Why you should read Krish Kandiah’s Lent Cover to Cover Study Guide – Living Faith: Invitations from the cross…
I like being comfortable. I think most people do. I like my bed to be comfortable; my shoes to be comfortable; my office temperature to be comfortable (though it rarely is); the exact positioning of the driver’s seat in my car to be comfortable. I also like my faith to be comfortable. And it’s recently occurred to me that maybe it’s not supposed to be.
Sure, a fruit of the Spirit is peace – and I like a lot of that, too. But if I’m honest, my relationship with God often seems to be something of a wrestling match – and I mean that in a good way – so if my faith has become comfortable, it quite possibly means that I’m not talking (or listening) to Him enough.
The Christian faith makes us uncomfortable for a number of reasons. It challenges so many of our neatly organised paradigms. The kingdom of God is often described as ‘upside down’ – the last being first and all that. But there’s also a challenge to die to self; a mandate to love the unloved; the realities of eternity, and they’re all part of the package.
Some of Christianity has become very clean and tidy. These days, the nativity story is more about fairylights, frankincense and donkeys than it is about refugees, squalor and the details of childbirth that we’d rather not consider while we’re singing ‘Silent Night’ for the four-hundredth time. We’ve cleaned it up a bit and made it sparkly, rather than celebrating the fact that God chose the most disgusting venue imaginable for His Son’s grand entrance into the world.
I think I’ve done a similar thing to Easter. I’d rather think about the daffodils, chocolate and upbeat Easter Sunday services than allow myself to take a minute to actually think about thorns, whips and nails. (On the flipside, I’m not sure it’s healthy to sit around and think about crucifixion all the live-long day.) But while reading Krish Kandiah’s Living Faith, I decided to position myself uncomfortably, just for a little while, and consider the reality of what it is that Jesus has done for me. (And I say ‘me’, not ‘us’, because that’s how personal it is.)
Exploring the invitations Jesus extended to us while hanging on the cross, Krish isn’t afraid to acknowledge the nitty-gritty and pass on the challenge without cleaning it up first. There’s something particularly upfront and raw about this book – and yet so gracious and gentle – that made me unbelievably thankful. Jesus suffered for me, and acknowledging that makes me uncomfortable. It kick-starts something inside me, and it’s a really good thing.
So pull up a chair and get comfortably uncomfortable this Lent.
About Living Faith: Invitations from the cross
This Lent, join Krish Kandiah as he invites you to travel back in time to stare intently at the cross of Jesus. Take time to explore the rich tapestry of meaning that surrounds this central and most defining moment in history. Find out more here.
About Rebecca Berry
Rebecca is Acting Lead Editor at CWR.