You are Called to Greatness

Called to Greatness: Is. 40:28-31; John 6:66

It is so easy for my life to be consumed by triviality, pettiness and banality.

Do you know what I mean?

I don’t want my life to meander along in a predictable, mundane fashion.

It’s not that I’m looking for the novelty of experiential excitement:  As an end in itself.

It’s more that I know I am made for more, and I want more.

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Aliens Are People Too

ET-Extra-Terrestrial-PSDo you remember when E.T. first came out?
It was literally a block-buster! And rightly so, what a great film that finally proved, once and for all, that aliens existed in our universe!
I never really doubted – did you?

To be terrestrial is to be related in some way to earth – as distinct from “other planets”!
So “Extra” terrestrial is something from “out there” or not from earth, coming to earth – it is “extra” – thus, E. T. stands for: Extra-Terrestrial a “thing” originating from outside or beyond earth!

So that makes all of us “Terrestrials”. We belong on earth, we are from this earth, and it is all a gift from God who made it.

Another word we have to describe E. T.’s is Alien. Many of us have seen various science fiction films with both friendly and non-friendly aliens and so on.

Some of us may even believe that aliens “out there” exist, and there are some weird and wonderful theories out there, by some very weird and wonderful people – but that’s irrelevant for my purposes here.

When Adam and Eve did the only thing they were not to do (Gen 3), they who had been created by God for the earth and the earth for them, were now banished by God within the earth – they became “alien” to the loving, saving, tender mercy of God.

Continue reading “Aliens Are People Too”

Recovering the Race

“Centuries before the man of Uz had wrestled with the problem of the Almighty’s dealings with men as personalised in his own tragedy.

Now in Christ, Forsyth says, God has givien his answer to Job’s demand that he should vindicate his ways with men.

His answer is in a person who is in history yet above it.

The answer is not a mere revelation; it is a redeptive act and a moral victory which has in principle recovered the race.

The Vindicator has stood on the earth.  He is Christ crucified, risen and regnant, the eternal Son of God.

In his work the dread knot created by God’s holiness and man’s sin and drawn into a tight ‘snarl’ by mankind’s misuse of its God-given freedom, has been undone.

And God’s undoing of it in his Son’s cross provides the key to all his dealings with men, as it gives us his master-clue to his final destiny for the world and the race – a moral sovereignty without end, a recreated humanity, and a consummation of all things in the eternal kingdom of God.”

P. T. Forsyth, Per Crucem ad Lucem, by A. M. Hunter, pg.112

yellow flower 2From my garden in 2014 (I think it’s a sunflower)!

Grace is…

IMG_6194I have just discovered this gem of a series called ‘On the Cost and Grace of Parish Ministry’ by Jason Goroncy.  What follows is a snippet from the ninth part of the series on the subject of Sabbath.

Sabbath is a setting free, and this happens “through Jesus Christ who in his incarnation entered into the nothingness and dread of human depravity in order to bring creation into the saving rest of God.  The Bible’s word for this action is ‘grace’.

Grace is never a soft thing.

Grace is a man groaning on a cross, dying on a bitter tree, not only for his friends but also for those who would wish him and his Father dead.

Grace is God redeeming in Holy love.

Grace is God in his eucatastrophic action in the face of Nature’s catastrophe.

Grace is God taking seriously the scandalous nature of sin’s offence, and himself going down into the experience of nothingness and dread, into hell, into death, into the furnace of His own wrath, into the radical depths of its wound, in order to save.

There can be no higher gift.

This grace alone, the grace of the initiating Father, lived in the obedient Son, and made alive through the Spirit, carries humanity home and brings creation into the Sabbath rest of God.  Only then can Paul sing, ‘For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord’ (Rom 8:38-39).

Now the ‘Lord of the Sabbath’ calls us into his rest in order that we might join him in doing the things that He is doing ‘on the Sabbath’ every day of the week.  There can be no place here for that Sabbatarianism that consecrates one day out of all the others, In Christ, every day is about Sabbath rest, renewal and healing, that our entire ministry may be performed under the grace-aegis of God.  To keep the Sabbath is never about conformity to rules and regulations (Col 2:22), but is about conformity to Christ who is Lord of the Sabbath.”

And this is truly a grace.  God is good.

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