I am seeking to be filled with more passion.
- A passion for Jesus – an understanding of his saving grace that animates me and engages my emotions in a way that exceeds all that has gone before in my life;
Early in the selection process I was told I was “strong of creation, strong on incarnation, and weak on salvation” which has bothered me ever since – especially given the last 25 years in churches on the evangelical wing of the church. Since I don’t ‘feel’ it and obviously couldn’t articulate something my Examining Chaplain wanted to see, am I missing something? I was encouraged though by Monday’s Canticle which was from Isaiah 12:
‘For the Lord God is my strength and my song and has become my salvation.’ With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
- A passion for God’s people – a well of love and grace that will fill me with the desire and strength to reach out in simple acts of humanity to those who I may, or may not, want to make space in my life for each day;
- A passion to read, hear and use words wisely – in writing and in the spoken word, in real life, in academia and in cyberspace, in such that a way that walls of mistrust are broken down, not built; I’m aware of the pitfalls Muriel Sowden highlights in this Big Bible post, and don’t want to fall into them.
- A passion for the presence of God that drives me to fight the hustle of the world, for the rhythms and space that enable me to hear his voice; I reckon I’m pretty passionate about this already, but don’t want that passion to be lost in academic books and word counts, or later on in parish life!
- A passion to leave and give enough space in my life to love myself and my family, such that we might be able to strengthen each other’s love and faith, with enough left over to offer simple acts of kindness to others; how does one fit everything God asks of us into one life?
That’s rather a lot of passion! And it’s not like I’m not already really passionate about my faith, else I wouldn’t be embarking on this adventure, but I just think the ‘well’ needs to be deeper!
A fortnight ago, at the same parish service in which my future studies and ministry were prayed for, I was vaguely prepared to try and articulate these thoughts.
God used a better spokesperson though, as we were treated to a great sermon on John 2:13-24 by Mano Emmanuel the Dean of Colombo Theological Seminary (who happens to be the sister of a member of our congregation).
Mano focused our attention on Jesus as a passionate person, one ‘consumed by zeal for God’s house’ (John 2:17). She reminded us that we are called us to imitate him, in our passion to be always engaged with the world, and our willingness to give up our small ambitions so that we can seek to change the world in his name.
I’m not sure therefore if my prayers for passion really go far enough, but for the moment they help me to overcome the nerves on this journey with God, trusting in this call he has on my life. Because I know these are among my areas of personal weakness, or easily endangered by ministry, and I will need this passion to be effective through my future ministry.
In the meantime, do you feel you have a passionate spiritual life that sustains you in whatever you do? If you don’t think you’re passionate enough, feel free to add your prayers to mine
faithful to what is your call on my life,
and in all I am about to embark upon,
make me a passionate disciple of Jesus Christ.
Create within me the will to serve you unstintingly,
a better understanding of your salvation,
a deep well of love and grace for those who I encounter,
the wisdom to listen, hear and use words wisely,
a rhythm of life that enables me to hear your word,
and enough space to love those who you gave me to cherish.
Through the power of your Holy Spirit,
and for the glory of your kingdom.