Saturday, 20 August 2011

texting one kings

Hello. One Kings crossing London daily betwixt texters so inclined. Come play - 07729056452.

1Ki1-2 Old elders and the interregnum quandry of who and how. David, as senility saps his virility, knows not and knows not what, and so our baffled king gives way to the hallelujah chorus.

1Ki3 Another much recounted tale that we would seek to make enfleshed today. God is so big and powerful, asking him to make me wiser, make me better, it is a terrifying prayer to pray. Make us better, remake us. Solomon's wisdom here demonstrated to be married to compassion. Seek wisdom for compassion today, for that which will confront you, for surely it will.

1Ki4-5 Wisdom is. Wisdom is from God 5v12. Wisdom is for worship 5v7. Wisdom is in the trees 4v33. Wisdom sings 4v32. Wisdom is breadth, wisdom is depth 4v29. Wisdom cooks on a rota, but more than that, wisdom begets structures, timetables and delegation with the purpose of the dissemination of wisdom: wisdom works out wise ways of making wisdom widespread. And then cathedrals. 4v20 By social justice cathedrals are built. And of wisdom-wrought peacetime. Why war we, this nation at war knows not, as David knew not.

1Ki6-7 So architecture yeah, full of the redundant detail and careful making you hope that we would better notice, enjoy, experience as worship. Tell me, how does this compare with what you hope for, with Huram the bronzesmith known by Solomon & invited to play. What can we learn? Building, dwelling..the dwelling of God. God in buildings. Most Holy Places. If Christ tears down the curtain, prayer is ceaseless &everything is spiritual, are there no more most holy places? A well trod question, the answer is probably yes and no? But what does that mean for buildings, & what for the way we spend today's time?

1Ki6-7 Oh happy the architecture of happiness. Holy Places Are. And today they are not less nodal, the happening of holiness is not less placed, but it is as if the one greenhouse, that jewish prototyping workshop, has been flung open, and spores as mustard seedlings there germinated as little mysteries for long ages are now blown on the Spirit's wind to entemple the cracks of the world, to renature the voids. Berry speaks of 'no unholy places, but sacred places and desecrated places.” thither go we to entemple.

1Ki8-9 Let us benedict out houses thus, that God's eyes would see us in 24/7 prayer, v29. .. Praying towards a place, can we consider this unsuperstitiously? Perhaps contrasting it with 9v8. We live publicly; our temples and our homes and our bodies are the storefronts to the goodlife, windows to the soul. So comport oneself with a conspicuous orientation that acknowledges what God has consecrated and where. That our entempled landscape might not become enruined by our incorrigible forgetfulness.

1Ki10-11 Knowledge for knowledge's sake is never enough aye, even it if is a good. Wisdom without faithfulness is dead. What are my hundred idol-worshipping wives in my life? What increases to steal me from God without my noticing? What & who's influence?

1Ki12 My little finger. A timely moment of happy house escapism last night saw Casino Royale. A worthless film. But one which quips this exact euphemistic boasting. What are we to make of this Kinsey fashioned Carry On Kinging sort of school boyish laddery? While easily we could leap from the heavy yolks here to our new King whose yolk is easy, perhaps we would miss an intermediary. We do not merely exchange yolks but paradigms. The paradigm here represented in the dick+whip combination is a carrot+stick model of leadership built on marketing+legislation: promising all the sexual potency of bus ads and commanding the injurious retribution of mortgage holders' commuter hours. This blind boasting+striving begets the crescendo of sex+violence which issues the collapse of such an empire on those built. So. Jesus' servant leadership is not merely lighterly burdened, but rather is another game altogether. So we, Rm3v27, 2Cor 11v30.

1Ki13 Truth and lies innit. Lying in the name of God, lying for the sake of a perceived good, lying in order to offer hospitality. Lying is always the manifestation of an attitude that we know better than God. There are truths & there are falsehoods, & Good is God, God knows the secret things, God will expose lies with true truth. In an aching for truth is a gladness that I will be judged.. Truth will win so tell the truth. Truth & conviction: do not be led from God's voice by others, not even by your elders, not even by prophets. & of letting anyone be priests as the 'fatal sin' in my version – this is not the priesthood of all believers but a disbelief disvalue of truth.

1Ki14-15 A study in the theme of the masquerading, charading, pantomiming, pretend-to-be-my-sistering all through the OT would not be unprofitable. And we find ourselves in this: all the ways we seize our facticities with both hands, taking power to manufacture identity, to closet our shame. This because we fear 'unbearable news', this because we know how far we have lied and accordingly how very overdue we are to meet a lion in the road. We hide from an angry God who isn't, we sin striving to fight a fight that has already been won and to become a beloved which we already are. Let's not... So, in this line of bad kings, Asa is notable for his prudent dependence and seeking of peace through a gift economy. Let's.

1Ki16-17 The return to an endless cycle of kingly rebellion is somehow more painful after David's story. The front to back reading that gives more context to David makes clearer why he is so held up as aman after God's heart. To be so tangibly distinctive & Godly...we should seek psalmic honest intimacy with a God who would make us such. Elijah comes into thoughts about trusting God for money, trusting God for all provision & then to raise the dead. I remember a prayer over me last year, before I know where money would come from, that I would be fed by ravens, & so it has been. God remind us teach us what it is to trust in provision & how you would have us do that in this season. Please provide what we need, & bring. the dead. to life. Help me to mean it, help me to see it, help me to participate.

1Ki18-19 Much too much in this bumper issue. Obadiah our ecologist demonstrates a right fear of God that is prophet-feeding and creation caring .. Know that truth-tellers qua truth-tellers will be known as troublers. In such contexts as we are each called to make God conspicuous we should seek that sort of triply saturated soaking such that the fire which consumes us would be God alone .. Under our broom tree: if we have been fed by ravens, if we have seen the fire and felt the rain. How is it that we, as Elijah, still haemorrhage faith? Drenching is an opportunity, in our wet weakness God is strong.

1Ki20-21 I don't know how to apply this to our mercy justice mercy justice, how best to read it through an NT lens.. Like the Arameans I let God be the God of the hills & not the valleys, quick to compartmentalise, dichotomise, rationalise. Forgive me, come & be God. God of the valleys. Advice to a sullen king: a Satrean self-assertion that could be a popular self-help. These are not God's ways.

1Ki22 Here how we, like these, hate those who speak to us the hard prophecies. And so homogeneously we huddle, huddled amongst those who tell us the 'peace, peace' we want to hear. .. Here how we really do hope our masks will save us, and so, overboldly, into battle to a disguised demise, with our papier mache identity impotent against the slings and arrows. So how should we properly prepare and protect? Unsure, but by a right fear of God and a speaking plainly of the enemy who is there. (/)

Sunday, 7 August 2011

texting two samuel

Withward with words, daily. If you'd like to play too - 07729056452.

I find myself taking for granted the strength of the grace with which David comports himself towards Saul, even after death, that and/by his total conviction in God's active explicit anointing. Initially and still uncommentrarily confused: Saul died falling on his sword, only later, leaning on his spear he was euthanised by this mercy killer? All is not fair in war, and love's lost here against one unforgiven who, as an Amalekite, may have known not what he was doing? Living by the sword: is this dramatic prose a celebration of violence or? Yet should we celebrate the spiritually skillful, writing reading biographies of those who have lived by the Eph6:17 sword, dramatically.

2Sm3-5 Hope fulfilled is a tree of life, says Prov13v12. We talk a lot about hope, hope for the very big & the very small, each day trees of life as well as waiting's heartsickness. This was David's biggest hope finally fulfilled, becoming king. The promise of anointing way back when, followed by persecution. & here it is, a longing fulfilled. Everything is different, & also it's business as usual. Promises fulfilled among blood & politics & decisions to be made. So every tree of life. Let us not romanticise God. As with all romanticising it will come to steal true romance.

2Sm6-7 Oh Uzziah. God will be met. God will be met on his terms, or punishment or consequences will thus be meted. Under Waterloo Bridge this evening was a clarinet, and passing pausing a group with a three-year-old leaping and dancing to the jazz, all head over hands happy. Leaping and dancing because we are free, free to seem a fool and be despised. Oh how we the dancing generation fall short. Houses yeh, there is a king, there is a kingdom and there will come a time you'll see, when housebuilders will not break your heart. 7v10 Dwell. Let us glimmer a picture of this for all to hope by.

2Sm8-9 Much in this ancient Hebrew worldview I struggle to enter into, even imaginatively, but here is something to make real – David asks who he can show kindness to. This is a prayer to start the morning. Yesterday, half-resigned to it being a personless bubble of a day I asked God that someone would disturb me with some need, & so it was. Intentionally, pray this: who can I show kindness to today? Then see it, then be kind. Every small kindness has currency in this kingdom, I might just believe it.

2Sm10-11 Of beards and the hearsay of illadvisors, how should we then fight? As sources of conflict abound in this world, how can we but, how can we not? There is something in both these chapters against sending others to fight in your stead, the Ammonite stirrers sending mercenary hired hands, and David sending Uriah. .. Lust here is not minor fall but a major drift. How do we try to rinse/deflect/atone our home sins on foreign battlefields? Where is the cost of our shame paid abroad? Do not deal in shame, don't import it, don't export, don't propagate it. Jesus has set you free so be free. .. And don't shave men's beards?

2Sm12 What do I covet? Whose only lamb do I steal from a place of plenty? The fact that I can't immediately answer this question suggests that I, like David, don't know myself well enough, don't feel my sin acutely enough. For a Nathan's analogising that my eyes might be opened that the repentant road be taken. Of David's prayers for his son's life, a between place, a grey place, a difficult place.. Might we take from this passage that between places qua their betweeness offer a unique opportunity for a particular kind of conversation with God, of fasting, weeping & lying on the floor. An urgency, intensity & intentionality of prayer which breeds intimacy with God. Questions are what we do when we don't know, seeking is what we do when we don't have. Such times are holy.

2Sm13-14 13v21 Bad men who previously did bad things can say and do nothing when their bad sons consult bad friends to plot bad things. Lust's major drift steers its mess into the next generation and on Amnon.. Unleashed lust cannot be undone: a failure in sexual restraint will render you voiceless to restrain worse excesses by those who follow from you. So, true love, for their sake, waits. 14v19 'on me be the guilt..' and the cost of active parenting.. Still bemused by irrelevant aesthetic qualifications. And weighing hair. Srsly.

2Sm15 The servant king on the mount of olives, returning the will to power with grace upon grace. Jesus. Jesus. We will go with you wherever you go.

2Sm16-17 In these rooftop sexual politics lust's mess ploughs on, the messers becoming the messees. Our enemy today is not impersonal as they would have us believe, we do not battle merely the inevitable force of market forces and the heartless, mindless evolution of cruel determinism. Our reality remains one of persons persuadable saveable. Ours is still a contest against Absaloms. Have we an ear behind those enemy lines? Have we a plan? Have we a trust in God? Have we a cross-country, joined-up, hands-on eagerly anticipated sense that we are participating in the restoration of God's true king? Your work, dear one, is important and excellent: idea's consequences: the gift to fight for the right view of God, for a knowledge of his present presences, known and spoken, is yours.

2Sm18-19 Do we construct our lives, motives, battles on such a basis as Absalom: do we gather sympathisers to an antihero-ic and react-ive cause borne of begrudged grievance? We are yet forgiveable. Forgiveable, mourned for and longed for by God as/if/even/when we, entangled by our pride, die on that battlefield. .. Do we seek to restore peace and unity? Even as a smaller side, fear not, the v8 forest is for us. .. Mercy takes v14 time, oh that we might waste some in saving lives today. .. Of 19, a sort of hug-a-hoodie lesson in the hows of peace-making? Unsure. Certainly we are all guilty at such riotous times, as now, even of negligence, even of inaction. Humbly let us out-reach the sceptics in our outreach.

2Sm20-21 If David is our Christ figure, Joab consistently evokes the name of David to justify his own agenda, but fails to listen. Let us agenda surrender. 21v1-4 justice? really? v15-22 slaying giants, a different picture to 1Sm17, a David dependent on the help of others, as we, this week.

2Sm22-23 Whether or not God is in the earthquake, his still small voice will come, untimeably as an earthquake, even ruinously to the landscape of our presuppositions. .. Of the spatiality of distress, and its opposite, a trust in God: 22v20 'broad space' 1Sm30v6 (lit.) 'the matter is narrow for.' Faithless ways I dig myself into a hole reveal my flight from God as a kind of agrophobia. .. Mighty men: 23v20, Mt12v1-8, 1Sm21. We are chosen and purposed like this, as David's men, as Jesus' disciples, to go into tight spaces and fight lions on snowy days, to defend lentils. What a calling.

2Sm24 Initially confused as to David's sin, the 1Chr21 version tells us that it was Satan not God who moved David to take the census. A mistranslated ambiguous indexical maybe, but it puts me in mind of the fear and trembling I feel on thinking that Satan used scripture to tempt Jesus in the wilderness, & discernment is a weighty game. As David here, as Jesus, our conscience our atunement with God's spirit is so needed. God, teach me costly sacrifice pleasing to you & help me to mean it.

Saturday, 6 August 2011


For Joe.
Economic incentives and ecological imperatives.
Today, for joy, through Christ, today.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011