Names and Stories
Often times when people of a Christian faith celebrate ‘Confirmation’ they choose an extra name - one of the names of the recognised Saints. Such moments can put us in touch with inspiring stories of good and courageous people who’ve gone before us - and some obscure ones too. At a recent Confirmation I was told of Saint Roch - patron saint of plague victims - and wait for it - of dogs! Legends abound in stories of the past - some more accurate than others no doubt. But to get a bit in touch with some of the people of past days - like big name ‘saints' or influencers for good from the wider world - or less known influencers from our own family or community stories - can give us a great sense that we now stand on the shoulders of lots of people who’ve walked the journey before us.
A community here and more
There’s an awesome concept in our Christian faith saying that even now we can consider ourselves as members of the communion of saints – a people united across earth and heaven for whom, in God, life is one integrated journey. It’s a powerful concept of faith that we don’t live the real life just here on earth and then drift into some kind of sleepy, less real kind of existence afterwards! Rather, through the lens of faith we can say that a full and enduring real life is under way.
All creation matters
The invitation in faith is to participate with God in making 1. the life we see and live now - AND 2. a further, enduring picture of life beyond what we can see - into ONE - united reality. In this kind of understanding, this life matters - and all creation matters – because it is this life and this creation that is the arena already now, of God’s gift of life, of evolving, and of ongoing transformation for us. We are on a journey in which all of God’s creation is related and connected - all of God’s creation is unfolding towards fullness – a fullness we believe is God’s desire for us now and unending.
Such a vision is given by the ‘incarnate’ – or enfleshed – Jesus, who came into the heart of this life and creation – who showed us that our connection to the divine is in and through our flesh and blood and the created world. What a joy it is that the more we can take this to heart, the more we can live to the full, now, beyond fear. In such a vision of faith, life, forever, has begun.
With friendship in God’s mission,
Originally featured in paulfromifm.org.au in December 2019