if you want attendance in your church to increase, just give away free rice…
the rice christians have been a plague of the church for centuries and even at the time of Jesus. Jesus suffered lots of rice christians, who only followed him because they had free food
Then some boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus. When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.” Then they said to him, “What must we do to perform the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”
I am one of those rice christians. i only want good things from God. Job asked that baffling question: do you only want to receive good things from God and not bad things also?
For years i have only received the good things, the things i like from Jesus, i refused the difficult things. When i got married, this character of mine was slowly exposed and i saw myself angry disappointed lost. I wondered where was that wonderful Navigator staff that had preached so much indepth spirituality?
I was getting something in marriage and parenting that i did not want, i was not prepared to receive. it send my world tumbling.
nowadays, i am in limbo. I neither want to receive from Jesus nor want to go away. I like Peter know: whom shall we go, only you have the words of eternal life. I just simply walk in circle, neither drawing near now moving away.
from this beautiful meditation from the catholic lectionary (Pray as You Go), i have asked at the end of the session: what prayer has been formed in you?
I said to God. The question was all wrong and Jesus’ answer was wrong as well because he answered a wrong question. I already believe, and I believe so much. But in my heart what i am asking is not how i can do the work God requires. Rather, the true question is, if i were the one to write the bible, how can i open my heart Lord Jesus, how can i welcome the things you are giving me?
I know what he wants to give me. and they will all lead to brokenness.
I have avoided it all my life. i have subverted the redemptive purpose of God, in the curse sending me to live in a fallen world, so that i would be broken and will want to come home.
at the bottom of my heart in the innermost part of my being, i dont hear the longing to go home.
broken people want to go home. this is what the last prayer in the bible means: Maranatha. it is not sounded triumphantly, it is not uttered in joy or celebration. it is spoken through broken voices that are filled with tears.
Panginoon, bumalik kana, hindi ko na kaya, halika ka na, iuwi mo na ako….