Posts

Showing posts from November, 2010

God-people

Matthew 3:1-12
There was no compromise about John the Baptist. John did black or white. He did not do gray.
For John you were either a Kingdom of Heaven person, or a kingdom of earth person. You were either a god-person or a not-god person. You either did God, fully completely and totally, or you did not do God.
He appears, and he preaches. And he says three things
1. The Kingdom of heaven, the rule of God, has come near.
For over 2000 years the people of Israel – or at least those of them who believed the promises of God – had waited for God’s rule to come to earth.
God had told them – through promises given to people like Abraham, through the prophets - that one day the Messiah (God’s special ruler) would be born, he would establish his reign of well-being, abundance, joy, justice and peace. And this reign would never end. Even death would be destroyed.
And now John appears and proclaims: ‘The Kingdom of Heaven has come near’.
John announces a new era, a new government. ‘God is not dea…

On God's anger

Joshua 7
Last week I spoke about the love of God
This week is much harder. If I am trying to be faithful to Joshua 7, I need to speak about the anger of God.
The background is this: God has given a decree – very plainly and very clearly – in Joshua 6:18-19.
The war against Jericho, against Ai and against the other cities in Canaan, was not to be a war for stuff, plunder or for land. They don’t need land. They already have land on the other side of the Jordan.
The war against the Canaanite cities is not their war. It is God’s war. That is why they did nothing at Jericho apart from walk round the walls and shout! They are acting as God’s instrument of punishment on the Amorites, a people who have persistently and consistently rebelled against God, and against his word, and who have become increasingly sinful. Nations and peoples can become increasingly rebellious.
God has been very patient with the Amorites. They were already a big problem back in Genesis 15:16. Sodom and Gomorrah were jus…

on Love

Remembrance Sunday 2010 Romans 13:8-10
We speak a great deal in this service on love. I would like to invite you to reflect with me on love.
What is love?
Where there is love there is life
[God is love. At the very heart of the Christian understanding of God is an eternal relationship, of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Father eternally loves the Son as Son and so is Father. The Son eternally loves the Father as Father and so is Son. The Spirit eternally loves the Son as Son and the Father as Father and so is Spirit. Their love and their being as Father, Son and Holy Spirit cannot be separated.]
God is love. God is also Life. He is the giver of life and love. He has given life to each one of us. And he loves each one of us.
Each person is beloved of God; and each person has been made in the image of God with the capacity to respond to that love, to love God and to love others.
So love and life are absolutely bound together.
We will only live, fully live, when we fully respond to the love …

The resurrection from the dead and marriage

Luke 20:27-39
This is the report of a dispute that Jesus has with the Sadducees. It is about the resurrection. The Sadducees, who were the spiritual aristocracy of the time, didn’t believe in the resurrection. They only accepted the first 5 books of the Bible as having authority, and they argued that you live on, but in the nation, in your children and grandchildren
And they think that they have got a pretty good argument against resurrection.
They point out that the law says that if a man dies without children, his brother must marry the wife and the first children born to the marriage would take the name of the brother who had died. ‘Now’, they say, ‘A woman marries 7 brothers. They all die. She dies. So in heaven’, and notice the words because they are important, ‘whose wife will she be?’
And Jesus responds to their challenge
He challenges them on the fact of the resurrectionHe challenges them about the nature of the resurrectionHe speaks about being ‘considered worthy’ of taking part…