Monday, 30 July 2012

texting habakkuk

You are a runner and I am my Father's son. Come, run the miracle mile with us, run the but-if-not, run the come-what-may, run the race marked out, run London.  07729056452

Ha1 Prophets major and minor manifest an v2-4 honesty before God, a holy grumpy complaint to God the best friend, which at the same time is v12 surrender submission to God the sovereign... v5 'you will be astonished at what you see. I am going to do something that you ill not believe when you hear about it.' Yes to receiving this word, to turning it over in my heart, and to declaring it over the situations we find ourselves in, as a declaration of faith in the name of Jesus. Praying this over household transitions, over parents, griefs, seasons and over my own transformation. I believe you, God.

Ha1 At the end of Habakkuk's second complaint 'I will take me stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me' v6 I am raising up the Chaldeans .. all their faces forward … they laugh at every fortress' v6 'I am raising up the Chaldeans .. the pile up earth and take it … they gather captives like sand' v6 'I am raising up the Chaldeans … their horses are swifter than leopards … that bitter and hasty nation' Who had God rasied up? A bitter and hasty transnation? 'I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will asy to me' (why do you idly look at wrong?)

 Ha2 v2 Prophetic running. Olympians, why do they do it? One can run-from, as Elijah Runs (1Ki19v3) which would make sense given the woes that follow in Na2. Or you can run-to, as to the name of the Lord is a strong tower. Or you can run-with, as Liddell run-to-feel-His-pleasure. Or you can run-for-a-reward, as 1Cor9v24-7. Or you can run because of the urgency of prophetic proclamation. This is a Prescottian running-for-archbishop ( running with the beautiful feet (Ha3v19) on the mountain to bear good news Is52v7. We. Are. Heralds. And. Time. Is. Short. #RunLondon. .. v6 Please pray for my house. .. v11! Architectural life-verses! Sermons in Stone! By comparison to Lk19v40's stones which worship, these stones here offer a dialogical lament. Awesome. The very components of the building speak their unjust means of production, exploitatively extracted elements. Combined with v6's 'heaping up...' What is a 'heap' and what is 'not your own' in this world? The glass on glass of plundered gains and the conspicuous disparity of wealth heaped up on SE1's skyline? .. Contrasting v14's 'knowledge' with v19's 'teach'. Our knowledge of God is Polanyian personal knowledge, storied, living and active. Our knowledge of God is a Word who wants to make Himself abundantly known, in a flooding filling washing over sort of living water to be drunk with and in and swallowed by and soaked in. Enjoy, surf it, share it. .. Lastly, of the Habakkukian confidence in God, we have this triplet of assurances:1v5 an astounding work unseen; 2v3 an answer worth waiting for; and 3v18 (as Dn3v18) a but-if-not. These are uniquely Christian confidences, and they are why we can speak joy in funerals, when there is no earthly reason to rejoice, but God has been our salvation.

Ha3 v2 We have heard what you have done, at a distance, in the past, over there, but I need you here and now God, we need you now to be miraculous mighty & merciful. Please please, that we might be able to say that Jb42v5 no longer do we know you because of what others have told us, but that we have seen you with our own eyes, touched and tasted you. Jesus, be the cornerstone captone of all our stories, all of our own stories. Asking for these things of you God, with fear and trembling, and yet, and yet remembering that we are already v19 safe. This is the word we need as we v16 wait. Already safe in the face of death and expectation and the unknown and the worst of ourselves, we are already safe. Mercy is the first and best miracle which makes this possible (hallelujah.) So our 3v18 but-if-not come-what-may of marriage to this God, which is JOY. I feel it wash over me, the painful surrender of being turned inside out that is still the sweetest joy. I'd rather be here than anywhere, this is the miracle to pray from.

Ha3 'To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments' v17 'Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will tak joy in the God of my salvation.' v19 'To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments' v16 'I ehard and my body trembles; my lips quiver at the sound; rottenness enters into my bones; my legs tremble beneath me.' v19 'To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments' v19 'God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer's; he make me tread on my high places.' v19 'To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments' (my high places?)

texting nahum

Using war and past injury as my metaphor and simile. Text lifestyle applications into me, before the deadline. 07729056452.

Na1 This morning was a funny one. While trying to construct something out of this woe-filled war poetry I had just scribbled that the night of these minor prophets is darkest before the NT dawn, and Jeff approached me at Camden Lock. Asking for money he offered that Ps52 'Darkness has been my closest friend' was a verse close to his heart. (maybe 42v3?) This darkness (v4), even as the consequence of general brokenness, drunkenness v10 and misdirection, if not the darkness of explicit judgement, is the experience of so many so much of the time. God, I want to see Jeff again, to speak v7 refuge and v15 peace feasts. I want to be good news. Hear our prayers.

Na2 Initially confused by this passage who it is to and what causal links are being made and why, then struggling with the violent images, unsure how to let them shape our day. The esv tells us Nahum speaks this to Ninevah with sarcasm, I don't know how much this helps... Oh but I want Jesus to break the barriers that keep me from him, those I don't even know about and those I do. Jesus, please hear our fumbled prayers and break in upon with force. I pray that you are powerful against that which comes to rob steal and destroy, commiting to you particularly this morning, your servants R and T. Please Lord God, undo strongholds and overcome darkness. We think of Jeff, please overcome his darkness with your light. 

Na2v11 “Where is the lions' den, the feeding place of the young lions, where the lions and lioness went, where his cubs were, with none to disturb? The lion tore enough for his cubs and strangled prey for his lionesses; he filled his caves with prey and his dens with torn flesh” .. went far beyond need and built silos for himself thinking 'I am safe' “Fool! This very night”, but these are not games. v13 “I will cut off your prey from the earth” … If only the earth could be cut off from their (our) prey.

Na3 v7 Who will grieve? As Pure's ungrieved (ungrievable?) death of a prostitute, there is no love lost in the market economy, no bond, no affection, no kissing, no grief. We who live by the sordid, die by the sordid, alone, in the comfort of our graceless compartmentalised monetised ways. .. v15 Multiply, as Gn1v28 Ps127v5. Here invoked sarcastically, but Nahum assumes a principle of numbers in a context of spiritual war that we forget. See v16 know that the enemy, his bankers and civil servants are looking to multiply. You cannot stand still, the Kingdom cannot be sleepwalked into v18. As John Peters will tell us apocalyptically, evangelism would do well to be motivated by basic self-interest in the face of the illegalisation of Christianity in the UK. Do not allow your zeal to be contracepted by naïve non-violence, by irresistant passive resistance which is passivity. .. Remembering Na1v7, God make me bold.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

found flowers: 015

indescribable uncontainerabled.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

found flowers: 014

Rose from the dead? Blessed are ye who pun in the name of the Lord.

Monday, 23 July 2012

found flowers: 013

He lifted me out of the skip and..

Sunday, 22 July 2012

texting micah

Mercy, and just us on 07729056452 - but you are always welcome to pipe up.  [For those synchronising, we are 2ch/day generally, unless a minor prophet is 4 chapters or less, then 1ch/day. Love.xx]

Mi1-2 1v5 High places and transgressions. Urbanism according to Jacques Ellul (and Batman's Henri Ducard) sees cities as the highest sins of a nation, and accordingly they should expect capital punishment. So London, so Gotham, so high buildings and high streets, so a whole city getting high on the weaponised hallucinogen of the market economy – a weapon that also trades in fear (Eisenstein: anxiety, scarcity, competition) .. Relatedly, 2v2 Covet. Piper, speaking on gay marriage a few weeks ago observed that, as Christians, we don't generally seek legislation against covetousness. It is interesting then to observe that impeding the regeneration of Vauxhall are the billboards on the roundabout island which earn somebody £1million each year. .. 1v7 All Samaria's wages. For the wages of wages is death? This, again Eisenstein, if you are being compensated for your job by wages, you may already be dead. .. v7 Prostitute. The sin is not so much getting adulterous action, as making a financial transaction, the goods-and-service-ifying of a gift. Flee from that. .. v6 Vineyards. Our God is a reagrifying God, the God of food sovereignty and Wendall Berry. .. 2v12-13 The gospel according to Batman Begins. “You are not beyond saving” “ There are good people in this city” God does not leave his sheep in the madness of the v11 strong drink, he acts to save unto pastures v12, he gathers v12 (=church), and he then sends into battle v13 (=mission). So we, if we have hopes to be Rachels/Gordons in an exciting counter-cultural remnant, must first be inoculated against the mad virus of the market economy. The antidote comes from Morgan Freeman, though his son Bruce, almighty.

Mi3-4 4v3 In heaven there will be plowshares but no swords, there be always be cake at the back of church but no violent car chases or gratuitous explosions. Christ Jesus, fit us for heaven, that we might walk in a manner worthy of this calling. Fit us for the call by showing us how not to be 3v5 Christ's fairweather friends, how not to v2 hate good and love evil, both in ways we are misguided, pursuing the ways of the badie with a misaligned purity, and ways that we compromised and akratically are aligned with evil. Thank you that in dying with you, you are able to make us a new creation. Let us sit, to quietly confidently thankfullyknow it in this moment. Thank you that you are working this salvation in the here and now. Thank you that you are redeeming all of creation, including human beings, the crown of your creation. Thank you that you save us in a way that befits us, that because we are complicated, there is a sense in which you save us in complicated ways. There are so many layers to our lostness, as 3v6 we are dark dark houses, on a dark dark night. Thank you that you peel us back and restore us in such intricate nuanced ways, and that you commission Christian philosophers and psychologists accordingly. Thank you for a right 4v7 liberation theology, that you transgress our boundaries and categories, as our Acts11 reminder, the lame will become the remnant and we are never to be too comfortable. Thank you, Holy Spirit, that you teach us ever-new ways, and we want to tell you that we want to seek your teaching, we want to climb the mountain, to go to the specirfic place where we will be taught. Thank you God, for the richness of the bible and the gift of sacred texting, for the imagery & metaphors (there are so many, israel both 3v8 male and 7v8 female) Thank you God.

Mi3-4 “is it not for you to know justice? ... The sun shall go down on the prophets ... Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins ... and peoples shall flow to it ... nation shall not lift us sword ... I will assemble the lame ... you shall go to Babylon. There you shall be rescued ...” Like Boromir, safe, though stung by many arrows.

Mi5-6 The JWs who visited us on Saturday asked me to read Ps37v9-10 to them. Whatever is aberrant in their faith, speaking the promises of God boldly on the doorsteps of strangers is a good. So Micah promises us the shepherd-King. Promises me a king who cares enough, promises me a shepherd who is strong enough to make good on his promises, strong enough to be our v5 peace of mind and peace on Earth. How is your peace? Who is your peace? Who needs your peace? And what must you do/be so to be made a channel of God's peace for them? The 6v7 'fruit of our body' is given up not to earn forgiveness but because we already are: all of life is a chain of kidney donations, flowing from the one who already gave his body up for us and thus, knowing we have had a shepherd-King, and because He was caring-enough, strong-enough to be our sufficient peace, we can proceed wedwards fretlessly, as Ps37v1,8.

Mic7 If my desire to taste a fuller sense of what it is like to be a new creation comes from anywhere, it comes from knowing v18 in my bones. God's v9 mercy justice is a mercy that triumphs over judgement, pardonning iniquity, passing over transgression, and reducing the old self to rubble in the process..for this mercy leaves nothing to assert over the other in power. My transformed identity comes in remembering the v1 first-ripe fig that my soul desires, my Rev2v4 first love. Knowing that v7 God is my sufficiency, before work home church, God is enough. It is God I will look to. Jesus, you both v8 are light, and you v9 bring us to the light – please be light to our spiritual eyes, that we may see where we do not yet see.

Mi7 Overheard in town yesterday “No-one is selling, the city is in nervous breakdown”. v2 '..they all lie in wait..each hunts the other with a new...' “No-one is selling” v1 'Woe is me! For I have become as when the summer fruit has been gathered' “The city is in nervous breakdown” v3 'Their hands are on what is evil, to do it well' But as for me? v7 'I will look to the Lord' v9 'I will bear the indignationof the Lord' v9 'I will bear the indignation of the Lord because I have sinned against him' v19 'You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea' Headline over there “Shackled Batman suspect”

200words: serpentine pavilion 2012

 "He makes a pit, digging it out, and falls into the hole that he has made.” Psalms 7v15

The silly season is upon us, seen in the Olympic language games and Herculean contrivance of the Designer's Statement where Herzog, de Meuron and Ai have been tasked with issuing an answer to a question that cannot be found. Why is this pavilion here? Wherefore the vanity of follies, folly of vanities, is there some clue in the name? Do you not know? Have you not heard? Life is meaningless struggle, labour in the pit, a striving in search of past times? No? “Like a team of archaeologists” in a present-tense continuous searching for the bones of God, these designers have found only the origin of specious argument; in the bottomless pit of architectural post-rationalisation, they are excavating nothing but solipsistic justification and the lies that lie beneath. This need not be. Happy the children of Hyde Park, haptically ecstatic the lounging lovers of Kensington Gardens, the Kingdom belongs to such as these, and this structure is perfect for an all-weather summer. Witness toddlers toddling amongst the giant champagne corks of our wedding feast existence. See them bodily engaged, lifting, rolling their movingly moveable environment, oblivious to grown-up competitive comparative architectural angst. For those with eyes to see, come and play.
Designer's Statement

Thursday, 19 July 2012

we are here, this is now

texting jonah

Speak life aquatic. Darling its better on 07729056452.

Jh1 Hemmed in. Our God coordinates MHC, Sunday afternoon meditations, Sunday evening sermons, now this. Tipping the scale of true allegiance, crossing the cusp of the hill of obedience, transitioning from come-and-see to go-and-die forms of discipleship. Jonah here is waving his own flag, looking out for number one, fearful of others more than God, concerned for his own comfort over the fate of the nations. So help me God. .. v3 paid. We hand over good money to get away from God, all the time. Escapism always costs something, escapism is always futile. .. v6 Sleepers. Vauxhall's zombies the morning after the night before, oblivious. Such are we in our seeing without seeing, the glazed gaze of a middle distant Zoolander comportment. Sleepwalk no more. .. v10 'I fear the Lord..' Really? Clearly a woefully deficient fear of th'Lord. So, as we must be towards death, let us be so authentically v16 exceedingly with vows and Rm12v1 sacrifices.

Jh2 So those who try to save their lives will lose it, this is the way to v1 Sheol. We know this, as Jonahs running away, we always end up inside the fish, one way or another. This morning at St M's a note that we often cry out to God and listen more profoundly in times of suffering, as Jonah here, but I ask that we learn to pray Jonah's prayer in all seasons, insofar as it is the giving up of oneself, the commitment to v9 sacrifice of oneself, the commitment to v9 & so come & die to self. The movement from self-protection to self-abandonment shifts our being from v1 Sheol to v9 God's salvation. God, with honest words such as Jonah's, we ask that you keep us in the commitment to ie to self today. These are your morning's new mercies, that as we die with Christ, so we are raised with Christ (after 1v17 three days). Here we stand in the morning's resurrection, vomited up on the beach, fresh with conviction in our hearts.

Jh3 London is nothing if not an v3 exceedingly great city. How shall she be saved? By the artless and brief preaching of Hell (Hell as 'overthrowing' Gen19v25)? An eight word sermon on unconditional judgement by a reluctant evangelist here changed a city. The emphasis on underqualified brevity should convict this overeducated verbophile that my evangelism is not about me, and certainly not about my lofty speech or wisdom 1Cor2v1. .. Two days immersion in the God Delusion might be fuel for a well-intended softening of the expression of Hell, for fear of proliferating the church pain of entrenched antitheists. This should not be. Present and eschatological Hells are viscerally more than allegory. While we can and should speak with more compassion than Jonah, we preach perishing to the perishable and time is short. .. Interesting that repentance involves the animals v7 – so we, our sin, economy, diet and salvation are entangled.

Jh4 Feels like Obadiah in identifying the twistedness of our comparative emotions, v1 pride, anger & self-righteousness - the defence mechanisms here, where our hearts cannot bear the scandal of grace, which puts us all on a level playing field with God, the Mt20v1-16 indignity of being paid the same as one who has laboured less. Like Jonah, we are all apt to become petulant teenagers. But God points out again v4 that the one we damage most here is ourselves. .. v7 The gift economy is not a badge of honour to wear, nor an ideology to subscribe to so to make people more like you, it must unselfconsciously be the lived experience of the fact that nothing we own is ever really ours. Dying to self involves the recognition that we do not have the rights we like to pretend that we do, unclench our fist, free to love the other for their own sake. And loving the other as other: it is easy sometimes to love people, v10 plants and baby polar bears on frozen planet in a self-identifying self-extending or ends-means-gratifying way, but this is not the only kind of love God calls us into. God breaks this with his v2 great gracious dismounting absurd love and mercy. So see what your father is doing, and become self-emptying, as God is. Loving the Ninevan other with whom there is no scrap of identification. Come and die to self as such, be holy as God is holy.

texting obadiah

The force is strong in this one. Acupuncture for the soul these minors. Join us. 07729056452

Ob1 This tidy little book speaks to me of the sin of comparison, of which I am guilty. I realise that all of v11-13's ugliness is contained in ways of comparing oneself with others, and I deceive myself that just because I don't actively indulge Schadenfreude that this is not at work. In pride, envy, jealousy & insecurity there is something that wants less than the other's best, because I want to be better, I want to put myself above them, somehow. So, by v11 sins of omission or v14 active forcefully, there is the sin of desiring another's misfortune. Envy, Klein notes, is the most distorted emotion because it hates what is goo, rather than what is bad. Pride, CSLewis tells us, is always competitive. But v3 your pride will deceive you. These ugly unkind ways are worthy of condemnation, but more than this, they are v15 one's own condemnation. They make the heart sick, leading to emptiness, inauthenticity, self-contempt. Oh I want God to v4 pull me down from my false ideas, my ugly comparative ways. Batter my heart, oh God, as Donne's, take me captive to only you, that I am free to pray with happy earnest joy for the good the best the better for others. Safe on this rock I am safe to pray that God would bless them more than me, I have everything I need.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

texting amos

Amo amassed Amos? 07729056452

Am1-2 Thus says the Lord.. even if we stop short of such overboldness we can borrow Amos' homiletics because the Lord is still judging both sin and bad religion. The mega sins of the third and fourth degree in 1v3-2v3 we may see on the 10o'clock news and comfort ourselves that we are Lk18v11 not like one of those. We may not be, but what good is it if our 'righteous' Acts are filthy rags Is6v4, loveless clanging 1Cor1v13, despicable feasts Am5v21? And what is worse, we are we to whom much has been given, so much is expected Lk12v18. Hence 2v4-6v14 on we religiose. Do I v7 turn away from the afflicted? Or v7 fail to defend uniquely faithful heterosexual marriage (esvsb)? Do I support contemporary Nazirites v12 who pursue peculiarity for Jesus sake? Do I allow space for prophecy, for hard and/or affirming words to reach me through my clutter? For sins of omission, escapism, less-than-fully-distinctivism, forgive us.

Am3-4 These verses full of the easily platitudinised reality of the vastness & closeness of God. Acknowledge awe-fully again, under this sky, and nuzzle up to God knowingly. 4v13 God ordained this sunshine and these trees, and knows your thoughts before you do, knows your heart, knows your name. 3v13 God the Lord of hosts, sovereign, v14 judge, 4v1 angry for justice, v2 holy – is the God who 3v2 knows us best. God here as parent; you do not discipline other people's children. We experience our intimacy, our relatedness to God in the hard words we hear. v3 Walking in the cool of the day with this God, v7 God speaks secrets to us, like a lover, of the i've-never-told-anyone-else-this-before intimacy, & God tries everything to woo us back v6-11 it seems. God our v12 shepherd & saviour. So 3v3-4v12 know all life can be this meeting with God, face to face.

Am5-6 Seek 5v4 v6 v14. Ask Seek Knock. Seek and you will find; fail to seek and you will be unfounded thus: we lose v7 moral goodness, v8 cosmological meaning, v10 prophetic truth, and v11 the beauty of craft. So Amos connects architecture to faith. v10-11 Good houses / wine endure as goodness/beauty/truth by-products of social harmony, itself a product of ernest God-seeking? .. 6v1 Woe to those at ease. The world has enough for everyone's need, but not their greed. Similarly, there is rest enough for everyone's Sabbath, but not their ease-iness. Troubled by my comfort, my two cloaks which deprive ones with none. Troubled by my diet which eats because the mouth expects, irrespective of the body's real hunder. I self-justify my comfort by calibration seeked in the Metro?! Oh seek God, with whom it is more comfortable to give than to receive. Woe if you are not grieved 6v6. Rather, be skilled in lamentation 5v16.

Am7-8 7v1-6 The power of petitionary prayers. Pray for others because God listens – this mysterious God who both v3 v6 changes her mind and v8 8v2 doesn't change her mind, is both dialogical and steadfast. Your prayers have a causal efficacy in the Kingdom come that is always already God's work, somehow. 7v10-17 hard words, authentic, heartwrenching prophecy. Christ Jesus, in and through you we pray today for right words in our mouths, and the wisdom and courage to speak them to those before us today. Amen. 

Am9 In the concluding sequence of the gospel according to The Amazing Spiderman a teacher pronounces that there are not ten irreducible narratives in fiction, there is one: “Who am I?” And who am I? [1] I am a sinner, from a v8 sinful kingdom, v9 sieved to be saved, or at least sifted Lk22v31 to be sanctified 1Pt1v7. And while I may be smitten (as Spiderman) by a serpent v3, that serpent has been defeated within the Christos Victor atonement we live in. [2] I am a rebuilder v14 rebuilt by a rebuilder v11. We do what we see our Father doing: restoring all things. In this way we will be known as those who can fix anything (Is58msg), as Peter Parker's electronics. [3] I am a harvester. We live after Lk4v32 was fulfilled in our hearing, we live after the wine at the wedding at Cana Jn2. The time is ripe, the harvest is plentiful, and London is waiting for the sons of righteousness to be revealed.

Am9 Furthermore: the promise of painful sifting and coffee-grinding, of reparation and restoration, of firmly planting never to be uprooted again (because Mt13v26 will not apply), these truly are 'the best kind' of promises because – unlike the lustful predator male's – they indeed can and will be kept. And in order to both glorify and ensure the keeping of these best promises (for the Kingdom must be brought here – not as Coldplay's swooning ballad waiting Till Kingdom Come), we have the Great Responsibility as foretold by the prophets/Uncle-Ben/The-President-of-America. Therefore as we trudst the tidal rhythms of v5 we reciprocate by donning daily our metaphorical badge and gun strapped-to-the-waist, and determine to harvest Enough from the abundant vines. (Just as the manna-eaters did). And in believing in this future abundance. Here's to best promises, to the now and not yet, to our great responsibility, and to the confusions and conflict between divine calling and romantic lusts.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012



texting joel

Joel restores numbered days which locusts ate by teaching. You are welcome to eat shoots and leaves with us daily. 07729056452.

Jl1 So on the necessity again of acknowledging suffering without theodicising it. v11 grieve, with and for those who suffer v4 locusts upon locusts, devastation upon devastation. It is good for your heart to ache with these things. Sit with those devastated and grieve with them. Sometimes this is the holiest thing we can do. And v3 tell your children about these things. You will, of course, tell your children about Christ Jesus and the grace truth and beauty that overcome all things. But you must not tell them a sanitised gospel. You must tell them about locusts, & sin & death & injustice & confusion. The character Paul in the film Pure was overexposed, but easily might we be tempted to risk an under-exposure of children. Otherwise church pain is all the more likely to damage. We must be unafraid to speak the fragility, fecundity and failure of things, it is in those things that our children will find Jesus, in the reality of v12 withered vines and figs, the lived knowledge of what patience and raw hope for the Lk13v6-8 fig tree. What abiding means Jn 15 towards a new vine fruitfulness. More than sleepy words, the seriousness of these things. Prayers for our households, and for the refugees of Haringey, for these we v14 call our to God.

Jl2 It is not superstitious to consider that our heart condition has an environmental effect. We know this? Do we? Then what level of heart change is needed and how? .. First, countering the suggestion of superstition. If we are to sound an alarm v1, it is to draw attention to an environmental cause&effect so to advise an environmental cease&desist . An alarm. In whatever way you want to 'now-and-not-yet' this day of the Lord, an alarm must be sounded, an inconvenient truth must be told. We're. Not. Scaremongering. And, v11, who can endure global warming? So. The solution to climate change is repentance v12: fasting, weeping, mourning. That will hold back the sea level and divert the forest fire. Really? Wouldn't it be less awkward to allegorise the locusts? Can we not content ourselves with a God who merely heals  emotionally, who stills the storms of our inner life? No, because that God is boring, useless and not God. .. Secondly, if our heart affects the environment via a God who is involved, that is, a God who judges hearts justly and intervenes mercifully and who brings real floods and who calms real storms, how shall we then live? - *As v16 gathered, v12 repentant, v13 circumcised hearts so then to be v32a callers, v32b called, v32/26/17 in his name, v28 by his spirit.* Too much? Breaking it down, to the best bits of a dense chapter: Gathered – v15-16 Let us small group thus, repentant for the sake of the nation. As a gathering who weeps together and fasts together v12. .. With circumcised hearts, rended hearts, entendered, surgically with a new birth vulnerability: repentance is a turning around, a turning of our organs inside out, painfully. .. So to be callers called, v32 contains both, encouraging reciprocated naming, knowing, nuzzling. Callers called: if you call on God, you know you are called; if you are called, then call on God. .. Because of his name v17, in his name v26, for his name v32. Struck by the boldness of their prayer in v17, akin to Elijah with Baal priests, risking God's reputation! Apparently we are allowed to pray in Jesus name in a way that puts his honour on the line, like cashing cheques in another's name, ridiculously bold, terrifying.. Are you sure? I couldn't, surely.. .. Finally, because of his Spirit v28. Because no one says Jesus is Lord, except by the Spirit. So, dream dreams today. Our God is near v1. And we can be unafraid v21.

Jl3 v3 The buying & selling of human beings reminds us that the slave trade is bigger today than it ever was. Remember, among all these prostitution metaphors, that the evil of this reality lies where men & women are bought & sold, no issue of choice about it. The mind runs up against a brick wall, as there is something too unspeakably terrible here. Image bearers of God abused beyond imagining for the sake of cheap sex. v8 imagine, it could be your son or daughter. This evil is not abstract. God, we are overwhelmed, but wanting to pay meaningfully for the world & its unspeakably terrible systems. We pray for London, especially over the Olympics, where multitudes of women have already been trafficked in to be used by the rich and powerful these two weeks. We pray in the name of Jesus that something can be said, that hidden things might be brought into the light, your Kingdom break in. I am struck by the 'selling' of v6, a selling of people to avoid inconvenience. Thinking of the world's brokenness, this sounds like ways we can defer to charities & organisations to deal with the messiness of people's pain..keep us from this in our motivations, Lord God, continue to challenge us with the face to face.. Loving others, which means not making war on them. Joel's v10 the deliberate inversion of Is2v4 and Mic4v3 knows that when we damage others we damage ourselves, that violent systems drain and destroy everyone. Mic4v2 be taught the way of the Lord. Beat. Your. Swords. Into. Ploughshares. Make violence against your own violence. Listen to one 10year old, and give up your armies, so that there might be enough flour that we can all be part of the bake-off.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

found flowers: 012

it was for free that you were set free.

found flowers: 011

we're damaged goods.