This week is all about the church’s mission in the world

This week is all about the church’s mission in the world; ABC’s mission in the world. Re-reading the below quotation from Pete Greig might be useful to really fix this in our minds. On Sunday night Mick Court will help us to really work out what the Kingdom of God means for how we care for each other in families.

I’m into Jesus, so we talk. I don’t believe in the power of prayer. I believe in the power of God. So I ask for his help. A lot.

I’m not into evangelism. I hate evangelism!  I’m into Jesus. So I talk to people about him.

I’m not into social justice. I’m into Jesus. So I find myself picking fights with his enemies.

I’m not into worship – all those soft rock songs, over and over again – I’m into Jesus. So when I see him I smile. I bow. And yes, OK I admit that I sing quite a bit too.

I’m not into church (you seen the state of it?) I’m into Jesus, so I like his people. (They’re a little weird, but so am I!)

THE VISION IS JESUS. Not Christianity. Not rules and religion. Not prayer, mission and justice. Not church planting, miracles or mission. Just Jesus.”

Pete Greig

 

 


This week I’ve read through a list of quotations which are all about Jesus…

This week I’ve read through a list of quotations which are all about Jesus. The thing is that none of them are written by Christians. There’s Albert Einstein, H.G.Wells, Douglas Adams, Mikhail Gorbachev & Tony Benn. The thing is that every one of those quotations is positive. It speaks of Jesus’ influence, his example, his generosity his love. Jesus truly is the most amazing historical figure, the most amazing human being and the most amazing Saviour.

 

Today, let our hearts and minds be open once again to wonder as Thomas did at our Lord and our God.

 


Praise!

Praise (noun)

the expression of respect and gratitude as an act of worship.

“give praise to God” synonyms: honour, thanks, glory, glorification, worship, devotion, exaltation, adoration, veneration, reverence, tribute

“give praise to God”

Praise (verb)

express one’s respect and gratitude towards (a deity), especially in song.

“we praise God for past blessings” synonyms: worship, glorify, honour, exalt, adore, pay tribute to, pay homage to, give thanks to, venerate, reverence, hallow, bless;

‘Praise is the duty and delight, the ultimate vocation of the human community; indeed of all creation. Yes, all life is aimed toward God and finally exists for the sake of God. Praise articulates and embodies our capacity to yield, submit, and abandon ourselves in trust and gratitude to the One whose we are. Praise is not only a human requirement and a human need, it is also a human delight.’ Walter Brueggemann


The Lord is my shepherd

Look up the word ‘hackneyed’ in the dictionary and you will find a multitude of definitions: overused, overworked, overdone, worn-out, platitudinous, vapid, stale, tired, ordinary, stock, conventional, stereotyped, predictable, unimaginative, uninspired, prosaic, dull, boring, pedestrian, run-of-the-mill, routine, humdrum, old hat and corny.

On Sunday we will be looking at Psalm 23. These are some of the most familiar words in the Bible. It is a Psalm which has become synonymous with lambs, sheep and bucolic scenes. It has also been a favourite Psalm to be read at funeral services, despite the fact that there are no particular allusions to life beyond death.

So what might this familiar (over-familiar?) Psalm say to us today in our busy, hi-tech, sophisticated lives with our cynical outlooks? In short is this Psalm relevant to us anymore?

 


Engaging with other faiths, WWJD?

This week we pose the question, ‘Engaging with other faiths, WWJD?’ In doing so we will go to the source, the origin of our faith and understanding to identify how Jesus engages with those who are non-disciples, not followers of Jesus. In doing so we will have to deal with one of the misconceptions and abuses of understanding which has evolved over recent years.

This misconception is seen in how Jesus or the ‘Jesus way’ has somehow become a shorthand for unmitigated and unquestioning acceptance and welcome without question, challenge or confrontation. As if our lives can remain just as they are with no expectation placed upon us. John was right when he wrote in the prologue to his Gospel, that when ‘The Word became flesh and blood…’ he was ‘…full of grace and truth.’ After all: ‘Our God is a Lion, the Lion of Judah. He’s roaring with power and fighting our battles… Our God is the Lamb, the Lamb that was slain, for the sin of the world, his blood breaks the chains…


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