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'Mail' Newspaper Articles

FOCAL POINT for publishing 11/9/01

Spectators and Participators 

There are areas in my life these days where I'm more comfortable being a spectator than a participator. Partly because of my age and the unwillingness to allow myself to get beaten around on the sporting ground, and partly because I simply enjoy a more sedentary lifestyle. No good the Woori Yallock Tigers Veteran Football Team scouts knocking on my door. Speaking of spectators, some road signage caught my eye on a trip to Marysville. I saw arrows pointing to 'The Spectator Way'. There was no mention of what you would find when you got there or how far you had to go, but I guess serious spectators wouldn't let that put them off. Life is full of participators and those who are happy to watch them. However the downside for sporting spectators, is that they will never smell the liniment or sing the club songs. I have participated in many life pursuits, from farming to building, from oil painting to poetry, from horse breaking to wild boar shooting, and in these areas, at least, I'll never die wondering. But there's a new and rising phenomena around, and that's an interest in the person of Jesus, and in this pursuit, there are also spectators and participators. At the last Melbourne Mind Body and Spirit Festival, many people lined up to hear the story of Jesus told in unusual and creative ways, using symbols, bottles, cards and paintings etc. Those lined up consisted of both spectators and potential participators. I wonder what's different from the days when Jesus walked on this earth? Crowds followed His every move, trying to get a glimpse of a miracle healing or a spectacular act. Today we share a commonality with those people. Like them, we like the way Jesus dealt with people and are probably impressed! But also like them we could be in danger of becoming enthusiastic spectators and admirers only, without actually getting involved with Him and His Kingdom program.
The intriguing thing is that the story of Jesus does not end with His life on earth, it continues in the lives of those who believe in Him. And this is not just a spectator activity, it's a participating in His life and letting Him participate in ours. It is God acting and living in us, and working through us to enrich the lives of others. 



GRAEME DAWSON 0409 517273





 

Focal Point Yarra Valley 2009