Friday, December 4, 2009

Christian Perfection and The Not Dead Yet Club

Good morning God - thank you for a great night's sleep and for the energy of this morning. You've given me another day to think about my membership of the 'not dead yet club' and why its so important to me.

Since I made the choice to be a member rather than an adherent, and committed myself to playing a full part in my life, I must confess, I have grown in grace in ways I really would not have imagined. It has provided me with new insights into prayer, given me an awareness of the power of the sacrament to truly resurrect, of the importance of ministry to be 'truth bearing' rather than just 'soothe saying' - and it has totally transformed my reading of scripture.
But above all this - my membership has made me realise just how much I really love your people.

'I give you a new commandment - that you are to love one another, just as I have loved you.'

This deep gift of grace - the power to love - fills me and overflows into every aspect of life is almost impossible to describe. I recognise it best as that part of you which truly is in me. It is the transformational, resurrectional power that reaches out to hold and embrace, to release hope and quell fear, to nurture into that fullness of life where there is no answer to be afraid of, only another question we are invited to explore. It is the part that commands and compels me to hold out the hope of Christian perfection and theosis as a reality not a doctrine.

This, you are teaching me, is what it means to be incarnate - to be 'God with us' - to love so completely that we do not fight shy of being all that we are and all we are destined to be.

You can't be a member of the not dead yet club without wanting and encouraging others to join, because belonging makes you so - well - alive! It makes you rejoice and share the good news that the purpose of life is not to live as long as you can, but as fully as you can, with one aim - Christian perfection. 'Not only are you not dead yet - but God has not finished with you yet- for you are not yet perfect. And that purpose alone transcends the transition we call death and continues into the life everlasting.

My membership of the not dead yet club (aka the Church) has been renewed and transformed this year by so many things. Many will think that the greatest influence has been the knowledge of my own mortality - but in truth - the greatest inspiration has been the need to find forgiveness and understanding for those who react so badly to the news that I have cancer. I needed an answer for those whose fear of sickness, death, disability and dying, (or any one of the many 'problems' that diseases can cause) persuades them that I can't possibly live life fully now, but must be forced to live it decreasingly, in miniature, in hushed tones, breathy prayers and reduced responsibilities until I die. I needed to find a way to reduce my anger at such people, and hopefully persuade them to allow me to live!

This then has been your answer to my prayer for greater grace when all I have wanted to do is scream at people 'I'm not dead yet' . You have helped me to love them, and find a way of pointing out their fearful gospel of limitations. You have helped me to love them, and at the same time to grieve for their lack of confidence in your creation and grace. You have given me enough love for them to be able to leave them if needs be in order that I might live.

You have taught me how to proclaim - not scream - my membership and ministry in the not dead yet club.

I am not dead yet - I am being perfected in grace
You have not finished with me yet.


  1. He sure aint finished with you yet.XX Can I join you in the words you used in paragraph 4..

  2. As ever Angie, thank you so much for such an honest and true sharing of your faith. You are a real gift!