the baby and the bathwater

The Language of the Kingdom
October 17, 2008, 1:28 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The language and activity of the Kingdom seems to be something that wider church is beginning to forget. Not everywhere – I am part of a church where we push into the things of the kingdom wherever we can. Maybe we’re not great at it, and along the way we stumble and fall. But it is part of our language, and it is our whole-hearted intention to see it’s activity. But the thankfulness I have at being part of such a church is matched by a sadness that I don’t see enough of it elsewhere.

The Kingdom is quite hard to define – even after so many books have discussed it and explained it. This ‘here but not complete’, ‘come but not fulfilled’, ‘present but in the future’, ‘fully in power but not fully revealed’ kingdom still manages to be surrounded in mystery, but is central to our lives as followers of the King.

Often the kingdom’s activity is momentary, surprising, and unpredictable, and so as fast as we try and devise formulas and courses and training programs to capture it, it moves on and we are left scrabbling to keep up. But in the kingdom, opportunities present themselves in the ‘here and now’ and need a ‘here and now’ response. We can prepare for the moment, but not predict when it will come.

And of course the Kingdom is totally King-centred. The activity of the kingdom always gives glory and honour and recognition and wisdom and power back to the King. There is no other shareholder, there is no other stake-holder, no political power-sharing agreement in place. The Kingdom is the King’s. The correct order of this universe is that the King comes first. There is no second place.

And ultimately the kingdom grows when we give it space to breath. And this can only happen when we intentionally give the King permission to be the King. Our motives, selfishness, and ministry aspirations can all crowd Him out.

And worship is at the heart of the kingdom. Not only the day-to-day lifestyle of worship, but the intentional coming-together-and-singing-the-songs worship. As we worship we lay down our agendas and welcome His agenda. As we lift up holy hands we are raising a banner high that says ‘this is your time and this is your place. Have Your way and do Your stuff’. And when our songs are intertwined with faith and obedience God moves. The mystery has been welcomed, the moment has been surrendered, the correct order has been established, and the space has been created: God of Glory have your glory.

In the Kingdom there is no space for another’s glory. There are no performers, stars or divas. There are no number one hits or award winners or song-charts or sell out gigs. All these things just confuse the kingdom. And the kingdom, though mysterious, is not confusing. There has never been any confusion. It is just for Him. Always has been. Always will be.

Church, don’t stop talking the language and walking the journey that is the kingdom. Keep pursuing the mystery, keep living in the moment, keep everything in the correct order, and make sure the King has the space to move.

God of Glory, have Your glory.


Far Reaching
October 9, 2008, 5:03 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

A couple of days ago I posted a joke about George Bush.

One of my friends read it, and sent it to one of his friends, who sent it to her uncle, who works for the Obama Presidential campaign, where it has been very much appreciated in the Obama Camp.

Good to know that my blog is now reaching the highest echelons of world politics.

Beat that Hitchmo

My Mother
October 8, 2008, 7:26 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

When I was growing up, I never really understood why my mother did what she did.

She used to feed up the cold meat from the Sunday roast on a Monday.
She used to wash our plastic sandwich bags so they could be used again the next day.
She used to re-use silver foil.
She used to get annoyed when we left lights on.
She used to say ‘you can have coffee or squash, but not both’
She used to put the left-overs in little dishes in the fridge.
She used to make us walk rather than get a lift in the car.
She told us to put on another jumper, not the radiator.
She told us to look after the pennies and the pounds would look after themselves.
She used to moan about the way we put our foot on the accelerator.
She used to darn our socks and sew up our jumpers and tell us ‘they will do for another year’.

I never really understood why my mother did what she did.

I do now.

Time for a joke
October 5, 2008, 2:26 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

One sunny day in 2009, an old man approached the White House from across Pennsylvania Ave, where he’d been sitting on a park bench. He spoke to the US Marine standing guard and said, “I would like to go in and meet with President Bush.”

The Marine looked at the man and said, “Sir, Mr. Bush is no longer president and no longer resides here.”

The old man said, “Okay” and walked away.

The following day, the same man approached the White House and said to the same Marine, “I would like to go in and meet with President Bush.”

The Marine again told the man, “Sir, as I said yesterday, Mr. Bush is no longer president and no longer resides here.”

The man thanked him and, again just walked away

The third day, the same man approached the White House and spoke to the very same US Marine, saying “I would like to go in and meet with President Bush.”

The Marine, understandably agitated at this point, looked at the man and said, “Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking to speak to Mr. Bush. I’ve told you already that Mr. Bush is no longer the president and no longer resides here. Don’t you understand?”

The old man looked at the Marine and said, “Oh, I understand. I just love hearing it.”

The Marine snapped to attention, saluted, and said, “See you tomorrow, Sir.”