Monthly Archives: January 2012

Persons are us

A few years ago, my grandson, Max, when his sister Sophia was a new baby, was pretty jealous of sharing his parents’ attention with this newcomer.  

 Max : “Dad, you are a person.”        “Yes.”.

 “Mum you are a person.”                    “Yes.”

 “And I am a person!”                            “Yes.”

 “But Sophia – a sausage, burning.”   Smiles.

 Still makes their Dad chuckle.

 So what is a person?  Yes, much more than a sausage! Even a sausage burning.

 For Jesus, the one whom God sent to show us what He is like, the most important thing was meeting people. Talking to them and showing that he actually cared that they were there. That they were persons. He heard the cry of their hearts. He entered into their lives.  

 I like what a friend wrote recently about music and song, wonderful though they are: “You may be the only person who connects with someone on a personal level who then shows them that someone actually cares.  This, to me, is more important than all the songs you can write, sing or play.”

 People really want to know that you care about them.  We so need to get to know them on a deeper level and create true relationships with them. We need to laugh with them, cry with them, eat and drink with them.

So where did Jesus meet with people in his days as a Jewish man? Yes, in the synagogue, as he was a Jew. But in the synagogue, it inevitably led to controversy with the strict religious, or conflict over his teaching and then forcible removal. So it was mostly on the street, in the open, at dinner parties, weddings, funerals and especially with his followers and ‘sinners’ over meals.

 And, he doesn’t suggest his followers attend anything like a ‘worship service’ or a church or to go to a synagogue service! Nor were they told to create such human constructions, but to simply go the houses of “people of peace” and accept their hospitality.

After his death and rising and the out-pour of the Holy Spirit, Jesus’  followers continued to meet in Jerusalem in homes and at public places to be part of a whole new community of the Spirit. It was all about loving, caring relationships instead of laws, rituals and legal requirements. Real persons.

 That’s because Jesus and his Dad are persons. We also are persons ‘made in his image’, wonderfully designed and wondrously equipped to be God’s friends.  And so God still meets persons on the street, in the open, at dinner parties, weddings, funerals and especially with his followers over meals.

 Why do we so often deny our uniqueness, our special-ness, our design, the purpose of our existence here on Earth?  Why do we continue to deny the greatest matter of all? Why do we keep on ignoring such a gracious and welcoming Dad?

 I would welcome your answer.

The human desire for certainty

“Faith is believing what you know ain’t true”  Mark Twain

No. No. No. Not so!  Faith, true faith, is trust and we need evidence to be able to trust! We need evidence.

That is how we live, e.g., we trust surgeons and flight captains with our lives. We trust that others will obey the road rules when we are driving. And we trust those we love. We cant see it, but we trust that there is this thing called love.  The scientist trusts that the world is really there, that her brain is working well, and that the laws of nature are in place.

We base such trust on evidence.

It is truly true that reality is that which is actually there even when you don’t believe in it and it’s an absolute certainty that disbelieving in God won’t make Him go away.

However it is fashionable in some circles to say “nothing is certain”. But there is this human desire for ‘certainty’. It’s everywhere. Here’s a good example.

In John’s biography of Jesus, Thomas was told by the others, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” But then eight days later Jesus appeared and said to Thomas “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” The record says that Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” And Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? How blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

I wonder if doubting Thomas actually put in his finger or his hand to Jesus’ wounds, evidence of who he was, evidence of his suffering and death, and of course, of his bodily resurrection?  

I can’t be certain, but one day I will find out.

The Bible Story Conversation

Commencing next month, I am starting another small group project at my home at Ashgrove with the object of looking at the entire biblical message from Genesis to Revelation. This is a big project and will be rigorous. There will be some startling revelations as there will be stuff people don’t  get in regular Christendom.

We will meet to make conversation with one another and with its author about the teaching of the Scriptures.

This project will include much He has taught me and stimulated me deeply over the last couple of years, including uncovering the Messiah Jesus who has been overlaid for millennia by Big-Church, Christendom and commentators of a Greek mindset. There are many sayings of Jesus that we have in our English bibles which do not reflect accurately the Hebrew meaning. So much light will be shone on the difficult words of Jesus.

It’s a challenge to think like a Hebrew!

 There will be no assignments, no direct questions asked (lots of questions to the whole group though). And if you are new to all things Christian then there is a likelihood you won’t have to unlearn much. There is a cost involved. Not of money but of time, energy and commitment. He is worthy of that and more.

 This project is designed to yield not just data, the evidence, the facts, information, but also to make transformation, to come face to face with our Creator and Sustainer and Saviour.

Who would like to join with us in this great project? Do you know anyone else who might benefit from this offer? Please phone me ASAP on 33661633 if you want to join with us in this adventure or if you need more information. Our dining table is very limited for space. So last call.


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