Christian faith makes sense.
And therefore living in relationship with Jesus Christ is the most sensible life of all.
This is why a spiritually mature person will be both aware of and sensitive to their environment, in touch with what they see, taste, hear, smell and touch.
A spiritually (and therefore humanly) mature person will be sense-able.
The one who chooses to walk in nature on a Sunday morning as a sabbath retreat has not missed the point. They are on the right track taking time to engage their senses with creation, listening, gazing, touching, tasting and smelling the beauty of the earth in which we live.
But it takes an even greater level of human maturity to see beauty and encounter the divine in imperfect and flawed people in a church, gathered to acknowledge not simply their oneness with the created world but their dependance on the “almighty creator of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible”.
There’s a subtle segue there: when considering our senses we probably think of five physical senses. However a recent article is titled “5,9,21,53…How many senses do we have?
Think of a sense of balance, of pain, mental stress. sense of self, friendship, and a sense of God.
Five hundred years ago Ignatius of Loyola was onto this when he reminded that the physical senses were the pathways to the senses of the soul.
A symptom of ill health, and a frequent consequence of trauma, can be a repression of our sensory ability, an inability to notice the beauty of creation, to see the mountains and sky, to smell the scents of the garden, to feel the breeze and the waves of the ocean.
In the same way there is also ill health present when a person is unable to see the beauty in their flawed sister, brother, friend and enemy.
When Jesus speaks about damaged senses he often connects this injury with the presence of the evil spirit – “Jesus was casting out a devil and it was dumb; but when the devil had gone out the dumb man spoke.”
This is consistent with the Old Testament: “they have not listened to me, have not paid attention; they have grown stubborn”.
When we live fast we don’t give time to engaging our senses with reality and therefore our life becomes disconnected from the created world, from other people, and therefore from God.
Take time today…to engage your senses…
…and so live sense-ably.
FFF IN THE CAFE… Send your name and the name of a cafe or bar to firstname.lastname@example.org Scribble FFF on a table napkin, take a seat and wait.
DROP IN AT A GATHERING:
Monday 20 March 2023 (and every Monday)
10.00am at Moko (Kudos) in the Bush Inn Centre Christchurch (Directions) Trish
Wednesday 29 March 2023
10.30am at Cafe 28, 28 Cornwall St, Lower Hutt, (Directions) Catherine
Tuesday 11 April 2023 (and second Tuesday of every month)
10.30am at Zenders 44 Hopkins Road, Newstead, Hamilton (Directions). Christina
Thank you John – as always, inspirations to help with finding Jesus in the messiness of everyday life,