Four Way Faith Part Four - Out: Our Obligations to Our Neighbours. When someone cries out “I can’t breathe” we are called to listen, to learn and to be the ones who play our part in bringing freedom and life where there is suffocation and death. This applies across race, gender, age, sex, disability, martial or civil partnership status, sexual orientation, religion or belief, pregnancy and maternity. We must stand alongside those whose voice gets shut out and until justice rolls down like water and righteousness life an ever-flowing stream (Amos 5:24) we must not stay silent because there can be no peace where there is no justice.
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.
Like many dads, mine is at times embarrassing*. Whatever it is that is said or done to cause embarrassment might be accidental, it’s just part of parent/child relationship. Other times there is something purposeful to bring about embarrassment, and one thing my dad thinks is funny is to call out “We know what you’re doing!” … Continue reading All Seeing & All Knowing
When it comes to sin and suffering there is a significant amount if debate, even amongst Christians - mostly because we can't actually know for sure and so how we read and understand the Bible determines our line of thinking. There are questions about the so-called original sin - did Adam and Eve bring sin … Continue reading Blessed Suffering
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…
The Bible is a collection of books to be wrestled with, studied, explored, enjoyed and loved. The Bible provides stories that help us to understand God and recognise ourselves, to see God at work even in the times when it feels like God is absent. I put my faith in God and I believe the Bible is the written authority on the nature of God. It is on this basis that I seek to understand what the Bible teaches about God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and humanity, about good, evil, creation, salvation, the Church, hope, faith and how I might live my life.