The other day I was talking to a friend about Christian conduct towards Indigenous Australians in the worse old days. Not an area I’m well informed about.
I felt glad when I saw these videos posted by CPX. I’ve heard of John Harris and his book One Blood, which takes its title from the Christian teaching that “God made of one blood all nations.”
Having watched the videos, the feeling is one of sadness at a glimpse of just how bad those days were.
One facet of grasping and understanding and knowing the love of Christ is realising that I am undeserving of that love. Reading, preaching and praying Ephesians 3:14-21, I’ve been reflecting on various aspects of the great truths of the scriptures which break through my distraction and apathy and fan the flame of the realisation and sense of wonder at the truth that Jesus loves me.
Ephesians 3:17b-19 (ESV)
…that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
One help to that has been working through the 4Gs and being reminded and shown again the extent to which even the things I do right are often shaped by wrong motivations: the desire to prove myself, in pursuit of some lesser good… Tim Keller’s observes about conversion:
To truly become Christians we must also repent of the reasons we ever did anything right. Tim Keller
As we begin so we continue. Seeing how sin pervades my attitudes, words and actions highlights how much I still need to change but is not a source of despair when it takes me to Jesus. It points me to grace which abounds.
One of the guys I like to hear from on being gospel community in the everyday ordinary is Steve Timmis. WordPress recently reminded me that they have a nice way of sharing tweets, so when I saw a series on how they’re working it out in Sheffield the obvious thing to do was to share.
photo credit 7d7photo on flickr
Life is busy. There are good and bad reasons for that but, leaving that aside for now…
Amid the busyness of life, how can we possibly share life with gospel intentionality? How is it possible when upwards of 60 hours a week are spent on paid or unpaid work and necessary travel? How is it possible within the Christian community and in the wider community? Life feels too busy.
Perhaps the answer is to add almost nothing and change almost everything. Doing much the same things but doing them with one another and with others. And doing them without forgetting that we’re all immortals and we live in a city of immortals.
Ordinary people doing ordinary things with gospel intentionality.
On Sunday past we read the whole of Ephesians. Over the coming months we’ll be dwelling in the letter as we look at it section by section.
Here are a few quick thoughts about how to spend time in the letter alongside the time we’ll spend in Sunday gatherings:
Read it & re-read it!
- prayerfully–we need God’s help
- small sections–work on understanding the details
- the whole letter–keep stepping back and reading through the whole letter to take in the wider context
- don’t just understand it–believe the truth, trust the promises, obey the commands!
It’s really helpful to memorise parts of the Bible, as we work through this letter try memorising:
- look up words in the New Bible Dictionary–I mentioned it in my last post.
- if you have time to read and think hard before reading a commentary, try that.
- mp3s—grab ours if you miss a Sunday and be sure to get the talks Al Stewart did at STIR this year when they are available.
Talk about it
- with sojourners–after Sunday meetings, in your community group’s Bible study or when you’re hanging out.
- with anyone and everyone–those who believe it and those who don’t.