Friday, March 22, 2013

The human example...

The text this week, Philippians 2: 5-11, is an intriguing journey into the mind of Christ. God and man. The culmination of his obedience. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Lutheran theologian who was executed by the Nazis toward the end of World War 2 made this observation in his writings which I believe touches the very point that Paul is making here in the text.

The church is the church only when it exists for others...The church must share in the secular problems of ordinary human life, not dominating, but helping and serving...It must not underestimate the importance of human example which has its origin in the humanity of Jesus.

Friday, March 08, 2013

God...Paul...and Mick Dundee

In the movie, 'Crocodile Dundee', as the reporter is interviewing Mick Dundee about his experience when grabbed by a crocodile they have this exchange:

Michael J. "Crocodile" Dundee: Of course it took me a week to crawl this far. I thought I was a goner. I said to meself, "Mick old son, find yourself a nice comfortable spot and lay down and die".
Sue Charlton: Weren't you afraid?
Michael J. "Crocodile" Dundee: Of dying? Nah. I read The Bible once. You know God and Jesus and all them apostles? They were all fishermen, just like me. Yeah, straight to heaven for Mick Dundee. Yep, me and God, we'd be mates.

"Yep, me and God, we'd be mates."

In 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 would take these words of Mick Dundee a step further and say:

"Yep, me and God, we are mates."

...and not only 'mates', but the very embodiment of God's righteousness.  That is to say, God's right relationship with his creation finds full expression in you and in your life.  Heavy duty stuff to say the least. 

Which leads to another interesting dialogue possibility...

Imagine some of your friends discussing what is the difference between God and you, or Jesus and you. Paul would hope that the answer to that question is that there is no difference. Our lives, words, attitudes, actions and very being are the active physical presence of God's divine grace and the living presence of Jesus in the world.  Very often the only Christ that most people will experience will be you and the only time they see God or experience his presence in their lives will be in you.

Friday, March 01, 2013

A desert strewn with corpses...

Now that's not the sort of phrase one would associate with faith, grace and salvation, and yet Paul uses just this sort of imagery as he addresses the Christians in the church at Corinth. In 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 he presents us with very vivid imagery based on the Exodus story to remind us that we can not take the gifts of grace and salvation for granted. As he warns in verse 12:

If you think you are standing firm you had better be careful that you do not fall.

Good thing to keep in mind, don't you think?