Four Way Faith Part Three - Out: God's Gift of Neighbours. We must follow Jesus’ example with Zacchaeus to accept the hospitality of those who different from ourselves, who others look down upon and speak ill of, even those who cause harm to others. Through accepting the gift of others we break down barriers and our lives, others lives and the kingdom of God benefit. When new people move into the houses, streets and towns around us (even our churches) it can be tempting to complain about change, to reflect on the way things used to be, or the people we used to see. Our challenge as Christian’s is to have the view of seeing the outsiders, the others, our neighbours as gifts, welcoming and accepting the gift they are and the gifts they bring.
As Christ is revealed in us and so we revealed as the children of God for whom creation awaits with eager longing. As Christians, as followers and believers in Jesus and his Way, filled with God’s Spirit and seeking to glorify the Father we must have a mindset such as that described by Stan Rushworth, thinking about “obligations to serve past, present, and future generations, and the planet herself.” In serving the planet we serve ourselves, our neighbours and our God for all are interconnected.
We are gifted with the natural world to enjoy the way it makes us feel and gives us life, to enjoy the fruits and harvest it provides, to receive healing for ourselves, our souls, our bodies, and our minds. Time amongst nature aids renewal for relationships and depth of connection with God, ourselves, our neighbours and our shared world.
Have you ever read a much-loved book or watched a favourite film umpteen times, so much so that you know the quotes and look forward to particular moments but then one day you notice something that you have never seen before? One of the most random examples I experienced was watching the film Willy Wonka … Continue reading Four Way Faith
I am pretty sure we all know the story of Adam, Eve, the serpent and the fruit. Told in Genesis 3 immediately following the descriptions of creation and all that is good the Bible introduces the theme of what we know as ‘The Fall’. Interestingly there is very little description of the goodness of creation … Continue reading Falling Into Temptation
There are two accounts in the book of Genesis that describe God’s creation of humanity. Genesis 1:26-31 speaks of God creating people in God’s image to have dominion over the earth whilst Genesis 2:26-31 says that God first created man and subsequently woman to provide companionship as they tend and care for the garden. These … Continue reading Made in God’s Likeness
“In the beginning God created…” (Genesis 1:1) I’ve never really had a problem with the idea that the story of creation as presented in the Bible and the discoveries of science can co-exist. I recall as a teenager sitting in a church youth group in a discussion about the creation narrative of the Bible with … Continue reading God Created…
“I’m not sure what I believe.” There was a pause and I assured her that this was okay. She went on, “I mean, we have been taught about God in church but we have been taught all this other stuff in school that makes sense too. Evolution makes sense. So, I don’t know if I believe in God or not.” I could tell she was nervous saying this and other faces suggested they were interested to see and hear my response. Again, I assured her that this was alright. I appreciated her honesty and I think it’s better that we are honest about what we believe than to pretend. One after another the group all backtracked on their previous answers. It was liberating.
'In the beginning God created...' (Genesis 1:1) How did the church become so bland? Look at historic church buildings and they are incredibly intricate, ornate and beautiful. People will travel for miles simply to visit a church building because the architecture and the art are incredible. Over the years the church has influenced music, not … Continue reading A Vision for Church: Creative
About six months after my wife and I married I was diagnosed with depression. I have been known to make the rather obvious joke about the cause of my depression being married life, in reality this couldn't be further from the truth. I likely suffered with depression for years before I ever met my wife. … Continue reading A Vision for Church: Liberating