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Are We To Take God Seriously?: Andrew Bennison


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This is a taster of Andrew’s latest blog Musings on Mystery, about one third of his full piece. I do hope you are tempted to follow this link  to read it in full. For me, it is one of those pieces of writing which hit me in the solar plexus – it might change the way you, too, look at everything?

Taking God Seriously

…..For the last month and a half I have been working for a church in central London. Keen and eager to please, I have been taking everything very seriously. After all, the business of a church affects people’s lives: worship, charitable work, pastoral care, forming community … So rotas, emails, deadlines and organisation are important. I need to be organised, efficient and well-prepared. Outcomes matter: a lot. Meanwhile, I have been observing with interest this week the results of elections to the Church of England’s General Synod (the Church’s governing body). Whatever you think of General Synod, it’s hard to deny that it is important: committees, measures, reports, canons, debates, votes… All. very. serious. stuff…..

Imagine my surprise, therefore, when I read yesterday in Matthew 10 of Jesus briefing his senior staff: the twelve disciples. To say they were underprepared would seem to be an understatement; Jesus seemed content to send them out woefully ill-equipped, with a flippant disregard for efficiency and outcomes. There was no clear to-do list, or emphasis on forward planning. ……..

But what if Jesus was, in fact, deadly serious? What if he didn’t care much about efficiency and productivity – or even about outcomes? What if he was actually quite relaxed about the possibility of mistakes, dead ends, difficulties and surprises? Perhaps what mattered most to him was not the outcome but the attitude: inviting people to a radical trust in God which transcended common sense, reason, etiquette and success. Perhaps the most important instruction he gave was not his practical advice, but simply: ‘do not be afraid’…………..

Indeed, when I think about it, I realise that the more I stick around Jesus – as he appears mysteriously in the pages of Scripture, the rhythm of worship and the silence of prayer – the less serious I become:……………..

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