Tuesday, 27 March 2012

THE SPIRITUAL MAN - PART 1


A recent poem from Wilf:

THE SPIRITUAL MAN - PART 1

The earth, the crumbling earth is in his fingers
Fingers that have carelessly let diamonds drop
Shattering to nothing but a quick play of light.
He remembers and laughs
As he climbs the hill of God,

He turns from laughter to tears
As quick as the movement of a thought
For the earth the crumbling earth is in his soul
The soul of a man who turned away
Looking for something else
And was captured for ever,

But still he sees, and he weeps
For the starving child,the lonely lover
The broken virgin, the harrassed mother
For the suicide case at the end of his rope
The soldier boy who has lost all hope
For the saint afraid to get up again
For the sinner afraid to begin.

There was a time
When he could meditate much better
And he was sure of his theology
But that was before he heard their stories
And found himself in them all,the hero of none
That was his story
It was the end of something that could be grasped
And the beginning of something that couldn't,
But grasped him in the guts of his spirit
Of that he is sure.

The earth the crumbling earth is in his fingers
He laughs and he cries
As he climbs the hill of God with dirty hands
And a crowd around him,

Wilf - March 2012

Monday, 19 March 2012

A map of celibacy


Around twenty-five celibate men and women met together recently in Coventry to celebrate and further explore what it means to be committed, lifelong celibates, living for Jesus. Apart from eating grapes, drinking punch and worshipping God, one of the things we did was to map out celibacy, each sharing something we felt was important for the celibate. The picture above is what we came up with together - a map of celibacy made from snippets from everyone about what we each saw as important regarding celibacy.

Interesting that nobody said that celibacy itself is important. Being celibate is a means to an end - not the end itself. In fact, as you can see from the map, it's a means to many different ends.

Or is it really just one single end?
Celibacy is not an end, but a means. The end is to love God and men with all one's heart and being. (Gregory of Nyssa 335-395 AD)
We also spent some time hearing God commit himself to us as celibates - without God's involvement and leading in it all, both the means and the end make little sense. But that's a whole other story in itself!





Friday, 9 March 2012

Single for good - Thea's story

thea-godly-slade-celibate
'Thea knew what she really wanted: what God wanted. She sensed a call to a lifelong vow of singleness...'

I read this blog post the other day about Thea's journey into celibacy.

You can read it here if you like. Worth a read.

Further Info
One Heart and Soul Thea talks about living in Christian community (video)
Like Mother Theresa Thea features in Jesus Life magazine

Friday, 2 March 2012

Celibacy: God makes his vow

God recently made a vow of celibacy.

"If I were to rewrite the celibate vow, but from your perspective, would you make the vow?"

"Yes!" replied God without hesitation.

Avowed celibates make their vow to God and do their best to keep to all aspects of it, but surely God has a part to play in that commitment.

A vow, after all, is a contract, a covenant, a pledge between many parties; and it makes little sense for it all to depend on just one of them.

Celibacy is such a two-dimensional lifestyle if it is lived without the backing, the power, the anointing of God. Without the unction that only he can provide, without him upholding his part of the deal, it is at best hard work, and at worst an unsustainable, unnatural, impossible undertaking.

For instance, the celibate should strive, as part of upholding the vow, to maintain holiness in body and thought-life, and they may well succeed to a greater or lesser extent; but God is able, is willing - he has promised - to provide us with the power to do so, by his Spirit. If that power isn't active in our lives, then we face a one-sided, two-dimensional, naturally-inclined struggle; but if it is, then holiness, for the celibate, becomes a two-sided, 3D, God-focussed, supernatural affair - which changes everything.

This is just one example, but the same applies to all aspects of celibacy (in fact, to all aspects of the Christian life, for any Christian). Without God, celibacy is dry and pointless; with him, it is filled with life in all its wonderful, glorious fullness.

Hence my recent question to God about making the vow himself. I suspect he said yes so easily because he knows he has already committed himself to such things anyway, but there's nothing like being absolutely sure.

So here it is:

god-celibate-vow-covenant

Once I'd rewritten it, I took it up to bed with me that evening and had a quiet moment, in which I witnessed God make his vow.

Things feel a little different now, like God is suddenly involved, in a way that he wasn't quite before.

God's vow of celibacy is now pinned to the board next to my bed, where I see it often, as a reminder that God is deeply, intimately involved in it all.

----------------------------
Further Reading:
   The covenant of celibacy - the original vow which inspired this

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