Some pondering on revelation from Mark McIntosh as he has written “Mysteries of Faith” for The New Church Teaching Series. The following is taken from chapter four of this book which I am mentoring in Education for Ministry (EfM) at St Paul’s in the Pines, Fayetteville, NC
Mark writes: “Think how, as you come to spend more and more time with a person, you come to know more deeply who she is. That is only possible because at the same time you are being changed by your friendship with her – sometimes brought up short, sometimes delighted, sometimes wounded in your pride, sometimes healed and forgiven. All these changes in you are the means by which you come to know your friend more and more, because knowing someone in that intimate way is only possible through a process of transformation and growth – sometimes painful, always unsettling – by which you and your friend come to share life together. Similarly, revelation happens when, by the miracle of God’s grace, we are brought to share in the love of the Trinity. As we know, such sharing is risky for us in the world we have made. God’s giving-life-in-you (usually called “grace”) leads you out of the self others have made for you by their anger or their possessiveness, and it tugs you out of the life you have settled into as a way of hiding from what God longs for you to be. It sends you into soup kitchens and night shelters, to hospital bedsides and communion rails, it exhausts you and gives you life, it gets you crucified and yet raises you into life itself.” (Page 77 “Mysteries of Faith”)
Thank you Mark. What I get from this is that God reveals God’s self through the other. We should never dismiss another person who comes to us to share a message. If we ever say to ourselves, “I know this person and God would never use him or her to bring me a revelation,” we are not really dismissing them. We would be limiting God; we would be saying that God is not able to use him or her to reveal anything. Have you not heard, God is able use anybody to do anything? The lesson here is to always be open to what God might be saying to you through someone else, and further, companion the ups and downs that accompany the revelation. Sometimes God is tough, but always loving.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through God’s people.