Still reading ‘forty days of yes’ daily but blogging is a bit hit and miss.  The last few days’ worth of readings have contained a lot of challenging material about mission.  It seems that as Christians, and despite what we say about being free from the law, there really is no escape from the biblical mandate to live lives which help others in need (Lord when did we see you hungry, thirsty, naked in prison…?  What good is it to say bless you, keep warm and eat well…?).  And I look at my life despite working full time for a Christian charity, volunteering for various things with my church, and giving financially, and wonder how much of my life really does bring me into contact with people in need and provide ready opportunities to help.  In this respect I feel less effective as a Christian than my grandparents who dug the gardens of the elderly and cooked dinners for people in their village.  Part of the problem, I am coming to realise, is that I am just so busy, and structure my week to the finest degree (such that I always seem to be leaving five minutes’ late and running to get the train or bus for the next appointment) that I have narrowed down the opportunities for casual conversation or chance meetings or impulsive acts of generosity.  It’s also in this sense that cultivating friendships and interactions with neighbours and others is important not just for personal wellbeing but also because it’s through those personal contacts that I would be more able to see and perform those practical acts of goodness that are the bread and butter of the transformed lives we are to live as Christians.  But I also recognise that I need help to do this because so much about contemporary life encourages us to live in silos – within our ‘commuting corridors’ and even to retreat into our homes.  We – I  – need to learn to be a missionary disciple within that ‘normal life’ experience, but also to be able to break out of the routine if that is required.  But I need co-conspirators who are able to make the change with me, so that we can support each other in living differently and more outwardly without exhausting ourselves or neglecting the important acts of routine which do need to take place every day and every week.  Anyone else feel that they need a helping hand to create and discern the opportunities to serve others?  And the moral support and courage-in-numbers to step out in risky ways?

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