Tag Archives: Eastertide

Standing Tall

TF Torrance once said that “at the cross and resurrection, Jesus Christ stood man on his feet.” Humanity had been shoved down, beaten up, and left for dead and Jesus took the shame and stood us up, so we could look Him in the eye once again. Christ restored the image that was marred and gave us access to the Father once again.
This is real to me. Christ has stood me up and I am grateful. I can see again and I am taller. Its amazing what you can see standing up when your used to seeing from the dirt. Life had shoved me down and left me for dead, but Christ came and helped me up; He gave me dignity again. In this Easter season, I am again reminded that Christ has stood me on my feet and restored His very image in my life.
Glory be to Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, now and ever shall be, world without end, amen, amen!

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Mission and Meal pt2: Remembrance

“Remembrance is an act of love. God remembers us and His remembrance, His love of the foundation of the world. In Christ, we remember. We become again beings open to love, and we remember. the church in its separation from ‘this world,’ on its journey to heaven, remembers the world, remembers all men, remembers the whole creation, takes it in love to God. The Eucharist is the sacrament of cosmic remembrance: it is indeed a restoration of love as the very life of the world.” Alexander Schmemann
Remembrance leads to worship and worship leads to communion and communion leads to incarnation. Any thoughts?

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Simon Peter do you love Me?

It was after breakfast and in that moment when all you want do is stay quite and drift of into a semi-sleep that Jesus began redemption in Peter’s life. I wonder if Peter hoped the Lord had forgot? Yet, Jesus would not let Peter walk with that guilt and condemnation; despite Peter’s apparent lack of initiative to start this conversation, Christ loved Him enough to take the burden from him. How often do we refuse to acknowledge the elephant in the room, and still Christ gently leads us into wholeness? Simon Peter, do you love Me? Yes, Lord, I do and its only because of You.

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Mission and Meal pt1

“Orthodox ecclesiology is indeed eucharistic ecclesiology. For in the Eucharist the church accomplishes the passage from the world into the world to come, into the eschaton; participants in the ascension of its Lord, and in His messianic banquet, tastes of the ‘joy and peace’ of the Kingdom. ‘And thou didst not cease to do all things until thou hadst brought us back to heaven, and hadst endowed us with thy Kingdom…’ Thus the whole life of the church is rooted in the Eucharist, is the fruition of this Eucharistic fullness in the time of this world whose ‘image passeth by…’ This is indeed the mission of the church.” Alexander Schmemann from “Life World Mission”

I have been thinking a lot about this above quote and my question is whether there is a difference between Ecclesiology (the life and doctrine of the church) and mission (the churches outreach to the world) in the modern church and should there be?

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Cause a friends a friend forever.

I got back from a walk a few minutes ago and while walking I was struck with the fact that I have some great friends. I was also struck with the fact that some of those great friends are leaving soon. It excited me because I know they are walking the path Christ has set before them, yet saddened me because I cant walk that path with them any longer. It reminds me of Emmaus. Jesus didn’t walk with the disciples forever, only a season; a season that drastically changed their lives, but a season none the less. Some people come into our lives for seasons and I think God brings them into our lives to walk with us for two reasons. First, because they have something to teach us and we have something to teach them. Second, I think it reminds us to anticipate the day when we will all live together in perfect community, enjoying God’s new world. A friend is a friend forever living in that reality.

This is reality, You are coming to reign on the earth, and the increase of Your government will know no end!

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Conform or Transform?

Leonard Ravehill one time commented that it often takes him more time to run his car through the automatic carwash then the time most “converts” spend at the alter. I don’t entirely agree with Mr. Ravenhill, but I do see where he is coming from, especially in the nature of conversion. Andrew Walls said in a lecture at St. Colm’s that ” conversion is not about adopting someone else’s pattern of life and thought, however ancient and however excellent, that is not conversion but proselytization… Conversion involves the turning towards Christ of everything that is there already, so that Christ comes into places, thoughts, relationships and world views in which He has never lived before.” I think this is what St. Paul meant when he said ” that if anyone is in Christ, they are new creations, old are gone, behold all things are new.” Conversion is not simply a “death” to all we are, it is a death to our whole way of living and a resurrection into the fullness of that life in Christ! We don’t lose our identity, we have become who we were always meant to be! This is why conformity to religion will never work; this is why church in the West is failing. We are good at making people conform to standards and go through the motions, but not good at leading them to the one who can take them down into the death waters of baptism and have them rise again with Christ in the newness of life. This can only be modeled and walked through alongside. May we be willing to journey with others through transformation, not simply have them conform to our standards. “Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed…”

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Experiential Christianity?

Kwame Bediako states in “Christianity in Africa” that “Christian theology in the West seems, on the whole, to understand the Christian Gospel as a system of ideas. And yet, when the Apostle Paul described the Gospels, this is what he wrote: ‘ I have complete confidence in the Gospel; it is the power of God to save all who believe…’ Surely this calls for a new idiom.” So often, I think we boil Christianity down to what we do or what we believe. This is highly important, but I do not think it should stand at the center of Christianity. The center of Christianity has been and always should be the risen Jesus Christ (The Word made flesh, Incarnation) and our tangible interactions with His life. If we have not had “our heart strangely warmed,” we are missing out on a large piece of the Kingdom of God. The reasons Jesus sent the comforter were to bear witness of the Father and that we would be able to enter into the community of new humanity that Christ initiated on Easter; thus, bringing glory to the Son and the Father, through the Spirit. Yet, so often we boil Christianity down to codes of conduct or dare I say even a text, when it could be so much more. I think our African brothers and sisters have much to teach us about what it means to live a life shaped by the real, tangible presence of Christ and in the post-Christian West, we had better start listening.

This is reality, He is coming to reign on the earth, and the increase of His Government will know no end!

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