Saturday, 28 February 2009

Lessons from a baby...

What can you learn by having a child?

1. How the Father/Son/Spirit life is forever changed
2. How they are focused entirely on us
3. How they bring us into the Family
4. They long to do mature stuff with us - to enjoy us in a different way

1. Baby (new Christian) must eat - a lot
2. Baby must eat regularly
3. Baby must eat only milk from Mummy
4. Baby must join your family - will die on his own
5. You need to clean up after baby - all the time
6. Baby brings great joy - but not very exciting. Daddy longs for baby to grow up to have a different mature kind of relationships
7. Baby not very useful - needs to grow up to be useful
8. Baby does not know how to do things with new life - must be taught
9. Baby does not know how to relate to Daddy very well
10. Baby always sleepy - needs to wake up. Baby loves the darkness too much - must learn to live in the Light
11. Baby needs Daddy & Mummy ALL the time
12. Baby can learn from Older Brother

other stuff
1. Babies don't get a lot done - 1 adult (mature Christian) can change the whole world - vs 10,000,000 babies
2. Most Christians are babies and don't want to grow up

Doesn't that have tremendous implications on how we do discipleship??

Thursday, 26 February 2009

The Story of Jesus

Check this out from Dave Bish!

We start with God. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Father sending forth his word in the power of the Spirit to bring order out of chaos, the world out of water, light over darkness climaxing in the making of Man in God’s image (Genesis 1). We find The Man placed in God’s temple-mountain garden and given a Bride. He stops to sing. Together they’re to work and cultivate this temple extending it into a global garden in which man and God dwell together, man ruling the world under God (Genesis 2). One day the world will be full of people. One day the world will be full of the glory of God, that which is supremely displayed in The Man, Jesus Christ (2 Cor 3v18).

This Man overthrows God and is kicked out of the temple (Genesis 3), though he’s promised that a seed of the woman will come who will defeat evil and bring them back into the garden. The first candidate for that is murdered by his brother who builds a city for his own glory (Genesis 4). From The Man and his Bride comes another son who is not the seed who begins to call on the LORD. He is not the seed. One of his progeny Enoch prophesied of God’s coming judgement, and soon after Noah is born (Genesis 5). The world once formed out of water is deluged but Noah’s family escape, saved by God. A new world emerges from the water with the Man on his mountain, human evil remains and this new world soon descends back into wickedness. From Noah the world is filled with people who practice evil, even attempting to build an arrogant city that will reach heaven and broadcast the glory of these sinners (Genesis 6-11).

God however chooses Abraham and promises that from him will come a seed, Christ. This seed is born by God’s promised and though offered to death is resurrected, figuratively. This seed, Isaac, gains a wife and has sons (Genesis 12-25). From them come twelve sons, the tribes of Israel who flee, like their forefather Abraham, to Egypt. They are ruled over by Joseph though it is Israel’s son Judah who will one day rule them (Genesis 26-5). The memory of Israel saving Egypt is soon forgotten and a people called to rule the world are subjected as slaves. Through a Levitical priest called Moses and his brother Aaron Christ comes to save his people from slavery into a garden land. They are rescued by Christ and they stop to sing (Exodus 15) before meet him at mount Sinai (Exodus 1-18). There, to hem them in until Christ comes to his people, they are placed under law. This law, particularly in the provision of a tent-dwelling of God with his people, foreshadows Christ’s coming. It shows them what he will do for them (Exodus 19-25).

This people quickly turn back to slavery and though rescued to worship God they begin to worship things they make for themselves (Exodus 32-34). Instead of destroying them God spares them, for the sake of his own reputation and promises. On the verge of the promised land they rebel and decide to go back to slavery. This costs them their lives and it will be a generation before the people go into the land (Numbers 13-14).The sons of Korah die for their rebellion but some are redeemed and write great songs of love for to Son of God (Psalm 45).

By then Moses is dead and it is Joshua who leads them in. As they enter in, a prostitute called Rahab is adopted into God’s people (Joshua 2). The people are led by Judges who bring short-lived salvation in days when there is no king over the people. In these days a descendent of Abraham’s nephew Lot, a woman called Ruth, is adopted into God’s people (Ruth).

This is a remarkable turn around for a people born of horrific and shameful origins. Soon, the people request a king, rejecting God’s rule over themselves. God had previously set out the requirements for a king and this Benjamite, Saul fails in every way (1 Samuel). Another, David of Judah is anointed and kills the giant Goliath, he takes the throne and is the king par excellence. He sings. He desires to build a house for God’s people but is denied. Instead his Son, through adultery with Bathsheba, Solomon will build a temple. David’s son will be king forever (2 Samuel 7.)

Solomon ascends and builds the temple, the people stop to sing. The Son of David is greater than any other king of the world and the peoples of the world gather, but he too falls into sin and his sons divide the kingdom into two. The northern kingdom, Israel, is soon overthrown by Assyria. Jonah is sent to preach to the Assyrian capital Nineveh. The south survives many generations but is ultimately exiled for their rebellion against God, by Babylonians who have overtaken Assyria (2 Chronicles),

Many are killed, the kings and high-flyers are exiled (Daniel) and some rise remarkably and see God’s salvation (Daniel and later Esther). Between the days of Solomon and this time of exile many messengers call God’s people to turn back to him (Isaiah after the days of King Uzziah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah etc).

Eventually God uses a foreign king to send his people back for a partial restoration under Ezra and Nehemiah, while Haggai prophesies. The rebuilt city is inglorious and prophetic expectation remains unfulfilled until centuries later, the son of Abraham and David is born, Jesus the Christ.

This son, this seed, is the true Israel. The true temple. The true priest. The true sacrifice. The word of God. As the author is written into the story godly men and women stop to sing. Though he made the world he is rejected by it. He is killed by the whole world and yet is raised to life by his Father.

He sends the Spirit to his people, the church, and they become a global people, bringing God’s rule and blessing to all peoples. They form local communities, bodies of which Jesus is the head, where though diverse their common love of Jesus binds them together in love. They stop to sing. They live longing for the day when he returns and will renew his world, re-creating it to be the place where He, the true Man, will dwell with his bride, the church, whom he saved, forever.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Contemplating creation...

Baby Josiah Menon has just come into the world!

I was wondering before the beginning of creation if the conversation between the Father and the Son through the Spirit went something like this:

"We're going to have more children"

"It'll change our lives forever - no more just us three Persons"

"Yea awesome!"

"You do realise we're going to lose a lot of rest for the next... oh.. 10,000 years"

Monday, 2 February 2009


How's this for fun Christian science:

Laminin is a protein found in the extracellular matrix, the sheets of protein that form the substrate of all internal organs also called the basement membrane. It is the major non-collagenous component of the basal lamina, such as those on which cells of an epithelium sit.[1] It has four arms that can bind to four other molecules. The three shorter arms are particularly good at binding to other laminin molecules, which is what makes it so great at forming sheets. The long arm is capable of binding to cells, which helps anchor the actual organs to the membrane.

Laminin is vital to making sure overall body structures hold together.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Was man created to do work?

Was writing an essay which made me think back to what Reeves said about work. I guess it is often assumed that working or having jobs was part of God's plan for man. So an emphasis by some workplace ministries is to help people find dignity or to take pride in their jobs. Many have pointed to Genesis 2 to show or justify how man was created to work. After all, "When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens - and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for ... there was no man to work the ground." So it follows that man was created to work the ground. But this is a misunderstanding of Genesis 2.

A careful reading of Gen. 2:4-9 will show that man was not created for the purpose of agricultural labour (or secular work). When there was nothing fruitful from the ground we see that it is Yahweh Elohim Himself who goes on to labour on the untilled ground. He forms man from the ground and instead of seeing Him putting man to then till the ground, again we see that it is the LORD God who gets to work! This time He planted Eden and “made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.” So far man has done nothing and has not been asked to do anything to bring forth fruit or plants fromt he ground!

But some point to Genesis 2:15 to say "Aha! The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it!" But again there are a few important details to note. Firstly, the word translated “put” from yanach means “to rest”. So Adam is not 'put' but 'rested' in Eden. Secondly, while ‘garden’ could be either a masculine or feminine noun, ‘Eden’ is a proper masculine noun. Thirdly, what is translated “to till” and “to keep” from abad and shamar are priestly terms (to serve and to keep). Furthermore, the object (it) they are to abad and shamar (serve and keep) are feminine, and thus do not refer to the masculine Eden. What is interesting is that they are often used together to refer to the Law, i.e. to keep and serve the Law. This of course means to trust in Jesus. Thus, Adam was not put in Eden for agricultural labour but was ‘rested’ in Eden to trust in Jesus and to testify to Him. Agricultural labour (and work) does not seem to have been intrinsic to life in Eden. What seems to be intrinsic to life is trust in the LORD God who alone labours to provide. Indeed humanity begins life by enjoying and sharing in Elohim’s Sabbath.

What brought about work (and rain!) was a result of the fall. Secular jobs, having to work to survive, labouring the ground was a curse because of man's refusal to trust in Jesus! So we have to be careful about encouraging people to take pride in their jobs or to place such an importance in their careers.

Could it be that Christians are redeemed from the curse in Jesus? After all in Matthew 6:33, Jesus says, "Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Once again we can trust in Jesus for life and for daily provisions. This is certainly what many people, like Hudson Taylor, have taken seriously. As we concentrate on doing the priestly work of pointing people to Christ we can be confident that Jesus will provide for all our needs. Maybe this is what people in the workplace need to hear?