Thursday, March 20, 2014

Friendship with God




O Chambers arrested my cynicism again today. It seems that being a friend of God is more than grooving to Israel Houghton's song.

"To be so much in contact with God that you never need to ask Him to show you His will, is to be nearing the final stage of your discipline in the life of faith. When you are rightly related to God, it is a life of freedom and liberty and delight, you are God’s will, and all your common-sense decisions are His will for you unless He checks. You decide things in perfect delightful friendship with God, knowing that if your decisions are wrong He will always check; when He checks, stop at once."

This thought draws me in to wonder about the relationship Jesus had with His Father, and it encourages me when I consider the way Abraham bumbled through His friendship with God.

There's no doubt that my days are punctuated with fear and failure - but this friendship thing - I'm finding it to be true.

And it's actually pretty good.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

noah, 'word' & 'image'


Well,  the story of Noah seems to have spun interested parties into "social-media overdrive." 

Of all the pre-release protests against the latest interpretation of a biblical story, there is one that perplexes me.  In one thread of comments I noticed this:

"I am often reminded that 'image' can never replace 'word.'  Image is great for entertainment.  But is innately, essentially, ontologically deficient."

I get that our image-driven culture tends to subvert our worship of the unseen.  Instead of responding in faith, we clamour for what we can see - and whatever image we create to understand God tends to become the object of our worship.  It happens all the time.

But, I wonder if it's really true to say that image is only ever for entertainment.  Is image always deficient?

Perhaps not, if we consider that humans are created in the image of God.  The WORD, this STORY, is one which is always pointing to the image of God - reflecting what He is like.  And when we, as humans, allow this story to capture our imaginations, then the pictures (moving or otherwise) that we produce may well be a source for our discovery of who this God is, and how He is interacting wth humanity today.

So then, when I battle the crowds and get to actually watch Noah, it won't just be for entertainment.  As with any story, I'll be looking for what I can discover about the person of God - no doubt I'll be testing the accuracy of how the story is told, but I'll also be asking:
- 'what is the artist saying through the telling of this story?'
- 'Is what he is saying true?'
- 'Is there something that God is saying about Himself as this story is told at this point in history?'

And then, as God enables, I'm hoping to discuss my answers to these questions with someone else.

Because it might be that image carries with it a great capacity to draw me to the word. (John 1:1)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

could this be true of me?


I had to read this slowly, and out loud.  And when I did, I had to stop.

"It is easier to serve God without a vision, easier to work for God without a call, because then you are not bothered by what God requires; common sense is your guide, veneered over with Christian sentiment. You will be more prosperous and successful, more leisure-hearted, if you never realize the call of God. But if once you receive a commission from Jesus Christ, the memory of what God wants will always come like a goad; you will no longer be able to work for Him on the common-sense basis." ... read the rest of Chambers' 4th of March thoughts here ...

You might need to stop.