Dangerous Wonder

Dangerous Wonder

Thursday, 16 October 2014  | Narelle - MECS Principal
In a few short weeks, we say goodbye to our Year 12 students – no doubt they will exit with style! They have survived thirteen years of schooling and are hopefully ready for the big wide world of work or tertiary studies. Most of them have worked hard and we trust that they all achieve the results they hope for.

This is a very significant time for these students, and one way that we can be part of that is through prayer. There will be formal and informal opportunities for prayer over this period, and I invite you to join me in praying for the following;

That God might be real in their lives
That they may form positive and valuable relationships
For their study preparation and exams
For their career, job and course choices
That they might make an impact on the world and make a difference, using their gifts and abilities in the service of others
For an adventurous life of faith

The last petition might be a prayer that we all pray for each other. It is an important reminder that the Christian life is not necessarily comfortable or safe.

In a stimulating and provocative little book, ‘Dangerous Wonder’, Michael Yaconelli reminds us that faith is about risk and adventure; faith was never meant to be dull. He writes, “We are in a war between dullness and astonishment. The most critical issue facing Christians is not abortion, pornography, the disintegration of the family and moral absolutes, MTV, drugs, racism, sexuality or television. The critical issue today is dullness. We have lost our astonishment. The Good News is no longer good news, it is okay news. Christianity is no longer life changing, it is life enhancing. Jesus doesn’t change people into wild-eyed radicals anymore; he changes them into ‘nice people’.”

Yaconelli suggests that we need to recapture a ‘dangerous wonder’. ‘If we have lost the gleam in our eye; if Jesus no longer chases us in the ragged terrain of our souls; if we have forgotten what it is like to stand speechless in the presence of Jesus, hearts beating wildly, staggered and stunned by what God is doing in the world; then we need to rediscover the astonishment and terror, awe and risk, passion and anticipation, daring and enchantment of faith.’

C.S. Lewis captures this dangerous aspect of faith when the children in ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ meet Aslan, the Lion, after he has come back from death. Many see in Aslan an allegorical reference to Jesus and the awesome, yet playful relationship into which he invites us.

“And now –“
“Oh yes. Now?” said Lucy jumping up and clapping her hands.
“Oh, children,” said the Lion, ‘I feel my strength coming back to me. Oh, children, catch me if you can!”
He stood for a second, his eyes very bright, his limbs quivering, lashing himself with his tail. Then he made a leap high over their heads and landed on the other side of the table. Laughing, though she didn’t know why, Lucy scrambled over it to reach him. Aslan leapt again. A mad chase began. Round and round the hilltop he led them, now hopelessly out of their reach, now almost letting them catch his tail, now diving between them, now tossing them in the air with his huge and beautifully velveted paws and catching them again, and now stopping unexpectedly so that all three of them rolled over together in a happy laughing heap of fur and arms and legs. It was such a romp as no one has ever had except in Narnia, and whether it was more like playing with a thunderstorm or playing with a kitten Lucy could never make up her mind. And the funny thing was that when all three finally lay down together panting in the sun the girls no longer felt in the least tired or hungry or thirsty.”

We pray that our Year 12 students might indeed develop this type of adventurous faith; but let us all be reminded that we also need to find places where the dangerous wonder of faith can be discovered or rediscovered.

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