Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What do Christianity and a mother in labour have in common?

“… unless we suffer like a woman in travail, we shall not succeed in bringing to birth the spirit of salvation in the ground of our heart.” Theophan the Recluse

We sat, six of us men in meeting last evening. We were missing our fellow leader of the fairer sex who might have given us new light on the subject of Christian suffering. The question before us was: “Does God call us to suffering in our ministry?” The answer was – no, not for suffering sake but in order to fulfill the will of God in Christ we will come to suffering somewhere, somehow. On reflection this morning I am wondering if God has not called us to suffering and we ought not skirt the issue. Theophan the Recluse (A bishop in the Russian orthodox church in the 19th Cent.) makes his point that there is no spiritual salvation without suffering akin to a woman giving birth. The longer I am a Christian the more I realize the importance to be transformed into the likeness of Christ. This will often cost me dearly in my pride, my pocket, my reputation, my time, my patience, my breaking point, and my all. This is no doubt what Jesus meant when he said: “You must be born again.”

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