That lingering belief that God loves me "but he's most interested in how I'm doing with my job-list of "do's and don'ts" now that he has me....." One of the major "do's" being how well we're doing at sharing him with others........
The problem is, that if our day to day experience of God is just a dry list of jobs - then that is what we'll share with others - perpetuating the myth that a life with God is little more than a divine to-do list..........
Is it any wonder then that so many people find their faith is nothing more than a dry, unexciting, task orientated half-life rather than the amazing richness of the life promised here?
Of course God has, and indeed is, the purpose for life and he has amazing things for all of us to do - but just as importantly, God wants ME and YOU. He delights in us, he wants us whole, he wants us to spend time with him exploring who we are, and what this thing called 'life in all it's fullness' is really all about.
He has made a life for each of us to explore - full of pleasure and delight, richness and reality, relationships and growth, challenge and struggle. That is the life that he wants us to experience and live to the full - that is the life he wants us to share with others, sharing from our desire that they find this rich kind of life too not simply inherit a list of rules.
How often we get so stuck in a list of jobs, restrictions and rules that we forget the fact that real life is about 'God and me' and 'God and you'?
When did we lose sight of the fact that real life - life in all its fullness indeed- is the love story between God and us?
Zechariah was an ordinary priest who was faithful to God, living a fairly ordinary life. (find him here ). He was on the ‘priests rota’, so when he was on duty he would go off to the church and do whatever jobs he had been given – decided by ‘lot’ so it could be anything and everything. Until one day when it all changed.
Zechariah was in the inner sanctuary doing his thing, when an angel appeared and told him that he would have a son who would be ‘a great man in God’s sight’.
As he was very old, Zechariah was quite surprised by this (both the angel and the news, one would assume) - “are you sure?” he replies “We’re both past it”.
Then - just to be sure – he asks the angel for a sign. The angel strikes him mute – which probably left Zechariah wishing he had been a little more specific in the sign he asked for.........
“God regularly works through ordinary people, doing what they normally do, with a mixture of half-faith and devotion, holding themselves ready for whatever God has in mind” Tom Wright
Zechariah would have known the stories of others like Abraham & Sarah, and Rachel & Jacob who had been in the position of being too old to conceive children, and yet being given sons by God - but he doesn't seem to be able to believe it could happen to him.
How many times do we think we are too ordinary? That the riches of God are for the more gifted, more talented, more obvious people..........
But throughout the bible, God lavishes his love on, and uses ordinary people for amazing things – so why on earth not?