That word says so much about us. What training have we had, what exams have we passed, what trust should be put in us now we are qualified … and the division is seeded.
He is not qualified to do this, she should get some qualifications, why do I have to be qualified – it’s only a piece of paper … and on and on.
Has this exact problem: seminary training, theological training, the institution’s demand for “knowledge about” on the assumption that “knowledge of” is the minister’s problem – because the training and assessment will weed out those who have “not found the right God” already.
A qualified leader, shepherd, whatever you name you use – and an unqualified flock, congregation, called out something. A divine relationship made for heaven. A relationship relying on God to fix the shortcomings. That fixing relying on the fix-ees realising they need fixing, accepting they need fixing, and actively participating in the fixing (or saving and relationship as we more usually call this).
There is an assumption of “allowings” necessary in this cobbled together kind of pathway to heaven. And if one party sees no need for “allowing” – then the pathway to heaven is strewn with good intentions tripping up others along the way – which becomes a very narrow and bumpy road indeed (or salvation and relationship as we more usually call this).
“Jesus also told them a parable: “Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully qualified will be like the teacher. Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbour, ‘Friend, let me take out the speck in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbour’s eye.”” Luke 6:39-42
There it is: “ … everyone who is fully qualified will be like the teacher.”
From out of the mouth of The Teacher Himself.
Which counts me out – I am not fully qualified (or even partially qualified).
Oh well, let’s all leave to those who are (and we are taught that as well).
Hiya God, good to see you again – how are You doing this fine morning … ?
This morning God Soft Hands Jesus took me to Mounce and the Greek version of that word. And as I am not fully qualified – I simply followed His lead. Here is what “the Mounce version” has to say:
“… but everyone when fully prepared will be like his teacher”
And that word “prepared” – καταρτίζω (katartizō) – means this according to where GSHJ guided:
to adjust thoroughly; to knit together, unite completely, to prepare, provide, to qualify fully, to complete in character, fit, ripe, to repair, refit, to supply, make good, to restore to a forfeited condition, to reinstate.
“to restore to a forfeited condition”
Qualified – fully qualified – becomes not bits of paper …. becomes “fully prepared” (by Who if not The Teacher?) … becomes “restored to a forfeited condition” (by Who if not restored by The Teacher?).
A forfeited condition.
Life before allowing God. Life before allowing God to indwell. Life before allowing God Soft Hands Jesus to become “my better half”. Life before allowing me to become what I am today. And tomorrow and the day after and the day after that.
So long as I keep “allowing” my “forfeited condition” to become my real “living and loving condition” – my daily condition – my true condition: Him in me and me in Him – not for my benefit – my salvation – my life ever after … not that “only” …
But because that is contagious – it is a virus – it is the condition we each have forfeited. It is a condition we each deserve to have restored in an abundance of diversity. That rich abundance He creates in the very “lost world” we inhabit.
So some call it “Love”, some call it names our “fully qualified” institutions say is “not the right God”, some of us say is “not the right God”, all of us (!!) say is “not the right church” – and we tend to leave it to others (the ones who are qualified) to tell us “what is right and what is not” …
And in so doing … ? We forfeit our “true condition” again – and again – and again … Because we do not “allow” the very God we are arguing about.
God Soft Hands Jesus (or whatever your name and religion) does not demand pieces of paper.
He allows each of us to become One with Him. One in Him. And whether we accept that invitation or not … He is abundant in each of us – just waiting to blossom with us when we are ready to blossom with Him. Each of us. No matter the name we give Him.
He simply desires our “forfeited condition” to be restored to our empowering and liberating and loving reality.
If you do, if you have, if you are … that means (to the unqualified me) that YOU are like The Teacher! YOU have the contagion! I am like The Teacher – I have the contagion!
Because Love is like God – too big to be made safe, to be boxed, to be tucked away in a neat cupboard: Love IS the answer – all we have to do is to allow ourselves to be restored in Love. Unconditional Love – universally similar, universally abundant, universally liberating, and universally uniting.
Do you serve the “right God” in the “right way”?
Then why not allow others to do the same in “their way” with “their God: also being restored to a “forfeited condition”. What have you to lose? What have you to gain?
So why not allow each to allow Him … why not allow yourself to allow Him … and allow me to allow Him … unconditionally universally and lovingly. Just as He Loves.
That is light overcoming your own darkness, my own darkness – that is restoring (to a forfeited condition).
And that is uniting. Because that is Love. One Love that connects all.
Because that is what Love “does”.