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.
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.
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
I know it could sound either big headed or like a pipe dream, I mean who really believes they can change the world? I say I believe in the all creating, powerful, mysterious God and that I love adventure but then I play it safe. I want to learn how to take real steps of faith to live out my faith in such a way that my world is changed and therefore the world for others is somehow better.
Do you remember science classes in high school? Other than Bunsen burners and the Van der Graff Generator, me neither! One thing that you learn in biology is about life. All living things apparently have 7 life processes that indicate that they are in fact living. Perhaps you recall MRS NERG... (Movement, Respiration, Sensitivity, Nuitrition, … Continue reading A Vision for Church: Journeying
When I sat down to write about the church being hopeful and offering hope I had in mind to write about being a resurrected people, living with the faith that despite the darkest of times we face we live in the hope that resurrected life is just around the corner. I come to this but … Continue reading A Vision for Church: Hopeful
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
Part of my training to become a pastor involved completing a theology degree. In addition to those elements of the course that focussed on academic study and essay writing we would also complete sessions to help us consider and prepare for the more practical aspects of ministry. There would be sessions looking at funerals and … Continue reading A Vision for Church: Repentant
I will admit I can find it somewhat pretentious to talk about the prophetic. I think it comes from the experience of preachers claiming to be prophetic, having prophecies or claiming a title of Prophet and making bold claims that God is speaking to them about specific issues of the future. Frequently these claims are … Continue reading A Vision for Church: Prophetic