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2Chr1-2 Peacetime is a gift. Skills are a gift. Collaborators are a gift. Wisdom is a gift. Wisdom. How is wisdom measured and scaled. Wise, wiser, wisest, what knowledge is sufficient to govern by.. Is wisdom's y-axis merely a capacity to project a greater number of chess moves? As applied to the desire that our rulers be environmentally wiser/wise futurecasters? Or, if the fear of the Lord is the beginning, then is seeking to open ourselves to a greater fearing the true necessary sufficient condition for a wise-wrought ecological future? .. Huram-abi. What is intended by introducing him as the son of a daughter of a daughter? In an age where men apprenticed men? So speculate the mother's role in nurturing a culture's culture-makers.
2Chr3-4 Temple building again. Winged creatures, pomegranates, bulls & interwoven chains...liberation, joy, strength, community? I don't know. How much symbolic nuance in design is lost across time & culture? .. Are there any universal symbols? All art is of a time and a place... So how do we create spaces designed to usher in worship that are inclusive? Is this the wrong question to ask? ..There's always a joy in discovering new symbolic meanings to things. Pomegranates anyone?
2Chr5-6 Steadfastness. 5v13 6v42 Steadfastness is measured by unbroken promises over unbroken time. Knowing that steadfastness, trusting it now, risking on it forever is available by an immersion in a comprehensive history of God's dealing's with God's people where we find a long-suffering, long awaiting, long longing Lord who actively pursues us in love. So textably onwards OT.. 5v13 What of the cloudiness of a cloud prompts our meteorological God to manifest himself as such? Condensation an image of incarnation, the translucence of evaporated living water, the all-present God made visible in a winter day's breath. .. 6v22 – Praying the promises of God. If when famine, if when sin, if when defeat. This is how we define the relationship. We trust in anticipation. .. 5v18 Active verbs for inanimate sculptures is all a bit Indian in the Cupboard's Night at the Museum.
2Chr7-8 Fall facedown and other Redman lyrics, wanting here to follow his call to 'let us recognise what a sacred thing we do.' Remember remember the glory of God in the grind, the presence of a God good glorious & loving, dazzlingly present, present as we pray. Give me eyes to see, and give me faith to keep praying, for God here answers Solomon's prayer in kind, kindly. 8v11 not straightforward sexism but this wife of 1Ki11v1 an idolator.. This a picture of sin's segregating compartmentalising, things we don't bring to the temple. A holy life is an integrated life where all of us is brought into the holy place. God is not satisfied with less than all of us, even in times of Solomon's intimacy with God here.
2Chr9-10 v4 Is this sort of wisdom will available? Wisdom to leave you breathless? Or have we, as moderns, devised a worldview which pre-empts surprise and precludes wonder? 10V8 So we esteem youth still now and more, so we stratify demographically to the exclusion of wisdom. And turn we to reactive definitions of right yoking. 10v4 Had he? If Solomon heavily had, what force or cake or circus kept the peace in his time? Temples are built on the shoulders of a people dignified by compassionate words and good management? Given the chance, we, young restless Hebrews, choose weak future leaders who sell the farm. We resist yoking not so much for its weight, but for being ill reined by an ill reigner. Today, let's do hard things, dream big things, and collaborate well.
2Chr 11-12 The GNB says that Rehoboam desired was in order to 'restore his control' over the northern tribes. We know there's connection between attempts to control and rebellion against the true God... how do I try to control the universe, with subtlety and self-deception? Illusions of control come in different ways, whether warring, or as later in fortifying 'my' cities ('kept under his control') in trying to hoard or preserve what I think is mine. Attributing ultimate control or ownership to ourselves is always an illusion, for there are greater forces than me in this world: Shishaks may come to take everything away from you, & everything will still be God's. God comes with mercy justice mercy justice, and our response must be humility, turning control into ordering and ownership into stewardship. We know this in the abstract, but let us examine our hearts and our ways.
2Chr13-14 Onward Christian soldiers, boldly, but with appropriate boldness, appropriate to the God we worship, appropriate to his kingdom economy, an upsidedown economy. So, don't be living water resistant, rather be weak to be strong, for the prayerful weak powerfully win. When you trust not in your idols you are strong.
2Chr15-16 God is with you if you are with him. How do we know that God is with us? In our seeking he will be found. Our assurance then is not in our conviction that we have yet reached answers, but in our conviction that God has answers and our earnest seeking of him. God is with us in the seeking, God in the looking. This is a word in time. v7 be strong, be not discouraged. Be Not Discouraged. The work you do will be rewarded: let us trust God for this, and leave it to him. Loud oaths to the Lord, today would I declare publicly and plainly that I seek a God who is real. Re-covenant this morning, find the Methodist covenant prayer & make it in your heart. So doing relinquish your idols again, take delight in worshipping God even in a difficult place, and know His peace at every side. Ah. & let us keep on with it, unlike Asa who got it right to then get in wrong ... the Lord keeps watch over the whole world. He knows us. So let us persevere in our covenant, even today.
2Chr17-18 Here we are presented with a nation secure, secured by God for their faithfulness, for their faithfulness. It is a military and economic security. What would that look like here and now? And, at what point does Jehoshophat's militarisation go astray? .. If we are, in so far as we are, for the sake of argument, the faithful southern kingdom, what are the limits of alliance? What is the measure of a faithful collaboration, contrasted with mere politically expedient peace, a compromised household, hedged bets and vague boundaries? .. 18v14 And the use of irony, here uttered in contempt of his listeners. When we finish fasting irony, let us consider how to feast irony. I am speaking as a fool.
2Chr19-20 God knows our mixed motives, he sees our good and our bad, our secret wrongs and our unknown courageousnesses. Let us, acknowledging this, be drawn out of ourselves towards holiness, like Jehoshaphat. Jeho stands within Solomon's 2Chr6 prayer for the temple, holding onto his heritage and tradition and the faith of those beyond and before him. .. The battle belongs to God and not you: do we really know this humility? What does it mean to march out with singing, approaching new work and new study with such a different approach, method and motivation from those proscribed expectations? v37 Shipwrecks, seriously. The fruit of unholy alliances. So seek first the kingdom of God, for we are not to be so.
1Chr21-22 Is there nothing good here? Just bad kings doing bad things? 21v7 is the lamp of grace, presumed upon in every other verse while sin abounds. We don't have to join that deathly carnival we see around us, we don't have to perpetuate the mess we inherit, because of that promised lamp. That lamp enjoyed by being a torch passed on: how can we be Jehoshaphats' shelter from the storm to that which Joash's God has put in our life?
2Chr23-24 Brought out of dark places to be given a crown and a text, an identity and a way to live, a value and values. Why do so many of these kings forget who they are, forget who God is, after periods of faithfulness? Resoluteness is hard, steadfastness is hard, for circumstances will change. I want to end well, so let us practice these disciplines.
2Chr25-26 Oh Azariah, you and whose army? .. 25v14 Reminds me of JJohn's anecdote about a good-luck rabbit's-foot, “the rabbit wasn't lucky..” The psychology of superstition is bizarre, but such is all works-righteousness: we imitate strivers and their striving, we join those bandwagons, because, you know, at least it's something.. This in environmental thoughts left over from Melancholia: the strange comfort we find in indulging and endorsing the defeated and deafeatist philosophies of a dying world. Come now, go, act, be strong for battle, for God has power to help. There is a God. He does have power. He is willing your help, if only we will.
2Chr27-28 As we continue to contrast getting it right & getting it wrong, picturing Jotham in happy settlements in the woods. Ahaz's unfaithfulness strikes me as such hard work, all that energy burning sacrifices to Gods we know will not save us. God have mercy on my misplaced energy. And mercy justice, this is why – we live in a flood of mercy, our 'guilt is already great' but God makes a way so we can make a mercy way for others. The forgiven take no prisoners of their own, they have balm and donkeys to give.
2Chr29-30 After the best 41 sleep ever.. v20's 'rose early' appears at critical junctions throughout the bible, and it is its own reward, for any of us who grabbed 6am front row seats for last week's Indian summer sunrises. As bright-eyed spiritual toddlers let us seek He. .. The discipline of celebration is alright aye. Working backwards, let us reverse engineer our lives accordingly. As last night, when heat was displayed, we took naan bread, broke it and gave it to..Let's talk about the problem with communion wafer-thin wafers.. Having established a Godly feasting paradigm, let us develop contexts for consensus 20v23, still working backwards, then let us be about spiritual spring cleaning, which comes from recognising failures in the areas of Lamps and Doors. What lamps are out, what doors are off in our lives, what areas of darkness, what wrong openesses. So Lamp/Door Convictions -> Sacrificial Spring Cleanings -> Convivial Consensus -> Right Feasting. Let's let's.
2Chr31-32 Confusedly, on money, giving, receiving, blessing, storing-up. Asking from an unabstracted place at present what it means to trust God for provision without sliding into a destructive prosperity theology. To be taken from this .. give first to God, focus your primary energy on your giving-away. Teach me wisdom in this walk, God. Building storehouses here given a seal of approval. If we are not to simply build bigger and bigger barns for no end, what do Godly storehouses look like? Godly saving? Made holy by a vision and intention for wealth's distribution? The ways of the world will come with doubts and discouragement, but have confidence. Surely this God of yours can save you.
2Chr33-34 Manasseh for us: humble yourself for a happily ever after. Amon: or not. Josiah: the youth of kings and catwalk models, elected by discontented and revolutionary generations for their image of a new hope? And impressionability? .. Now, happy 34v12-13 Robin Evan's “Problem with Numbers” essay surveys some of the oft-made analogies of music and architecture: parallels in rhythm, abstraction, proportion and paper notation. It is a comparison of practice and performance which is missing. But imagine this scene, bow-ties on building sites, whistling work, polyphonic screeding, harmonic housing, oh hear the strings rising.
2Chr35-36 A tradition of laments v25 for a fallen Jerusalem, fallen protagonists, fallings away. We are part of this story, where at times everything of value seems burned to the ground. But this is the story, from Ecc3v4-5 to Matt5v4 to Rev21v4, we are in the middle of this story, in our stories, towards a rebuilt temple, a resurrection Sunday and a new Jerusalem. Yes.