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.
“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.
To be a Jesus people is to flip the understandings of the world on its head and show a different way. To stand up and speak out for justice, to serve the widows and the orphans. Sunday is Coming and covid-19 will pass, our restrictions will lift and the light at the end of this tunnel will shine bright. We can celebrate the hope we find in Christ. But we are also called to be a people of justice – those who long to bring the hope of Easter Sunday to others. Will we continue to be the same church, unchanged by the unprecedented global events or will we rediscover what it means to live as an Easter People, turning over the tables of injustice and whilst we anticipate the second coming of Christ, pouring ourselves out for the lost, hurting, dying and broken just as Christ has done for us.
As Christian’s we are able to rejoice, not because we can’t see the world, the problems, the restricts, suffering, and death. Rather our hearts and minds are calmed when we take the time to wake up to the sights, sounds, smells and tastes around us, and find the things for which we can say thank you.
Scripture does not say: “For God so love the world that he gave sickness and disease” “For God so love the world that he gave natural disasters” “For God so love the world that he gave pious prophets, apostles and preachers” “For God so love the world that he gave impossible tests and suffering” No, the Bible says: “For God so love the world that he gave his one and only son” (John 3:16)
This week has been unusual to say the least. The world as we have known it has altered. So, today we can and should observe. Like others, I fear for our little church community, but I hold this small glimmer of hope. When I look at that hope it appears quite beautiful. I think that hope may just be the Spirit of God. "Be still and know that I am God." ~ Psalm 46:10
Over the past few weeks a couple of events have been on my mind (Holocaust Memorial Day & a planned UK Tour by evangelist Franklin Graham). They are completely unrelated and yet both leave me with the resounding message of the importance of loving our neighbours, of not 'othering' those who are different from ourselves.
I could not count the number of worship services or prayers meetings I have attended, been part of, or even led. Sometimes these are wonderful experiences and provide opportunity to find some way of 'connecting with God'. Sometimes these gatherings of fellow Christian's are life affirming and full of joy, others are as dull as waiting for a late train on a damp night after a long day at work and seem to take forever. Many times I have laughed or rolled my eyes at the predictable nonsense I have heard or experienced.