Tuesday, 10 February 2015


Tick tock, tick tock.

Seconds continually scratching at the fabric of time, 'now' being unmasked as 'past', the future being drawn into the present.

Relentless and without favour or regard; tick tock, tick tock.

In ignorance and seeming inevitability we surrender to the sea of time finding ourselves carried by the tide, all around us an apparent outcome of the continuous scratching of time.

Tick tock, tick tock.

Yet in the midst of the stream of ignorance and bliss we notice some who are struggling, no longer resting in the tide of time and inevitability but seeking to find their feet, to stand and walk out of the stream. They are shaking, confused, yet determined. They believe that all does not have to be as it seems.

So they fight to find their feet, the current strong and often pulling their feet away from the ground, yet on they go, fighting, striving until they reach the bank. Pulling themselves out and sometimes dragging others with them, they stand and finally survey their surroundings.

Everything looks different.

Tick tock, tick tock no longer a soothing anaesthetic but a call to transformation, an awakening to a different reality. Revolution is in the air.

Some begin to speak in hushed and whispered tones, words of life, words of love, words of freedom. These words are carried by the Wind to others, yet all are careful not to snatch at these words, for they are fragile to begin with because of their power to challenge and transform. Snatch at them and they will disintegrate and fall away in the Wind like burnt paper. Yet allow them to settle into your heart, into your soul, into your mind and strength and they become a power unlike the world has ever seen, a force that will revolutionise entire communities.

This power looks unlike anything the world has ever seen.

Kings and kingdoms are founded on the blood of enemies, these red streams that flow to the feet of those on their thrones; kings and conquerors, investment bankers and Caesars, dictators, politicians and powerful all walk through the pages of history leaving their bloodstained footsteps on the foreheads of those they oppress and rule over.

Tick tock, tick tock.

Yet a young Galilean preacher steps into this history of violence and blood and speaks a better word. His voice, at first whispered and hoarse in the desert of temptation to power and violence, speaks that there is another way.

The Kingdom of God is within your reach he declares, yet snatch at it or violently grasp hold of it and it will vanish before you like a whisper that becomes a myth, a myth that becomes a fantasy, a fantasy that is lost in the relentlessness of the passing seconds.

Allow it to settle, let it take root, give it time to grow he says. Once rooted they will become strong and unshakeable.

So this peasant preacher continues the revolution through his words, words that shatter the very fabric of time, words that unsettle all that we know, 'You have heard it said...but I say to you...' These are not simply words of revolution, this is the flesh of transformation.

'The Word become flesh and tabernacled amongst us.'

This young revolutionary declares God is amongst us, no longer hidden away by the violent and powerful in the temples and tabernacles, but present with us, among us, for us, not against us.

Jesus declares his kingdom is not of this world, a kingdom not based on bloodshed or violence or oppression, but on a radical subversion to everything around you.

The enemy is blessed and prayed for, the outcast is embraced and cared for. Peace will come not through the wielding of the sword but submission to a cross.  His teaching and life transforming the seconds so that they no longer are a scratching away of the very fabric of time but an unveiling of the beauty and potential of 'now' and hope filled pointer to the 'not yet'.

This new community of a people turning cheeks, loving enemies, laying down swords, loving neighbour, especially those who we are least like, most afraid of and prejudiced towards, this new community of people transform an entire empire.

The words of this peasant preacher continuing to ring in the ears of the most powerful, a life that splits the very pages of history and shapes the very world we live in.

'You have heard it said...but I say to you...'

Gazing back and looking forward we see revolution once again on the horizon. Those of faith and those of none unsettled and disturbed, putting down their feet, standing on the bank of change and blinking in the sun. The words of this itinerant peasant preacher called Jesus finding root in their lives, challenging them to pursue a different world, a different story, another life.

'You have heard it said...but I say to you...'

Will you, will I, be ready when the moment comes, when that defining moment in our context and communities occurs and all that has grown and taken root now has an opportunity to be fully expressed and realised?

Will we declare, standing in the footsteps of all those who have gone before who stand in the footsteps of Jesus, 'You are saying to me, but there is One who says another word, a better word...'

'...but I say to you...'

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