Monday, March 26, 2007
Lk19:39 "Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, order your disciples to stop." He answered, "I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out."
There comes a time when you just have to do what is right. Regardless the circumstances or the consequences you must do it. If you don’t you will loose face or you will not account for much. It is the difference between whether you want people to like you or you want people to respect you. This final push into Jerusalem for Jesus was that kind of moment. A Spiritual revolution was afoot. The religious climate was draconian and stifling to the average worshiper. It was now time for something to be done. Somebody had to pay the price to make a difference. Negotiations were not going to work, it would take a person prepared to sacrifice himself for the sake of freedom. Just on the border of South Africa lies a country Zimbabwe that is on the verge of political revolution. The leader Mugabe, a geriatric tyrant has dragged his country into the worst of crises. Turning on his own people he has used racial rhetoric to justify his own hold on power and privilege. Palm Sunday is happening in Zimbabwe. The people once opposed are rising up for truth and are prepared to be brought down with the crack of a whip or tied up from trees and be beaten. The colt is walking its way to the capital Harare. The people shouting the praises of truth and real power. Our hope is that God will rise supreme in Zimbabwe and the praises of the people will not be manipulated to suite another power struggle and yet another self important political regime. May Easter come for Zimbabwe in 2007.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
John 12:7,8 Jesus said, "Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial.You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me."
The table is set for extravagant love. Who would not host the most expensive meal for the one who gave you back your life. Jesus had wept over the death of this man Lazarus, tears more precious than expensive perfume. Tears of life. The costs of things are the discussion at this table. The cost of showing your love through tears, fragrance and abandonment of action. There is no wisdom when appreciating others completely. Surely the poor should get the benefits of a luxurious aroma sold for cash and hard cold coin. Not so with love, its costs are priceless and its timing is divine. This story helps us take the most and give it away to somebody. It is not an exchange for faceless cash in an envelope to be sent to names called poor. Those who we are through guilt made conscious of. Where can I break open the bottle of perfume today. On whose feet will it fall and what will be my excuse not to do it? Who will dissuade me from extravagant love? May our hearts rule.
Friday, March 16, 2007
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Turning points are important to recognize, register and rejoice over. God moves the impossible away for us. The disgraceful parts of ourselves are rolled away by mightier hands than ours. Disciplined hope depending on better places to live. New ground growing sweeter with thanksgiving charming the budding path . The stone once rolled sits there in view, a reminder of past lives that were lesser than now. Our garden with stones, some moss ridden once moved and others freshly chiseled and waiting to be rolled. Our gardens of worship growing from glory into glory.
Monday, March 12, 2007
The prodigal son parable is a picture of the typical family. It portrays the complexity of emotions and situations many families are threatened with. The human heart is volatile and restless for fulfillment and for acceptance. This human condition is a constant threat to the family structure. In reading the story one is aware of many incidents in ones own family that have similar trace elements. Not exactly the same, each family is a complex network of past, present and future happenings all playing themselves out with open and hidden agendas. Not one of the characters in reality can stand as a picture of absolute stability and integrity. The hopelessness often felt in family situations is the realization that we are all fracture beings trying to mend our lives whilst at the same time trying to mend our relationships and world. Where one son is finding life in the family another is cutting himself off. Lessons are learnt in each sons scenario, the first sons learnt humility through past mistakes and the second son learning a father’s ways of appreciation. A parable is limited in what it can say, but it should not go without the thought that the father may learn something from his sons too. In the next chapter of this parable it could be the father who learns how to show his feelings and celebrate the joy of a son that was always there with him. The prescribed meaning of this parable is the lesson of the lost soul returning home, but the unofficial version could be the lesson of how to celebrate the relationships that are constantly before our eyes.
Friday, March 09, 2007
The fruit of life is finding the God who loves you. Knowing this central and core acceptance is reformation to the uttermost. The deeper we are utterly dependent on this love the less we manipulate the attentions of others. The closer this truth rests with us the less we feel we are missing out on something. All life’s fulfillment is found at the feet of the God man Jesus. When acceptance is found others find a peace with us that is warm and reassuring. We no longer look to them for our survival which helps put them at ease. We are not wanting to win their attention for affection which helps them relax. Our acceptance by God is the bridge for bringing others to ease in our presence. The Christian community is bathed in unconditional acceptance. This is our magic, our brew our tea.
Saturday, March 03, 2007
Luke 13:4 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!"We are given an icon to hold onto. An icon to gaze upon. An icon so significant that it will reverberate with the essence of God. The icon is not easily described by words, because words are rational and develop from logical constructs that for centuries have erroneously been associated with masculinity. The icon breathes other dimensions that speak of heart matters, emotional things that are not easily scratched out on a black-board but are felt deeply in the impression of the hearts. This icon finds itself in the form of everything that is supposedly female, touched with broody emotion, and self sacrificing generosity. This icon has feathers and it is soft, cuddly and warm. You want to nestle up against the icon, the warmth of the feathers, and the shadow the wings make it nurturing and caring. The icon of a Hen and her chicks is the perfect picture of the God who cares for us. It speaks to us of the fussing, clucking and energy involved in keeping her loved ones in eyesight for protection. We should all have a picture of a hen and her chicks up on our walls. Somewhere close where we pray in the morning or evening. So now and again we can look up and without much thinking remind ourselves of God's attitude toward us. God cannot help clucking and fussing over us.
Friday, March 02, 2007
Antoinette Sithole recounts her story the day the riots began in Soweto and how her brother was killed. The lady from the famous photograph taken that day recounts her story. For those with good bandwith. The mp3 interview can be downloaded here
(Photo from Guardian newspaper)
Thursday, March 01, 2007
The rush of life has overtaken the sensible, quieter path of balanced ministry. The old fears, selfish ambitions, and immature thoughts of the past creep in like cockroaches returning at night. The kitchen, scullery and dining room have been dark for a few weeks and the inevitable crawling pests return. The joy of switching on the light and seeing things run. The happiness of sitting with my God and declaring nothing else. The wonder and mystery of walking with Christ alone. Nothing seems to crawl when you are humbly at the feet of your Creator, expressing the need alone to follow your God who is all and sufficient enough for every need, for fellowship, for reward, and every ounce of approval. The 'ifs and buts' fade with the sound of a worshiping heart, the weakness of soul is swallowed up by the presence and consistent mothering of God. To be accepted by God is all in all.