Monday, 22 December 2008

Kingdom of God, Insurgency of God, Party of God, The Eco-system of God, The government of God, the dance of God...

Jesus is born into a context of Roman occupation and the responses of the various groups such as the Pharisees, Essenes, Herodians and Zealots. Jesus offers a new way that he calls 'The Kingdom of God'. Jesus invites everyone into this group and doesn't isolate like each of the other groups.

*Jesus is baptised by John who was an Essene and also interacts with John's disciples.

*Jesus meets and interacts with Zachaeus, a tax collector working for Roman government (Herodian). Jesus brings the kingdom of transformation to this mans life.

*In John Jesus speaks with Nicodemus, a leader of the Jewish group the Pharisees. Jesus teaches him about the Kingdom of God and the need to be born again. Nicodemus was eager to learn. When he didn't understand, he kept asking questions until he did reach some kind of understanding. He needed to question his own pre-existing beliefs and thoughts.

*In his group of follows Jesus has a Roman collaborator in Matthew and a zealot in Simon.

Jesus' life should give us an example for how to do church. How do we live out the Kindom of God? How do we interact with those who we disagree with and those we keep our distance from? (And those are just the Christians!)As we live in this way the Kindom of God begins to increase.

But what if we broaden our horizons? How do we interact with...

Friday, 12 December 2008

Relationship between the church and the world

In his book Generous Orthodoxy Brian McLaren discusses the historical development of the Methodist church movement. In unpacking the development, McLaren suggests that the Methodist church develops into an us and them approach with the religious on the high plateau and the non-religious on the low ground. There are many similarities with the times that we are now in with a divide between religious and non-religious. However I believe that the divide between those in the church and those outside is not static as is depicted in McLaren's model.

I have outlined 2 potential improvements to the model.

World in continuous progress

World in continuous decline

Friday, 5 December 2008

Where is God?

“We have not answered the question ‘where is God?’ But we have suggested how to go about answering the question. Seek and you will find. But be careful. If God was at the touch of a button, would you dare click it?”

Where is God?
Newspaper clippings from today’s news with barbed wire. My way of symbolising war and suffering for the world. In the top left there’s a big tear in the fabric; underneath is bright gold. This is where I think God is, forever growing larger in the world and in our hearts, biding his time to cover the whole image in gold.
Nicky, 14

Where is God?
In this slate-grey 3-D corridor a hunched red plasticine figure sits. Meredith (12) expresses an experience. The words say:
“There was a man who suffered every day and every night. His sadness radiated from him and his anger burned like fire. He sat in the dark at the end of the corridor. He asked ‘is there a God? If there is, why does he let me suffer? No answer came, only silence. He curled up and cried.”

God – He Lies In You
I believe that every one of us possesses Him. I have titled my design “God: He Lies In You”. I have included a mirror: when one looks at this artwork, symbolizing God, they see their own face. The image will be broken, because it is hard to see that God is part of each one of us. 
It is a very personal thing. I am sure that not everyone agrees with my opinion. This design has deep meanings; everything from the colour to the shapes used symbolizes something. I will not explain what I intend everything to mean, because I think this is what discovering the painting is about.
Jennie, 14

Monday, 1 December 2008

Cobra Dream

I had the strangest dream tonight. In the dream there was what I believe was a Cobra. It wasn't fully developed - it wasn't the proper colour or full size. It was incredibly long and clear in colour. It started to wrap itself around my throat and then the snake attempted to slide inside my ear. Around half of the snake disappeared in my ear and I had to pull it back out. The same thing then happened as the snake attempted to crawl inside my nose - again I had to pull it out. I remember then looking down and seeing two identical snake bites above my knees. I remember the fear in the dream that the snaked had laid something inside of me.

I looked up the dream dictionary and heres what it said:


To see a cobra in your dream, represents creation, and creative energies. Some situation or relationship has you hypnotized. *Please see also Snake.


To see a snake or be bitten by one in your dream, signifies hidden fears and worries that are threatening you. Your dream may be alerting you to something in your waking life that you are not aware of or that has not yet surfaced. The snake may also be seen as phallic and thus symbolize dangerous and forbidden sexuality. The snake may also refer to a person around you who is callous, ruthless, and can't be trusted.

This is Good News

My hope for the church is that it would become the very heartbeat of the community. Just as in the past the River Clyde provided jobs, security and upheld Glasgow's economy, how refreshing it would be if the church could adopt the same role. Imagine a city where various churches opened shops, coffee houses and bookstores, providing jobs and boosting the economy. Imagine a Glasgow that couldn't survive without the involvement of the Church - where Christian love of the city meant investment of time and money. The possibilities are endless.

There will always be people who take the benefits of the river for granted and who fail to truly understand, but when everything those people put their hope and faith in fails, God's provision will remain. The question is whether or not they realise at that point.