness we are called to show today.Holy Lord, we thank you for your presence in our lives giving us strength, courage, conviction, passion, hope and love.  Forgive us when we forget all these wonderful characteristics of our faith and allow them to become lost in the idea that we must always concede, that we must give in and be the doormat of the world.  Our faith makes us strong yet often we are weak.  Help us today to reflect on who we are meek for – is it you or is it the world?  If we find ourselves going against the flow in any areas of our lives because of our faith, strengthen our resolve, provide us with what we need including support and show us the way forward.  Give us a spirit of true meekness, ready to give you pride of place in our lives and the willingness to live it out.  Amen.

P.S.  There is still half a cheesecake in the fridge!  And I have decided last night’s chunk was reward! 🙂  

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