Today we welcome a guest writer, Dr. Tony Blair, president of Evangelical Seminary. We’re looking forward to this coming Sunday, March 8th, 2015, at Faith Church as Tony will be our guest teacher. As he is also a pastor, we are quite grateful to his church Hosanna, for sharing him with us!
Are you a contemplative or an activist?
People who are busy in the world sometimes look down on those who are more contemplative and withdrawn, and contemplatives sometimes look down on those who are bustling around doing good.
Jesus shows us through his own life that this is a false dichotomy—He is out among people, listening to them, arguing with them, feeding them, healing them, serving them… and then he withdraws for a while to be alone with his loving Father. He is a contemplative activist, what we might call a true mystic.
How do you and I become true mystics, Jesus style?
Without love, a contemplative can be aloof, arrogant, without compassion. Without love, an activist can be “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Those who follow Jesus, however, are hopelessly in love. That’s why Paul, another true mystic, said that love was the primary characteristic of God’s People.
It doesn’t matter how spiritual I think you am, how gifted, sacrificial, knowledgeable, disciplined, or kind… if I do not love, I’ve missed the main thing.
The main thing is loving God and my neighbor. Like Jesus did.
When we love like that, we can give ourselves freely to service and try to change the world, like activists do, and we can pray without ceasing and savor of the intimacies of our union with Christ, like contemplatives do. And we can hold them in balance, like a true mystic, Jesus style…because we are in love with the One who has made us so.
Take a look at 1 Corinthians 13 and join us Sunday for more about “being mystics in a messed-up world.”