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Sunday, 25 August 2013

Suggestions about Scripture ... Jesus Heals a Paralytic

Mark 2:1-12 - Read it here 

Just a few thoughts on this well known story where Jesus heals a paralytic man who gets near him by being lowered through a roof!

  • Interesting that the crowd was both in and outside the house.  Even though the people outside couldn't hear - they didn't give up and go home.
  • They all wanted to hear Jesus - but to hear Jesus - you've got to get close!
  • The man who needed healing needed to be close to - he and his friends found a creative way to get close to Jesus - but digging a hole in the roof!  What ways can we get creative to get close to God?
  • They also removed part of the roof to get close.  What do we need to remove to get close?
  • The man who needed healing didn't do it by himself - his friends helped.  Which says to me that it's okay for us to accept help on our faith journey.
  • They also took a massive risk to get close to Jesus.  I'm pretty sure they were aware that damaging property would probably have consequences.  However, they decided that it was worth the risk.  What risks do we take to get close to God?    
  • The people who managed to get close to Jesus would have seen the miracle and I guess it would have impacted their faith in a big way.  What about the people that didn't get close enough to see it?  The people outside who saw this man walk out with his mat?  Did they realise that he had been healed by Jesus?  Sometimes we do not see the miracles around us as we are not 'close' enough.
  • Why didn't the people inside the house stop them from digging through the roof????  I guess they were so intrigued with what Jesus was saying they didn't notice the commotion happening above them.  I wonder if sometimes we are so caught up with God stuff they we don't notice other people who are trying to have a relationship with God too.  We can get so caught up in our own journey that we forgot to help others along the way.  How do we ensure that we hear people on our 'roof'?
Please feel free to add your thoughts below ...

Monday, 12 August 2013

Is the church just here to keep it's members? Or are we called to something bigger?


Is Church just a club by another name?
The pastoral care movement has two choices. Either it is still a reform movement to change church and society, or it is a profession within the established patriarchal church and society concerned mainly with its own financial future, accreditation, and making sure it has a secure place for its members.  If our pastoral care movement decides to return to its earlier reformist goals, it must respond to the present crisis in the area of sexuality by focusing on issues of the liberation of women, African Americans, and gays and lesbians from the traditional sexual ethics that support male dominance.

Poling, J 1995. Sexualty: A crisis for the churches, in Couture, P D & Hunter, R J (eds), Pastoral care and social conflict, 114-124. Nashville, TN: Abingdon.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Suggestions about Scripture ... Water Into Wine

John 2: 1-12 - Read it here

Just a few thoughts on this well known story where Jesus turns water into wine at a wedding...

- Love that Jesus gets told what to do by his Mum! (and the fact that Jesus listens to her)
- Also interesting that Jesus' Mum instructed the servants to do whatever Jesus asked them to do.  Not sure what power she would have had as a women to instruct other people's servants to do anything - but they did listen to her.
- This is the first recorded miracle.  But Jesus's Mum obviously knew that Jesus was capable of doing miracles as she instructed him to 'sort it out' (so to speak).  Makes me wonder what miraculous things he had done as a kid???
- Interesting that the servants got to witness the miracle but the host and the bridegroom were none the wiser.  Why didn't Jesus ensure that everyone witnessed it?
- Wonder what made the servants take orders from Jesus?  Must have been quite a risk for them to agree to serve (what they thought was) water to the host.  
- I guess the bridegroom just took credit for the good wine at the end (it doesn't record his reaction).  Or maybe he was so pissed up by that stage in the celebrations that he didn't really know what was going on at all :)
- Are we like the host and the bridegroom?  Maybe we see miracles everyday but don't give God the credit?  Instead we take the credit ourselves or credit someone else for God's work.

Please feel free to add your thoughts below ...

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Ohope Anglican Methodist Parish

We went to a lovely little church service today in Ohope.  Tessa Keene lead the service and we loved her enthusiasm!  Her sermon really did hit home as she challenged our consumer culture and reminded us that God loves us (even knows how many hairs we have on our head) and it doesn't matter how many pairs of shoes we have, what kind of car we drive or how big our house is.  She encouraged us to use our resources responsibly and asked us to think in an 'eternal' frame of mind.  It was great.

Even better than that - it was

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Is there S P A C E within churches to hear people's stories?

I have often wondered why the cuppa after the service was my favourite part of going to church. I think I now know why. It's the place we were get to talk with others and hear and share our stories. Which leads me to think - wouldn't it be awesome if there was more space in the worship service to hear and share our stories. How God is working in our lives.

The Effects of a Framing Story by Brian D. McLaren

If our framing story tells us that we humans are godlike beings with godlike privileges - intelligent and virtuous creatures outside a limited environment of time and space, without potentially fatal flaws - we will have no reason to acknowledge or live within limits, whether moral or ecological.

Similarly, if it tells us that the purpose of life is for individuals or nations to accumulate an abundance of possessions and to