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The Challenge: Part 2

Here is a single clue: name a word that has a number of different meanings: when you strike this you hope to get a flame .

You guessed it: match.

In John’s gospel the Message translation of the Palm Sunday/Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, reading the word “match” is used.

The disciples didn’t notice the fulfillment of many Scriptures at the time, but after Jesus was glorified, they remembered that what was written about him matched what was done to him. John 12:16 Msg

Match is both a noun and a verb. As a noun it can describe a soccer, tennis, cricket or other sporting event. Match is also the name for a small wooden stick with a substance on the end that when stuck produces a flame. As a verb, match can mean both when things are similar or go together as in “the shoes match the dress” and when one thing is as good as or equal to another as in “the two teams were a good match up”. This week that verse in that translation got the word match on my radar.

Years ago someone shared with me a definition of integrity: when words and actions match. As we close this season of Lent and “being C students”. The challenge to which I invite you is to match your words with your actions and also intent with your actions. The challenges we face will be lifelong and when we have willingness to be lifelong students we can allow for the grace of making mistakes and not letting them define us.

This will take ongoing attention and awareness. Perfectionism is not the goal. Thinking that somehow I should “be there by now”, arrive, have completed understanding or awareness - some sense that over time I won’t need to learn anything else is an illusion. Just as is the “perfect” match (see the musical video above) in a partner or job, home or child.

Instead here is the challenge: be open and allow yourself to be a lifelong learner. My hope and prayer is that you will take to heart that as lifelong students our part is to provide the willingness necessary for the learning and growing. We then ask for God's help to match intent and action, words and actions. God's Spirit takes our willingness and from there we can be set on fire. You see it only takes a spark.

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