Archive for March 2010

read zoomtard

March 26, 2010

“…But this is not the end of the story. The church is the most powerful and beautiful and flexible and life transforming entity in the world as well. Your local church is your only hope. The local church is the hope of the world…”

ok so you probably already all do read zoomtard but maybe my mum doesn’t.

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me to you, you to me?…

March 22, 2010

me: “why do you think people who have already lived together for a long time still choose to get married?”

Friend: “because it brings a sense of security…”

Being 2.75 months away from walking down the aisle I am thoughtful about all things marriage.  During the above conversation the answers in our discussion were predictable but it got me thinking.  Why is it that couples feel more secure by getting married?  I’m guessing that almost always its because of how it makes them feel to have someone make promises to them that are permanent.  I feel safe because of the words and actions of my husband.  Because HE has promised to love ME for the rest of our lives I can relax.  We feel safe and free and secure all at the same time.  But I wonder if we’re thinking the wrong way round?  Its not that these things aren’t true and beautiful and good… but should that really be what we hope in?  What if my security and confidence shouldn’t be based on someone else’s commitment to ME but rather should be based on MY commitment to THEM?

Should I not be confident that our marriage will last not primarily because of what has been promised to me but primarily because of what has been promised by me.  I of course am not saying that I am any less likely to fuck it up than my husband to be, but I can be confident because of God’s spirit and grace at work in me.  I can only be responsible and in control of how I love the other, but I cannot control how the other loves me.  That way our security and confidence in our relationship does not depend on the other, but ultimately on ourselves (well ultimately on God because it is due to his perfect faithfulness in his covenant to me that I am freed to fully commit to another person).

I realise as I write that it is our confidence in God which not only allows us to have confidence in our own commitment to the other, but also confidence in the other’s commitment to us because that same Spirit is at work in him.  However, all this to say, that marriage is a secure and confident thing not primarily because it is a declaration of someone’s commitment to me, but rather it is primarily about my declaration of commitment to the other.  That’s what I want to be thinking about on my wedding day.  I want to look at AJ.Neill and know that no matter what comes our way on this day I have chosen by God’s grace to commit to love him for the rest of our lives.

(perhaps you might need to remind me of this somewhere down the line;-) )

kingdom builders?

March 13, 2010

I have been a Christian for most of my life and yet I feel like it’s only been in roughly the past 4 years that I’ve thought seriously about the kingdom.  I’m not sure how I missed it… but I kinda did. It’s a glorious thing, the kingdom of God.  Every time Jesus says “the kingdom of God is like…” my heart pricks up it’s ears.  It’s overwhelmingly big, beautiful, powerful, peaceful… it’s shalom… “the way things are supposed to be.”  This is what God is doing, this is the kingdom he is bringing.  That’s a pretty sweet thought.

BUT… my thinking about the kingdom has become a little muddled along the way and I wonder if I’m not the only one.

As a child of God I realise that I am caught up in this kingdom, I become part of it but more than that, I am knitted into the bringing of this kingdom.  ‘Kingdom builders’ as we often call it.  But what does it really mean to be a kingdom builder?  I wonder if at times we Christians have been so excited and envisioned by ‘the kingdom’ and been so delighted to learn that we are part of how this kingdom comes about that we have made a jump in our thinking and ended up in the mud.

God brings His kingdom through His body, the church.  It could be easy to assume therefore that it is us christians who somehow bring about a world where everything is as it was supposed to be.  This is kinda logical because we can see that as we live the lives God has called us to we cant help but be involved in things like tackling issues of injustice, poverty, war, suffering…and so on.  We come to believe that being a kingdom builder means that we literally bring God’s kingdom on this earth.  But this isn’t really accurate is it? (I’m seriously asking).  Is what we do on this earth contributing to the final kingdom?  If not, then in what sense is it that we are part of Gods kingdom coming?

I think sometimes we’ve kind of made an idol out of the kingdom rather than God Himself.  Like we see the kingdom as the end goal and so we pursue it.  But the kingdom of God is not something in itself, it is the result of or the fruit of the bowing of humanity to Jesus as Lord. THIS is what the kingdom is.  Jesus is Lord!

Nelly brought some much needed clarity to my thinking (after an hour long “discussion” in the pub) by helping me understand that the way we build the kingdom is by living lives that constantly declare ‘Jesus as Lord’.  glimpses of the kingdom surface and our prayer is that other’s also bow the knee and declare Jesus as lord.

To me it’s a bit like what boneheffer says about community – ‘if we pursue community we kill it, but if we pursue each other community is the result.’ (something like that anyway!)  It’s kind of the same with the kingdom – if we try and make the kingdom a reality we kill it but if we focus on Jesus as Lord, without even trying the kingdom becomes evident.

to be a kingdom builder is to be people who acknowledge Jesus as Lord and point others to His Lordship. ?

But i still have unresolved questions: –

1) is anything we accomplish here going to remain in the new heavens and new earth?

2) do the ways that non-christians live and pursue kingdom values also contribute to kingdom building?

awaiting your wisdom…and suspecting that if I ever actually read Chris Wright I’d not have these questions.