2018

MYSTERIES OF SURRENDER

INTO HIS HANDS (TRUST)

INTO HIS HEART (COMMUNION)

IN MANUS TUAS                

IN CORDE TUO

1. Matthew 19:21-22 The rich young man.

Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions.

Surrendering like every aspect of the Christian life is a journey. The rich young man turned up at what he thought was the finishing post with all his boxes ticked, done that, done that, that’s done. Great, says Jesus, now sell all you’ve worked for and give it to the poor. 

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There’s a subtle shift from being asked to live an honourable, comfortable life that everyone respects to doing something rather reckless!!!

 

He couldn’t continue the journey, he went back the way he had come. Did he even hear about the treasure in heaven?

Jesus’ journey to Calvary, to the tomb, through to the Resurrection was a journey of surrender. 

Surrendering can sometimes be a dying to the familiar, to what you’re happy with, to what you’re good at, even or comfortable with - in order to find the new.

We have to let go of the treasure of our own lives to find the treasure in our life with Jesus. 

 

INTO HIS HANDS (TRUST)

INTO HIS HEART (COMMUNION)

IN MANUS TUAS                 

IN CORDE TUO

2. Mark 12:43-44  The poor widow.

And he called his disciples to him, and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For they all contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, her whole living.”

Everything she had. Wow, now that is surrender.

 

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There’s a yearning perhaps to know what happened next. Was she rewarded for her generosity, did a rich widower meet her at the bottom of the street and whisk her off into a new life of wedded bliss or did she get home and find the neighbours had popped in with a week’s worth of food for the freezer? But wait, we’re missing the point.

Everything she had, all she had to live on, wow, now that is surrender, All she had left was God. She had all left. She was literally in God’s hands.

Let’s not be like that basketball spinning on top of the finger, showing off our worth, let’s be firmly grasped in His hands so that He can ‘shoot’ us into the ‘basket’ of his heart.

INTO HIS HANDS (TRUST)

INTO HIS HEART (COMMUNION)

IN MANUS TUAS                 

IN CORDE TUO

3. Matthew 18: 21-22 Forgiveness

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.

 

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It’s easier to forgive someone who has acknowledged their sin and is standing contritely and humbly before us asking for forgiveness. It satisfies, the unsettling revenge inside of us. It shows us that the person standing before us has done their bit of suffering too. The true surrender is getting to the point of forgiveness before that person turns up to apologise and instead of settling our inner revenge we find ourselves instead wanting to reach out to them.

It’s harder to forgive someone who not only doesn’t acknowledge their sin but as we experience it, regularly causes us pain or distress. Jesus understood this one only too well when he topped Peter’s generosity of 7 with 77. The true surrender is to chalk them up, not with an increasing sense of injustice or anger even, but with a share in the supreme generosity of Jesus. “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.”

Choose to forgive. Choose to reach out and be generous. Choose to surrender.

INTO HIS HANDS (TRUST)

INTO HIS HEART (COMMUNION)

IN MANUS TUAS                

IN CORDE TUO

4. Mark 14:64-65 The condemnation of Jesus.

 

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You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death. And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards received him with blows.

Mark describes the condemnation of the Sanhedrin and the mockery that follows. This is just the beginning of the painful journey to Calvary.

What is a more usual reaction to such injustice, being condemned for something you are not guilty of, being condemned for who you are and being physically abused. We might expect an attempt at defence, a lot of anger and noise, bewilderment and distress. But we are met with Jesus’ silence. This is not the paralysing silence of someone in the throes of terror or fear or the arrogant silence of a superior being. This is the silence of free surrender. This is the silence of the Beloved Son in whom the Father is well pleased.

We too can experience, being misunderstood, our opinions and ideas not being valued, being ignored, being put down, being wrongly accused, not being accepted for who we are, being intimidated, being misjudged, being bullied - the list gets longer - maybe we even caused them to be so for others. 

These are all a condemnation of death, for the dignity of a person - of a beloved child of God. We can ‘suffer them in silence’. Yes, so long as our silence is not full of resentment. The silence of Jesus was a silence of peace and dignity.

Jesus was seeking not to conquer the Sanhedrin but the death that resulted from their actions. We can share in that victory over death if we truly understand our dignity as the beloved children of God.

INTO HIS HANDS (TRUST)

INTO HIS HEART (COMMUNION)

IN MANUS TUAS                 

IN CORDE TUO

5. John 13:8 Washing of the feet

Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part in me.”
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This event in the life of Jesus touches at the core of the Christian life - Jesus washing the disciples feet immediately speaks of humility - the All powerful, mighty God choosing as man to carry out the action of a slave - washing away the dirt. That’s the physical dirt on the bottom of the disciples feet - but he also washes away the dirt in our souls as the suffering servant on the cross.

 

He tells Peter he can have no share in the life of the resurrection if he does not accept his role of service, of slave, of servant to humanity. Our God is a God of surrender. 

We share in that surrendering every time we help to wash away the dirt of sin in the lives of others by our example of humble service.

Let us surrender, let us serve. Let us surrender. Let us imitate him, so as to be like him.

INTO HIS HANDS (TRUST)

INTO HIS HEART (COMMUNION)

IN MANUS TUAS                 

IN CORDE TUO