Miroslav Volf continues to challenge me and inspire me through his amazing book ‘Free of Charge’. In the section I have been reading this week he talks a lot about the importance of giving having first understood and received the goodness, love and nature of God. God is the utterly loving giver. God does not just love, He is love! Ephesians 5: 1-2 encourages us to be imitators of God. In one sense that’s so hard as we are not and never can or will be God. But he has made us in his image (Gen 1:26-28, Psalm 139) and we can
1) Give when we delight in someone
2) Give to others when they are in need
3) Give to help others give
(Volf, Free of Charge p68-69)
I was also reminded afresh yesterday of the importance of receiving as well as giving. I took some time out to meet up with a friend who is involved in running an urban retreat centre and who has a vast wealth of knowledge and experience in the art of contemplative prayer, reflection and meditation and practising the art of retreat.
I was hosted so well and treated to a really warm, rich and helpful conversation. I did it to help me think and prepare for my next themed journey on Contemplation which starts on the 9th June. I got to spend some time in the retreat centre after our conversation and was really struck by the theme of being rooted.
Rooted in Love, Rooted in Christ and Rooted in Community, Family and relationships and from that rooting comes the outflow of action, but the action can only be legitimate and have deep rooted integrity because of its rooting and the origins first of internal transformation leading to an external, outworked transformation.
I am thankful for the challenges and blessings of the day and resolve to both give and receive to and from others and also from God in his Love, goodness and mercy.