Pastoral means to speak of the intangibles. I wish to explore some ideas and thoughts from my long experience in helping and advising people who have been both experiencing the joys of life, or the difficulties that life itself, brings to each of us. I trust I'm able to make an offering for reflection, and hopefully provide some insights in the future.
What I mean by 'intangibles'.
My wife Delma and I have been ministering 'Respite' to highly motivated young people since 1992, and I put to you, the same questions we put to them: In the supermarket ask what isle might you find - a packet of honesty; a jar of integrity; a tin of loyalty; a box of good character; a carton of ambition; a tube of fulfillment; a container of camaraderie …... and similar …..
It appears that the most important things in our lives are the intangibles.
These include our emotions, which are the basis of our relationships (family and friends), which sometimes can be quite testing (or character building). The Bible is full of references to things we cannot see - it doesn't even describe what Jesus looked like - what I mean is, it has a lot to say about the intangibles, the greatest of which, is a one-to-one relationship with the Living Lord.
How a one-to-one relationship with the Lord takes centre stage.
Statement: Each of us has been made in the image of God and our hearts are restless until we find our peace with Him.
In theology, this peace is through Jesus Christ. In practice, we've all made mistakes that are deeply regretted. Faith in Jesus brings forgiveness when the Holy Spirit confirms this truth in our inner being.
It is as if a whole new world opens and it's hard to explain. It's like trying to describe the smile on the Mona Lisa to someone who has never seen the painting.
The easy road to follow is to focus on everything else, without too much reflection.
The Cross of Christ is the difficult way. It is like a revolutionary call which is exhilarating and risky; but you are familiar with assessing the value of risks.
Paradoxically with this particular risk - with your invitation to the Lord to forgive you and take control – you will find a new freedom.
Each month I'll elaborate further on these matters, and discuss how a relationship with the Lord Jesus can help calm troubled hearts and rejoice with the joys of life.