Saturday, December 29, 2012

hood ornament

I wasn't intending to trivialise the "imago Dei", but the use of the picture of hood ornament came up when describing humanity in my session with 130 students and 70 leaders today.

Not exactly a flattering comparison, you say? Yeah, I know.

But it popped into my head when working through the two occurrences of the word "glory" in Psalm 8.

In verse 1 where the word is used of God - "you have set your glory in the heavens."  The original word here speaks of "light and glory which God wears as king."

Then in verse 5 where the word is used of humanity - "you have ... crowned them with glory and honour."  The original word here speaks of "ornament" or "splendor".

So, the glory we've been given by God is an ornament of the glory that is His own.

Now, can you see where I got "hood ornament" from?  When you think about why a prestige car manufacturer might include a "mascot" on the front of their vehicle, it's actually a helpful parallel.

This kind of ornament identifies the quality and authenticity of the creation.  It is the finishing touch.

When you consider that God has created humanity to identify the quality and authenticity of His creation, that's pretty amazing.  If we are His finishing touch - there's a whole lot of sanctity of life right there.

It might be an illustration best limited to testosterone charged rev-heads, but it's not entirely ridiculous :)

Friday, December 28, 2012

the drive to mt barker

I remember the first time I drove up the South Eastern Freeway in my LC Torana.  1988.  Two days after Christmas.  Windows down.  Burning in the hot Australian sun.

On my way to Mt Barker.  On my way to CE camp.

CE camp in South Australia carries an 85 year heritage - filled with camp traditions like the camp cop, city vs country softball, a cheesy song sung at mealtimes, and many stories of life transformation.

Today I took the same journey up the freeway - 24 years on - in my green Hyundai Lantra - with airconditioning.  And as I wound through the Adelaide Hills, the memories flooded in - at camp I met so many people, made such a fool of myself at mealtime skits, experienced the presence of God in powerful ways.

Today's drive was certainly nostalgic, but also a little unnerving as I pondered my role as camp speaker.  Wondering if the role I play might be used of God in the same way that He's used others in my life.

My hope for this week is that as we meander through the story of God, each participant will experience a moment of transformation - maybe even more than one.  My hope for this week is that my hope for this week might be true for me as well.

Monday, December 10, 2012

anna's routine @ christmas

In the hurry and jostle of Christmas, I wonder what Anna's normal day consisted of - and whether or not the "important people" even noticed.

A elderly woman known as one who spoke of deliverance for her people. Widowed at a young age, from a family line that knew all about displacement, Anna's reputation for prayer and fasting was perhaps admired by some, and ignored by others.

She held a deep anticipation for the awaited Messiah, and she had aligned her life around the agenda of God's timetable. In the jostle of temple life, Anna saw through the illusion of religious practice and the need to please the right people. Somehow, she was able to recognise the presence of God - cradled in the arms of an unsuspecting and frightened young couple.

"Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem." (Luke 2:38)

Probably viewed as little threat to religious and political powers, Anna carried a story and perspective that would undo the institutionalised and regather the dispossessed.

Her story in the midst of the "first Christmas" narrative invites me to:
- consider my priorities in the hurry;
- notice God's presence amongst the jostle;
- and tell the story of deliverance in the face of potentially remaining unnoticed.