Order, disorder, reorder…

I have said, ‘My memory is not what it was’. I found that others shared my belief: getting older leads to deteriorating memory.

Christine Webber, in yesterday’s Eastern Daily Press, challenges this, saying that we should not associate forgetfulness with ageing.

Children forgetting their homework are not taking responsibility; young people forgetting to get up for a lecture have different priorities; an adult forgetting to buy milk has a lot on their mind. All are forgetful – with different reasons!

My previous opinion was ordered and comfortable; Christine Webber’s challenge brought disorder; I have reordered and now think about ‘forgetfulness’ in a different way.

Story-summary, Sermon-outline

John 3:1-8… Nicodemus, a Pharisee, tries to understand Jesus’ teaching:

  • Discovery – Jesus says, ‘You must be born again’; radical but confusing
  • Deconstruction –Nicodemus must dismantle his previous beliefs and rebuild new ones
  • Dimension – It is not about keeping old Jewish laws; it is about the spiritual dimension
  • Direction – This change is like the wind – blowing in a new direction that isn’t predictable or controllable

Jesus’ challenged Nicodemus. His ordered religious beliefs must be reordered; but first they had to be disordered.

The Crisis

We like life to be calm, predictable, comfortable, under control; a carefully built toy brick construction.

Many come to a crisis point – a bereavement, divorce or family breakdown, redundancy, facing up to addictions, a crisis of faith… questioning the purpose of life, the existence and nature of God, caught between a rock and a hard place…

Ordered lives becomes dis-ordered; the rigid brick construction either falls or is dismantled.

But then can it be rebuilt and re-ordered. This needs humility to face failures, a new direction and the strength to change. And for some of us that change comes from a rediscovery of God.

And in that re-ordering a new purpose, power and peace can be discovered.

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