Archive for the ‘Bible/Jesus life’ Category

Mums & Jesus

“Mum” is there a name that could mean more, and to so many?  There is hardly a higher compliment or ambition that could be sought, than to be call mum.

“Jesus” is there a name that could mean so many things, and to so many? This name that is misused, abused and honoured. It is called upon, blamed, praised, adored, cursed and feared. Yet there is no name higher than Jesus.

It’s not easy to become a mum, well, you have to give birth! To the unknowing eye the time of labour is not life giving. The sounds, smells and sights not to mention the pain are not the normal conditions for which you expect something beautiful to happen.
And then it does… New life; beautiful.
I cannot grasp the depths of love between a mum and child at that point. When my wife held our children for the first time she uttered tenderly through the tears and exhaustion… “Hello there”. As I reflect on this moment I can think of no better summary for the mystery and love than a line from JJ Heller’s song ‘I get to be the one

“How does someone so small, hold my heart to tightly.
I Don’t even know you; I love you completely.”

Jesus looking lovingly at his disciples said words which echo in a mother’s love.
“This is my body broken for you”
The cross, and the events of the passion week are not the conditions for which you expect something beautiful to happen.
And then it does… New life; beautiful.
The depths of love from God to man are incomprehensible to me, when I think of the new and eternal life God has birthed inside me, when I attempt to think of what it took so that the invite to have this new & eternal life could go out to all the world (inc me) I am left in speechless awe.  What love. I cannot comprehend, I can see a picture of this love as I see how my wife loves our children, it’s a strong love, a sacrificial love, a trusting love, an unconditional love.
God’s love for us is like that but stronger, purer, bigger, completely dependable and absolutely free yet cost the ultimate price.  And why? and how do I know? I can think of no better summary than the song my son was singing this morning.

“Yes Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so.”

Happy Mothers Day!

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Jesus praying.

Listening to Jesus as he prays and tells stories about prayer, it’s just amazing how simple He allows it to be.  Jesus never addresses a prayer with ‘to whom it my concern’, and He expects God to listen.  Sometimes I think we talk to God like we talk to our dog, just tell Him what we’re doing for the day, then finish with ‘oh and who’s a good god, you are, yes you are.’ 

Is prayer more about listening or talking?
Is God our companion through problems or our rescue from them?
Can prayer be anything but personal?

Standing on Grace

Give us our Daily Bread (part-2)

“Give us today our daily bread,” is a prayer that acknowledges our need.
To live the life God gives means we need needs, we need to need. As it means not being in control of what goes on/in our lives. Intentionally needing.

When we think of Eden or Heaven, we think of God giving, and women and men receiving gifts of life.  And we pray ‘Your kingdom come on earth (or if you like, ‘in our lives’)as it is in heaven,’ and then we live trying to supply all our own needs thus dulling, even killing our capacity of receiving.
We prefer to live without needs: 

  • So we buy (consumerism). Buy buy buy. This dulls our awareness of need. By buying what we need, we think we’re in control of our lives. ‘I bought this with my own money,’ is not the language of a daily bread recipient.
  • So we control. We control our health, diaries, other people. This dulls our awareness of need. By controlling our lives, future, health and organisations we replace any sense of need we have in our lives, with the satisfaction of being in control.  ‘I’ve got that sorted,’ is not the language of a daily bread recipient.

We will never have to pray for daily bread as long as our money and management skills hold out.  Yet this is a heavy price to pay, as to care (or pretend to care) for our own need is a refusal to receive life as a gift, and “will dull and finally destroy our capacity for living, feeling, loving, enjoying. And praying.”

Call me simple minded for thinking so much about daily bread, but to ask for bread is to acknowledge our place in creation. We are not in control. We are recipients from a life giving God, we receive from a provider. 
Needs are not limits that deaden or reduce our lives, needs introduce us to a life of receiving and giving, of free grace, to a life that cannot be bought or controlled but can only be received as a gift from God.

Do you want to live without needs?.. Then you want to live without God!
To live without the need of daily bread is to refuse God’s dusty, wholegrain, real life, everyday, basic, earthy and heavenly Grace which is ‘on tap’ through daily faith and trust in an everyday provider God. 

Our daily need for bread is a daily reminder that we are in need. We live in a Grace filled world, may we keep this prayer active on our lips and constant in how we view our lives… “Lord, give us…”

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Luke 11

Standing on Grace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 – Eugene Peterson, The word made flesh, pg. 184

Give us our Daily Bread (part-1)

On Sunday (at Fahan church) we thanked God for the harvest, a service with diminishing relevance in city churches, but one still alive and important in Fahan, a rural, small, 15 family church which my wife and I worship/serve/receive teaching with. 

It’s time for the Harvest Service, and people again are thankful for a year in which God has filled their bellies with good food, food, good and plentiful enough that most of the folk talk about ‘watching their weight’ thus saying that they actually have too much food in front of them.
In a country in which the Devil has so cleverly made living so comfortable, how do we as Jesus followers live out a lifestyle that is dependant, fully reliant on God.

“Give us today our daily bread”, now that’s a prayer.  As it implies that those of us who ask God for a weeks groceries belong to those who have a lack of faith.  Asking daily for your needs, ‘trusting in God day by day,’ as Debbie’s confused yet endearingly wise granny would often say. 
This prayer for daily bread, a lot more than a realization of need (though it is that).  It is a embrace of good creation and our place in it.  
God gives, we receive.
It’s important we don’t forget this fact, we do not produce anything, we simple receive from a God who is consistent in His giving. Consistent on his providence of seasons, measurable and (to an extent) predictable weather, etc. 
Yet.
We want to live without limits, we want to live without the ‘need’ that we so defiantly have. So we pretend to ourselves that we can control the money that comes into our bank account, that I as a farmer can control the profitability of a dairy cow.  We forget the big picture that God has given it all.  

Matt 5:45
He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

Standing on Grace
part 2 to follow. hope it strikes a chords in you.

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