Monthly Archives: May 2019

Household by the Water

Acts 16: 9-15

Household’s are mostly busy places. Managing the too -ings and fro -ings of everyone in the household, keeping the finances, mowing the lawns, feeding everyone, getting to church.  The tasks are many. In the midst of all the busyness the maintenance of relationships and of one’s well being can be skimped on, even with the best of intentions.  In the Acts narrative today, Lydia and her household; which would have included her staff, were taking time to pray by the river. How many households in our highly scheduled lifestyle today take quality time out to meditate, or pray, or smell the flowers, to spend time simply being together? Continue reading Household by the Water

Borders, Barriers and Identities

Acts 11: 1-18 & John 13: 34-35

The Acts narratives of Peter breaking down barriers and crossing boundaries by eating, baptizing and teaching with and amongst the Gentiles have always interested me, The disapproval and suspicion of the leaders of the Jesus movement back in Jerusalem was not surprising. Crossing borders and breaking down barriers between groups of people will always be contentious. The Christian church seems to have ignored these narratives or created such a narrow understanding of what it means to follow Christ, or what the kingdom of God means that the gospel action of dissolving that which divides is lost as more barriers are set up. Continue reading Borders, Barriers and Identities

Tabitha – Agent of Ministry

 Acts 9:36-43 & John 10:22-30 & Psalm 23

The author of John’s gospel frames Jesus’ ministry in Chapter 10 in the context of the Parable of the Good Shepherd.  I’m never sure about the biblical shepherd image. I was raised on a farm and truth be told I’ve thought the shepherd image as used by those in religious circles bears very little resemblance to shepherds I have known. Where’s the dust, dirt, blood, guts and general toughness of the life of a shepherd especially NZ’s high country shepherds? Yet that brand of toughness is very much characteristic of the eternal life that Johannine thought points to. The author of John mentions eternal life seventeen times in the gospel.  Johannine eternal life is not the heavenly pie in the sky eternal life but the mountains and valleys, grittiness and dust of real life in which one lives out life alongside the living Christ. Lives out life in the way of Jesus to, as we sing in Psalm 23, restore souls, offer comfort and support, offer hospitality and mercy in the valleys of life and on the mountain tops. Continue reading Tabitha – Agent of Ministry

Being in the World Differently

 Acts 9:1-6 & John 21:1-19

Two men – Saul and Peter – two narratives of challenge to ‘be in the world differently’

Saul, suddenly and decisively, brought to his knees  – shocked out of his perception of himself into a new perception – brought to his knees only to rise with a changed heart and mind and interestingly a changed body – he is blinded for several days. All his senses are challenged to realign and rearrange themselves as he is guided into this new path he is to walk.

Peter – challenged to own his identity as a disciple and to take up the ongoing formation involved in shepherding people on the way of Christ. Continue reading Being in the World Differently