No, I don’t mean the twisted and contorted way my mind works. Rather, I’ve been trying to put together some thoughts for the labyrinth at Crossover this year. The general theme for the festival is ’10’ – it’s Crossover number 10 – and there’s the obvious ’10 commandments’ idea which a number of agencies are picking up on. That got me thinking about ‘rules’ and how much pressure we put on ourselves to follow the rules, to be a ‘good Christian’. And it also made me realise that we so often distort our understanding of the ‘rules’ and put them first – we have to follow the rules before we can be called a Christian. And this is just so wrong. God’s grace means that we are offered forgiveness despite being unable to follow the rules. What’s more, the ‘rules’ are there, not to show us what we need to do before we can be accepted by God, but just how much we are incapable of being ‘perfect’ and are therefore fully reliant on God’s mercy (yes, I’ve been reading Luther for my recent Reformation Theology exam). In other words: the law is there to convict us; God’s grace is there to save us.
I want the labyrinth to reflect some of this and also what the proper response to the ‘rules’ is. So, my thoughts for the labyrinth stations are as follows:
- Our rules – everyday rules in society, work, relationships
- God’s rules – 10 commandments, love one another. Easy or hard? Like ‘society’ or different? How?
- Keys/chains – what is the ‘key’ to getting it right? Do we unlock our life or lock ourself into impossible patterns of behaviour?
- Gate/door – does our ‘key’ unlock the door to ‘good living’? Can we follow rules to get us into the Kingdom of God? Keys don’t work; need to knock and let God open the door. Jesus is the gate.
- New rules – Jesus hasn’t got rid of the law. Are there new rules? Do we now have to keep them for sure?
- Freedom – God’s rules are not to bind us but to free us. But what is freedom?
- Service – freedom and servitude, but not contradictory. Not just saved ‘from’, but also saved ‘for’. Saved to serve, but God’s service does not bind or constrict. Service to God ushers in the kingdom of God – a foretaste of freedom to serve God wholeheartedly and to love unconditionally.
Main question is – is it a coherent whole? In my mind it is, but that’s because I am probably filling in the gaps unconsciously. And I also need to come up with some activity for each one.
Comments and suggestions welcomed.