From Gavin’s desk 16/02/2020
Readings: Micah 6: 1-8, John 15: 9 – 16:4, 1 Corinthians 3: 1-23, Psalm 119: 1-8
An innocent childhood is such a wonderful time of having everything that you know being everything that can be known. It is a fantastic time in our lives when we think we have everything worked out and that everything has an easy solution even if that solution is only to get mommy or daddy to fix it. We don’t know how much we don’t know until we are faced with having to make decisions based on information we know we don’t have. Maturing can be such a pleasure or such a curse depending how tightly we hold on to the fallacy that maintains that we know everything there is to know and the way we understand something is the only way it can be understood. When we close ourselves off to any other interpretation of a given event or when we choose not to hear a reason for a behaviour that is different to the intention or motivation that we have written into the narrative, we have failed to mature. When I don’t allow you the space to grow because your growth might point out that I have not grown and I am not ready to admit that to myself, I am lending myself to the breakdown of community.
Ignorance is probably only bliss for the person who is ignorant because the rest of their world will suffer the consequences of them failing to pay attention to the fact that they do not know everything and are not all they think they are. How many atrocities have been perpetrated in the history of humanity because someone believed that the way they viewed the world was the only possible way it could be viewed. How many lives were broken because an individual or group believed that everyone that was not “in” was “out” and everyone that was “out” was a threat to the harmony of those who were “in” and so the “in” had to get rid of the “out”. We long for humanity as a whole to mature, sometimes forgetting that we are the humanity that needs to mature, and as we do mature so we recognise that our opinions are just that. Our opinions are not fact even though they are fact to us. The older we get, the more we realise that there is such an incredibly large volume of information that we don’t have and so it is impossible for us to be experts on everything. I might know something about some things, but I don’t know everything about all things. If I am aware of that, then how can I hold on to my ignorance and my prejudice at the expense of someone else?
This is where Paul is telling the believers in Corinth to grow up because they are acting like little children who fail to recognise that the people surrounding them, the people who have different opinions to their own, are simply another part of the whole. The Gospel is the Gospel and even though we might not agree on how to give expression to our worship of God it does not mean that either of us are wrong; it just means that we meet with God in different ways. What needs to agree is the way in which our worship of God finds expression in our lives and in the world around us. If your worship of God doesn’t lead from selfishness to a stand against injustice, from self-importance to a love for mercy and from an arrogance to a humble walk with God and His creation, then we have remained infants in the faith.