Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

'The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked: his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours.' Jonathan Edwards, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God"

That old Jonathan Edwards; what a charmer!



This vision of God is one of vengeance, anger, wrath and utter contempt for humanity.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Our Weird Little World

What is the beauty of the Gospel?



The beauty of the Gospel is the beauty of relationship, a letting into our 'weird little world' Someone who really does know us, who truly understands us, who passionately believes in us, who utterly, totally and without condition loves us.

This is what God is like.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Revolution

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.



Friday, 6 February 2015

A War Prayer

Heavenly Father

Have mercy upon us.

As we look around the world we see violence and destruction, death and decay, hatred and murder.

We watch in horror as bombs shatter lives, leaving behind weeping, rubble, blood and bitterness.

We despair as hatred and apathy leave victims living in fear.

Yet like anaesthetic coursing through our veins we watch on.

We pray for the lives destroyed in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and many others beyond our sight. Forgive us Lord in the West for our own greed and violence that has created further unrest and suffering for those living in these lands. Forgive us Lord for our ideological and political bullshit that furthers the injustice and oppression of people, not just in these lands but in other places across the world.

We pray Prince of Peace for an end to conflict.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Excluded Possibilities

Paul Tillich once said, 'Love conquers...the excluded possibilities.'

2000 years before him Paul said that love never fails.

And before him Jesus said 'Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.'

Humanity is connected in ways beyond our comprehension. We are a collective people where self-imposed and power-imposed and fear-imposed boundaries separate us, yet these boundaries can never extinguish the shared humanity, the collective consciousness, the inter-connectedness that is a reality of our existence.

So we need to learn ways to reconnect, to be brave and go beyond the boundaries to rediscover our common humanity, the image of God in each of us.

And yet we are a violet and rivalistic species, imitating each others desires to the point where we will scapegoat in order to calm our violence. Rene Girard's groundbreaking work on mimesis highlights our innate desire to violently desire to the point of sacrificing those whom we have scapegoated in order to restore peace, at least for a time.