Thursday, December 16, 2010

something I noticed

The last couple of weeks I've been working on a new version of IMMERSE where we'll have learners focus on the life and ministry of Jesus. Aside from it being an incredibly enriching experience, there's something I noticed.

The way I've chosen to trace the narrative thread of this part of God's story has been to use six key words in the progression of Jesus' story mainly from the book of Matthew:
  • BEGINNINGS (birth, baptism, test)
  • INFLUENCE (call of first diesciples, early miracles/healings, beattitudes, etc.)
  • MOVEMENT (sending of 12, then 72)
  • CONTROVERSY (flashpoints with authorities - particularly Mt 12)
  • IDENTITY (Jesus walks on water, Peter's proclamation, etc)
  • PREPARATION (upper room discourse - mainly from John)
What was of particular interest to me was the place in the story where the disciples were able to articulate who Jesus actually was (IDENTITY). This didn't happen early in the story, but later - after they'd seen, participated in, and contributed to what Jesus was doing - operating according to the Kingdom of God.

This makes me wonder about our approach to raising up disciples - whether we're preoccupied with ensuring young people are clear on the deity of Christ before we permit them to participate in the work of the kingdom (and perhaps experience the humanity of Christ).

That's not to say Jesus wasn't demonstrating His deity early in the story, but it seems like He was ok with them participating with Him before they truly "got" Him.

facebook welcomes Jesus ...

I'm on the mailing list for worship house media - i didn't mind this presentation:

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The insect and the buffalo

After a number of recommendations, and then a random connection with one of the authors, I finally got it through my thick head to read this gem.

How Roshan Allpress and Andrew Shamy managed to cover the narrative of the Bible in such an engaging way in 80 pages still leaves me scratching my head, but they did it. What's more, they've written it in such a way that can awaken anyone to this story - whether they say they've heard it before or not.

If you're looking for a way to shift a worldview in the space of two hours, then the insect and the buffalo is a great offering.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bah, Humbug

So, here's a christmas observation - not a whinge, just an observation.

I'm not normally all that vocal when it comes to the Christmas season ... it's almost an intentional decision for me not to jump on the Santa-slugging bandwagon. There's plenty of folks who seem to be willing to protest our cultures' ironic ability to celebrate the Christmas season without recognizing the centrality of Jesus and all that He brings to our world.

So at the risk of riding the humbug train, I quickly noticed the advertising in our local shopping centre this morning for paytv and mobile phones ... "foxmas" and "txtmas".

Yes, it saddens me that the word doesn't have "christ" in it, but it also shows me that it's not hard to identify our culture's gods in its marketing efforts.

May we live in a way that exposes the false nature of idols and reveals the brilliance of a baby born in a stable - the true God who brings far more satisfaction than the selection of tv stations we could have, or the amount of times we can bug our friends with a text message.

Merry CHRISTmas!