Thursday 17 March
An excerpt from one of our Lent books, Holy Sweat, by Tim Hansel:
“One term, the lecturer set the preaching class up in a different way. He scheduled his students to preach on the Parable of the Good Samaritan, and on the day of class, he choreographed his experiment so that each student would go, one a time, from one classroom to another where he or she would preach a sermon. The professor gave some students ten minutes to go from one room to the other; to others he allowed less time, forcing them to rush in order to meet the schedule. Each student, one at a time, had to walk down a certain corridor and pass by a bum [a social drop out], who was deliberately planted there, obviously in need of some sort of aid. The results showed that very few stopped to help. But also that those on the tightest schedule were least likely to stop … Rushing to preach a sermon on the Good Samaritan they had walked past the beggar at the heart of the parable.”
There are two lessons in this: putting into practice what we believe, and finding time in our lives to respond to the needs of others. Lent is a very good time to slow down and do less so that we can do more.
Posted in Lent, Reflection, Stories
Tagged busy, holy sweat, ignore, live, love, preaching, quote, samaritan, story, tim hansel
Wednesday 16 March
God calls us into ourselves.
Or as Tim Hansel puts it in our Lent book, Holy Sweat, “We are called to become the very best version of ourselves we can possibly be.”
The Christian life is not simply one of smiling politely, behaving in a seemly fashion and being reverent, especially in church. No, the Christian life is becoming.
This is a process where God transforms us and we are active participants in this. We become who God calls us to be. And then, as Tim puts it, “we are called to give it all away to a world that is desperately hurting. We are called to share our lives with others.”
Tuesday 15 March
In another of our Lent books, Holy Sweat, Tim Hansel says, “To be able to fail well is absolutely critical.
But the ability to make failure work for you and not against you requires one more quality: perseverance.”
In some ways death is a failure, letting our ultimate human weakness finally win and take over. This is what happens to all of us. This is what happened to Jesus on The Cross. And yet God makes something out of this weakness.
From Jesus’ emptied being comes the ultimate hope of eternal life. From our own deaths comes a share in his eternal life. But the weakness of death is not enough by itself; it requires something else – Tim calls it perseverance. But it has another name, which is, “faith”