Fall Down

Rivers and Robots are one of my favourite discoveries from last year.  I love their creative, indie-inspired approach to worship music.  Their new video is a brilliant take on the “lyric video” idea.

If you like this then you’ll be glad to know they are giving their newest album away on Come & Live!

One of the band, Jonathan, wrote a great post on creativity recently.  It’s well worth a read.

The God Lab

Helen and I picked this book up at New Wine last year,  I think she might have gone to a seminar by the author, or we may have just liked the title and the cover (we are that shallow when it comes to books).  Anyway,  I’ve finally got round to reading it and I’m really glad we did!

The God Lab is a fresh take on the sayings of Jesus, often called the beatitudes, from Matthew 5.  Each chapter is a reflection on one saying and then a prayer-experiment based on the reflection.  Roger Bretherton is clinical psychologist and draws from that knowledge, as well as from various Christian prayer traditions, to form these exercises.

We are currently looking at the Beatitudes during our central gatherings at Kairos Church.  I’d definitely recommend this book to any Kairos people want to explore those sayings more deeply.

Wine and Weddings

Throughout Lent I am reading through John’s gospel along with a few other people from Kairos.

Today’s reading is the Wedding at Cana from John 2.  I love this story,  It’s good that Jesus is at this party.  I like that he is a bit grumpy with his mum and I love that his first recorded miracle (in John at least) is to produce a lot of wine.

As I read this story today I noticed that Jesus takes over when the party organisers’ efforts have ended.  He makes the miracle when the wine has run out.  But I notice there is still some collaboration required.  He doesn’t just produce the wine from thin air.  He turns the water they already have into wine.

H and I are doing final preperations for a day conference we are helping run tomorrow at Kairos, for us it’s a pretty big deal.  So today I’m praying that Jesus would be at that party too, that the wine one we’ve prepared would go down well (Its a metaphor now, no wine tomorrow people) and that when it’s run out he’d take whatever we have left and turn it into the best.

Actually I’m praying that for a few areas of my life right now: take what I’ve got God, even when it has all run out and turn it into good wine.

If your are reading along in John feel free to add your thoughts below.

Is God moved?

Is God moved? Does he feel pleasure, pain, passion? I found myself wondering this as I was praying this morning.

Some people, wanting to distance God from the mess of human life and emotions, say no. God the Father is unchanging and unmovable. His perfection requires that he is not moved.

Others disagree, and I’m with them. Throughout the Old Testament we see a God who responds. He is pleased with his creation, he hears the cries of his people in slavery, he is described by the prophets as grieved by the evil done by people, and saddened by the punishment they have to endure. The Old Testament suggests God is moved.

This impression is only deepened when we look at Jesus. Who joins in wedding parties and provides the best wine, who weeps at the side of graves and as he looks at peoples suffering in Jerusalem.

God is not cold and distant, he is moved by his creation. Words like laugh, cry, mourn, may just be human constructions, they may not fully describe the depth of feeling God has for us. Nevertheless, I think God does feel.

At the start of of Matthew’s gospel Jesus is baptised. The writer describes how at that point a voice from heaven cries out “this is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased!” Maybe I’m speculating too much here, but perhaps this is the God-who-is-moved shouting out for joy and pride, unable to contain himself when he looks at his boy.

All of this makes for a good basis for mission. God is moved by his creation and is looking for people to celebrate, protect and restore it with him.

Unapologetic: Holy Week 2: Yeshua in the Temple

unapologetic-book:

The two guards on duty let the mob through without a word – those kind of numbers are their own permission – but they send a runner, quick, to the Chief Priest’s office; and he, looking down from his window, sees a human flood pouring out suddenly from the entrypoint to fill the flagstones of the…

It looks like Francis Spufford is blogging excerpts from his book throughout Holy Week retelling the story of Jesus last few days before death. He writes a powerful version of the ancient story.

Unapologetic: Holy Week 2: Yeshua in the Temple