Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Life Together


When Christianity becomes a code of morality, an ethic of 'right or wrong' then you can be sure that we have ceased following Jesus faithfully. The Way of life with God is not about 'not breaking the rules' but about how we might live lives that ever more reflect the Light and Life of Jesus; how might we become more human.
A morality code Christianity inevitably leads to individualism and how 'I' am saved through right living and how 'my' salvation is the most important element of my existence. A life like this is not the abundant life that Jesus calls us into, it is not the life of communion with the Trinitarian Life. Living through a lens of 'not breaking the rules' leads to a spirit of judgement and condemnation or perpetual guilt and shame, sometimes both.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Palestine, Politics and Power

I have a picture of Jesus depicted as a wanted criminal on a poster with an offer of a reward for his capture. It is implied that he is a dangerous rebel whom the powerful are trying to capture because of his criminal activities on behalf of the poor.

I showed this to someone not long ago and they were confused by it. They asked why Jesus was being portrayed in this way. They couldn't understand why politicians or the powerful would see Jesus as an enemy and what relevance Jesus would have in these areas of life.

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In April 2002 am Israeli bulldozer - a bulldozer made and sold by Caterpiller Inc., an American company - destroyed a Palestinian home in the West Bank. The home was destroyed in the middle of the night killing Mahmoud Omar Al Sho’bi's father Umar, his sisters Fatima and Abir, his brother Samir, pregnant sister-in-law Nabila and their three children, ages 4, 7, and 9. 

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Fix Your Eyes on Jesus (otherwise you might fall down a well)


Hippolytus writes, 'It is said that Thales of Miletus...looking towards the heaven, alleging that he was carefully examining supernal objects, fell into a well; and a certain maid, by name Thratta, remarked of him derisively, that while intent on beholding things in heaven, he did not know what was at his feet.'
Jesus calls us to be aware, to 'see', the reality of the world around us. To 'fix your eyes on Jesus' is not to gaze into the heavens longing to be set free from this world; it is to walk with Jesus in the muck and mire, to eat at the table of strangers who become friends, to laugh with Jesus at the joy and the wonder of relationship with God and each other. It is an earthly, gritty and liberating way of 'seeing'.
If our eyes are looking up at the heavens we will miss the beauty and pain of today.
If our eyes are looking to the stars we will miss God with us in the gutter.
If our eyes are fixed on life after death we will miss the beauty of the life of God today and the hope of the Kingdom tomorrow.
If our eyes are fixed on 'supernal objects' we will miss the suffering of our fellow human and the ways Jesus is good news to the poor, oppressed and captive.
How can we walk faithfully with the Risen Jesus if we are stuck down the bottom of a well?

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Christianity

'Christianity entered history as a new social order, or rather a new social dimension. From the very beginning Christianity was not primarily a 'doctrine', but exactly a 'community'. There was not only a 'Message' to be proclaimed and delivered, and 'Good News' to be declared. There was precisely a New Community, distinct and peculiar, in the process of growth and formation, to which members were called and recruited. Indeed, 'fellowship' (koinonia) was the basic category of Christian existence. Primitive Christians felt themselves to be closely knit and bound together in a unity that radically transcended all human boundaries - of race, of culture, of social rank, and indeed the whole dimension of "this world"'. 

Fr Georges Florovsky, Empire and Desert