Dining on God

dining sm What did you eat for breakfast today? Usually I start with the with Huffington Post or Slate with the ABC news on the side. The media we consume is like food. It can fire the imagination or dull the senses. No one should be surprised at the popularity of reality TV in a junk food nation. Despite all the warnings about heart disease, no one is bothered about foggy brain least of all those on talkback radio whose livelihood depends on widespread ignorance and confusion.

Ezekiel is given something else to eat – God’s word (Ezek 3) – and a puzzle emerges. To the prophet it takes like honey, sweet and moreish. But to his fellow Israelites living in Exile it contains cries of grief, wails and groans. The people are consumed by their own arrogance, violence and idolatry believing that God had abandoned them (Ezek 7). Why not come along to Basement this Sunday from 10am to explore this stark picture and discover how eating well enables us to live well in a changing world.

renewed, restored

renewed web It is easy to lose sight of what really matters in a world filled with conflict, wars and opinion surveys.  Abstract things like freedom, wealth and power are important to us but to God it is people.

In the midst of great tumult comes the story of a woman from Shunem whose promised son dies unexpectedly (2 Kings 4.8-36). It’s a story that is sadly all too familiar for far too many families today. But the prophet Elisha comes and heals the boy … on the Sabbath.

What are we to make of this story? Many Christians focus on the mother’s great faith. But this leaves far too many faithful people finding that their faith goes cold when their pleas and prayers remain unanswered. I wonder if the story actually connects better with the consistent theme for God that plays throughout the prophets – justice, mercy, humility.

Why not come along and find out more when Basement meets at 10am for coffee?

 

 

 

Father’s Day

FATHERSDAY copy

It’s Father’s Day at Basement this Sunday. It’s an opportunity for us to think of our dads and to discover something of the Father’s heart for us.

So why not come along for a coffee and a chat from 10am.

Fire from heaven 

Elijah was a great prophet who was incensed at the violence, arrogance and lack of justice displayed by Israel’s political leaders. In a great showdown, he called down fire from heaven (Kings 19) which consumed his opponents. It was a violent smackdown.

 Jesus’ disciples wanted to do the same thing when a bunch of no good Samaritans disrespected him (Luke 9.51-56). Sadly Christians still want to do the same thing. It’s no accident that the meeting of Christians to challenge the campaign for marriage equality has called itself ‘Jericho.’ But is this desire to seek the destruction of their enemies fair or even appropriate? 

Elijah’s fire solved nothing. Israel didn’t change, in fact the lack of justice, preference for violence and arrogance only grew worse. Jesus pointed the disciples in a different and non-violent direction. He still directs his people to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God. Why not join us at Basement this Sunday from 10am to find out more. 

Visions

dreamsvisions2 We joke that the difference between optomists, pessimists and realists lies in half a glass of water. But as I listen to Christians, I’m shocked at the darkness of their vision as they seek to defend God and protect themselves.

How does a focus on human rights stop us from sitting with the poor in spirit or those who mourn? How might the erosion of religious freedom makes us less meek or hungry for fairness? How do changes to speech laws stop Christians from engaging in peacemaking? And when people lie about who we are, why do so many Christians display fear and anger rather than love and humour?

I’m convinced that we need new dreams and fresh visions more than ever before (Joel 2.28-29). But let’s not just not dream of church with more power and influence. How about we ask the Spirit for dreams where Christians get to be good news to everyone on the outer? How about a vision for being fresh air to those shackled to their past or folks who can move ahead when others can’t find the way out? Can we be people who plant sapplings rather than threaten others with the end of the world? If you want to see what the Spirit might plant within you, why not drop into Basement this Sunday at 10am?

 

Justice, mercy, humility

micah68copy Art helps us to make sense of our experience by highlighting things that we take for granted or barely even notice. It helps us to imagine a different future.

Prophesy does the same thing and more. God’s word opens our eyes and strengthens our hearts when our world only wants compliance and submission. The prophets lets us know that change is not only possible but expected when we’d rather just go with the flow.

Micah (6.1-8) points out the problem that when rich men live by corruption, violence and lies everyone suffers. It’s not bling and bribes that make a difference but doing justice, loving kindness and walking humbly with God.  So why not come along to Basement from 10am this Sunday and discover something surprising.