Here are a few statements to introduce you to this new series.
I believe the greatest task any human has to do is to become deeply self-aware. When that is present all else follows, when absent dangers are everywhere.
Love and work and life are not separate but one and three. They are a trinity of energies to be harnessed and explored.
All my adult life I have been looking at the One who shows us the journey of self-awareness, love, work and life.
Contained in the ancient writings we call the Bible is a 33 year story. It is a love story for sure, it is a life story and it is a work record. It is a 33 year project painstakingly undertaken to breathe life, rekindle love and restore work.
You can give it many names – a magnus opus; an epic poem; an unfolding drama or a mystical story.
You can call it a mission, a journey, an adventure or an odyssey but at its heart there is an individual like us, yet not like us, coming our way but leading the way.
This year I want to ask – what was it like for him? How was it from his point of view? The writer to the Hebrew Christians advised us to “fix our eyes”, to look at this person, Jesus, because looking means learning, somehow seeing, not just him, but ourselves as we can be, can live, can love, can work.
So I want to invite you to attempt to see his story from his perspective for a thousand reasons only yet forming in my mind, but which will make themselves clear as we look.
His favorite title for himself was “Son of Man”. Not only did he use that more than any other title but he was the only one who used it about himself – so we will – and that is the title of our series.
How did he become so deeply self-aware that he fulfilled every hope, dream and vision possible? Perhaps we had better start somewhere tangible.
Can you remember yourself as a newborn? As I write this piece my daughter’s daughter is 16 days and one hour old. I held her when she was only 1 day and 2 hours old.
There are a million thoughts and emotions which strike you when you hold a new born. One is this. A newborn baby has to place utter trust in the adults around her. She is completely dependent on the actions of others.
The bio writers of the four part story of the Son of Man uses phrases and words to try and capture the early days. “The word became flesh”. “Emmanuel – God with us”. And at least once a year we turn our eyes to Bethlehem and remember that moment.
But for him it was an emptying, a letting go, a shrinkage in order to place himself into the womb and then the arms of another, lying there, not even being able to raise his own head, just turn it towards his mother for milk.
This 33 year project had a back story encapsulated in the phrase “In the beginning was the word”. But, lying in his mother’s arms he knew only of his need for milk, sleep, warmth and peace. Right now it was out of his hands and in the hands of others.
I want to suggest to you that this is not only true but the truth. Whatever project, mission or journey you undertake, there will be a phase that is out of your hands. Decisions are made by others, tasks are undertaken on your behalf and your role is to trust. For active, gifted go- getters this is tough. The more self-reliant you are the harder it is to trust. But it is part of the self-awareness journey.
Follow the advice to fix your eyes then fix them on the new born Son of Man, wriggling, rooting but essentially helpless placing utter trust in his parents’ arms allowing his full weight to be supported by their strength and you will begin to see.
Of course 33 years later his very last words would be “Father into your hands I commit…” But that was a journey or self-awareness away, right now it was unselfconscious, intuitive, radical trust.
This piece is dedicated to Suzy and David and newborn Rosa ( b: 17th Jan 2014). Welcome to the journey.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
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