Monday, 15 February 2010

Presence and perseverance


My internet mentor/ prayer buddy, has shared some thoughts about presence and perseverance,

"God is present." Just those three words, if we could just let that reality sink in. Earlier I read the words, “God's presence surrounds us in love--even when we are full of fear and confusion, or lost in sin. The constant presence of God is always and intimately with us, inviting us to respond."

I also had some thoughts on the word "perseverance." I thought maybe the word came from the idea of severing off, being free from, 'letting go', of perhaps old ways, which I thought seemed pretty good , but a prayer site I read told me, "persevere" comes from ,per - se - vere
which loosely translated says "by means of the truth.”
I do think the derivation of the word 'perseverance' from that site may be a little dodgy, though I did like it. Most dictionaries seem to break the word up as: per-severe; "per" meaning through and "severus" meaning severe. Perseverance is when we are given grace to hang in there while going through something hard or severe.

I found these insights so very helpful and had lots of thoughts about them, they have also got me reading through the bible for sections that deal with these two themes of God’s presence and our perseverance, the two are linked! A quick google also revealed that other faiths have shared our insights about perseverance as God with us, hence the quote in the picture above is from the Koran.

I mainly just want to let the words James wrote stand; I may blog on some of my ideas about them later. Perseverance is not perhaps a very appealing quality, but one of the first things that occurred to me is that it is the fourth in the list of the fruits of the spirit and is a sign and gift we are given when God is with us:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (King James)

As you can see from the post below, I am not very keen on the Christian view of Lent as a time of penance, deprivation and sack cloth and ashes but more as a time of green shoots and renewal.
Wishing you all love, joy and peace – and God’s transforming presence in any longsuffering – as we approach Lent this year.

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for these thoughts. I don't find it easy to persevere and perseverance being a fruit of the spirit was something I hadn't really noticed. My bible says - patience- quite a watered down word. Lets all go back to that good old fashioned word - longsuffering- and per-se-vere , going on through the severe because that is what it is most of the time.

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  2. The King James version doesn't seem to have "kindness" though. I do think kindness is a very under rated quality.

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  3. Hebrews 12:1

    Since we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that entangles us and run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

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