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2017 01p1Page Margins…

Many of us this year, have been learning to spend time with God creatively, dwelling in the margins of our Bibles, reflecting on His Word as we colour and doodle and create. But this month, something has been troubling me…how much are we acting upon what we are learning? Yes, we should create time to be still and to dwell in God’s presence; God’s Word but equally leave time to follow through on all that God teaches us.

Margins of Society…

Our lives as Christians should surely be an ongoing movement of dwelling in God, being anchored in Christ and learning to be Christ in the world wherever it is needed. Starkly this means moving away from comfort and colouring to the artistry of action and altruism. It means being moved by the pages of our Bibles to such an extent that we cannot stay there but are called in the footsteps of Christ, to dwell in the margins of the world too.

“If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: if our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.” 1 John 3:17

Maintaining Balance…

These words have brought me to a deeper awareness that there is much amiss in the balance of my own life and I am wondering what God is asking of me through this…for so often I fail here… and currently, my heart does condemn me for I know that I am not doing all I should. I know what needs to be done but I fail to fully carry out Gods instructions. It can seem scary stuff…dwelling in the margins of society…it feels out of my comfort zone, but the call is not an added-on option for the super faithful. It is for us all.

As the words of Jesus remind us… “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Turning my back on the most needy is turning away from Christ himself and I am challenged by this.

We are each called, I think, to see Christ in the face of all those we meet and respond accordingly, being Christ to one another. It seems a tall order but if we allow the messages conveyed by the creations in the margins of our Bibles to extend to the world we live in through the love of Christ and the medium of our lives then we are almost there.

2017 01p2Beyond the pages…

At this point I am reminded of a children’s television character in the UK, called Penny Crayon whose magic box of crayons brought to life whatever she drew. Perhaps our creative journaling time can act in such a way, transcending the pages of our Bibles to the lives of others, transforming the world into a place of care and compassion and love.

Colouring outside the lines…

Please don’t get me wrong. I’m all for creatively spending time with God, providing we heed what we learn and act accordingly, colouring our lives with the effect of His Word in us and creating beauty where it is needed in the lives of others.

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was ill and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Matthew 25:35

2017 01p3What can I do this year to both dwell in the margins of my Bible, spending time with God creatively and yet translate that practically to providing for those in need?

I have so much in comparison to many and yet I am still unsure how I can act specifically to these commands. I am praying this through and asking for wisdom to respond. Perhaps I can encourage you to consider how you too, might journey from the margins of your Bible to dwelling in the margins of society to paint a better picture? How can we follow the steps of Jesus to be a light to others who are so much in need; permeating the darkness with colour? How can we not, when we have been blessed with so much?

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