Showing posts from March, 2014

Same fire, same story!

The big story of the Temple is another tale which spans the bible narrative from Eden to Revelation. Whispers of a temple, the unadulterated place of God's presence amongst his friends, can be found in the first garden before sin spoiled choices closed the gates.It reappears later in Moses' burning bush and dramatically in the Tent of Meeting where the face to face time with God was intimate friendship under canvas. Even as Solomon dedicated his permanent structure, he knew something of the inadequacy of a mere building to try to house God. You see, the promise from the beginning was that the presence of God in men and women made in his image would spread and fill the whole planet, not just inhabit a building!

Jesus, makes the story his own, personifying old prophetic yearnings of a more glorious house, and declaring that the more glorious temple is in fact a person.'These stones will be torn down and rebuilt in three days', he told his slow to understand disciples. Onl…

The story we find ourselves in.....

What's so amazing about the big story of the bible, is that ordinary people like you and me get to play our part in it.It's as though we actually get written into the script, finding our lives caught up in the grand narrative sweep that stretches like an epic novel from the beginning of time, way ahead into an infinite future hope.

The Apostle Paul put it well in his letter to the Ephesian church when he said that we are now heirs, sharers together with Israel in the promise of Christ Jesus. In other words, it's no longer just someone else's story, we have been scripted in, we get to play our part.

In the Voyage of the Dawn Treader, C S Lewis gives us a similar insight. Edmund, Lucy, and their annoying cousin Eustace are drawn into the Narnian world through a picture of a ship at sea. The picture itself tells a story, but it's as though it becomes alive as they look at it, becoming so real, that they are pulled from their world into a greater reality, a new world.

Firm foundations & lazy longitude

Our individual lives and our church communities can be built on all kinds of foundations. In our preferences we can run after many things, many good things - but not always the main thing!

Sometimes in church life you will observe that an overly pastoral foundation has been laid. A very caring church which meets many needs and offers much in the way of support, but still manages to miss the main purpose. If the main thing is the mission of God into the broken world around us, then any over emphasis, pastoral, teaching, activist, or otherwise in the foundations of a local church can leave us shaping lives that lean away from the bright sun of our main purpose.

Elsewhere you see churches more shaped by the ever shifting preferences of our culture. It's not that surprising when we consider that our churches are made up of ordinary people like us, bringing our imperfections, our personal world views and unstable foundations into the new community. Our lives are not neutral when we come…