Tuesday, 25 December 2012

texting matthew eight

We used to wait for our heavy storms to take us away. But now. 077290564

Mt8v1-2 As Jesus teaches us to pray, we should? Might? Can? Pray this way.. Lord if you are willing, you can make me clean. What are you willing? How do we pray bold, measurable, hedonistic prayers, with a submission, humility & seeking? Please, Jesus, show me how to do this, I need to know. What do you will? Thinking about connecting with praying-for-a-husband & this thing we're meditating on esp. in this season of serving single friends in how-to-pray for this great ache.

Mt8v3-4 Touched him. “Touch it. / Shove that thing in my face and them fangs are going up in your tits. Move it from me. Grow up. Could be diseased, you get me? I don't want no chlamydia..” If you have seen Attack the Block, you will know that the concept of 'unclean' is alive and kicking today in south London. Jesus touched him. Jesus touched him. This Kingdom is attended by a haptic tactile mode of love. The ministry of laying on hands wars against all petty quarantines, all demographic exclusion, all modernist preciousness about isolated platonic solids, all Islamic devotion to hygienic hands, all Foucaultian heterotopias, lock hospitals, panopticons. Jesus touched him. Jesus is the white handkerchief that, when dropped in the ditch, far from becoming polluted, rather turns the ditch clean. The goodness of God at the centre of the universe is an active force. He is there and he is not silent, not passive, not static. Jesus touched him.

Mt8v5-6 Modes of prayer continued: appeal, in the form of presenting the facts to Jesus, with compassionate implication. There is not 'please can you..' here, but it is prayer, no? Let us not overcomplicate prayer in this specific time of seeking how to pray. It is right and good to come as children, sometimes with a simple 'it hurts'. Prayer is the simplest thing as well as the deepest. We appeal, Lord, our friend R is broken-hearted and suffering terribly.

Mt8v7-8 'I will come..' Jesus dignifies Place in expressing this, as in Advent, God with us, within us, among us, along side us, in the city and country, present to the paralysed, the locked out, the locked up, the voiceless, the unclean, the outsiders, the weak, the heartbroken.. God wills to come to you. .. 'not.. under my roof' This is Dn3v18's but-if-not expression of faith applied to space and Place. The profitability and efficacy of prayer are not dependent on location, performance, experiential manifestations, length of pilgrimage, proximity to historical nodes of so-called spiritual significance, if God is come and coming and willing to move in power, and even more so if his all-present word already fills all things. This is Wimber's being naturally supernatural, all places have the potential to be sacred spaces, even rendered so at a distance by prayer and text messages? Only. Say. The. Word.

Mt8v9-10 The authority of Jesus. Reading today about the Lacanian account of authority,which comes with the-name-of-the-father, this point of influence & law-making to which we are subject, the infant's discovery that she is not omnipotent, there is a causal power at work which must be accepted. To refuse this authority is to cling to paranoia, delusion, structuring the mind towards psychosis. To refuse Jesus' authority is spiritual psychosis. This authority comes as a threat & a relief. Surrender. Authority is not neutral or peripheral, the way we respond determines the form as well as the content of our minds. Our relationship to authority structures our minds. Our relationship to authority structures our subjectivity. See: Jesus is the name-of-the-father.

Mt8v11-12 is Lm4v6 Mt10v15. Tenses. 'will be..will be' When? What contiguity, what trajectory now-to-not-yet, and what of semiotics and the meaning of 'hell' now, what of consequences, what of the gates to hell then? You weep and I'll gnash teeth, in our now and not-yet of non-faith not seeking to Rv22v4 see his face now, in not praying the healing of paralysed friends now. .. There is a darkness acute to the children of the kingdom, sons of Christian parents, who are uniquely able to hold tenets of the gospel in contempt by familiarity, that is, by generations, but for a miracle, our grasp of the gospel degenerates from believing, to assuming, to rejecting. Throwing the baby of this Advent out with the bathwater of church pain. .. Pacifists note, the Jesus who ate with prostitutes, hung with centurions also, commending with these scarily strong words the soldier's essentially military understanding of authority.

Mt8v13-14 'go home'.. 'Jesus went to Peter's home'. Jesus did not have contempt for the home, even when he Mt19v29 asks us to leave home, he presupposes its necessity & value. Home is where we start from. Home is where we first meet v14 brokenness, & home is v13 where we can first witness the miraculous. In this way people get swept up in this Jesus mystery. Please, God, unabstractly, we want this for our home, we want this for our children, show us how.

Mt8v15-16 v3 He touched him v15 he touched her.. Jesus' hands-on haptic tactile mode of ministry bears reiteration. We're embodied to embody Kingdom intersubjectivity bodily. So free hugs, so the holding of holding&containing, so the limits of mediated ministry. While we are not saved by phenomenology, we see Jesus saves phenomenologically. Loving thus is no mere touching metaphor. .. Interesting the knock-on: '..to serve him.': my present feverlessness is purposed for such service, all of life is a gift of opportunity to serve in grateful overflow. Who are the 'they' of '..they brought to him many..': am I, do I? So this season of prayerfulness should seek *rightly motivated* to bring *many* sick to him in prayer. .. '..with a word.': for all I fear about technique and vocabulary, this is freeing, for surely if healing power can be reduced to one sufficient word, it cannot be other than 'Jesus' and I know him.

Mt8v17-18 Jesus heals for healing's sake & to fulfil prophecy. Ends in themselves & means to an end. I am quick to universally make these mutually exclusive, as often they are, but not always. There is a pointing-to-something-more which does not use people to make a point. This is no the utility which, taken to its logical conclusion, becomes empty & meaningless. There is a pointing-to which fills the depth of a for-its-own-sake & overflows to coherence or prophecy or narrative, which adds-to & multiplies, rather than reduces. Pray that Christ would make me wise, would break down my own resistances to stories-to-tell, for this reason.

Mt8v19-20 (1) The limits of Christian hospitality (2) The limits of Christian homelessness. (1) By contrast to my house's efforts to engender authentic discipleship by hospitality, Jesus challenges the authenticity of this scribes discipleship by inhospitality. I am not just playing with words, this is the rice-Christian dilemma, again. Healing may come by home comforts, but authentic individuation and your faith's coming-of-age necessarily come from the homeless wilderness. If we are not to perpetuate perpetually enwombed Christians by our offering home, should our come-and-see hospitality Ps34v8 now also be offered with a go-and-die inhospitality Lk9v23? (2) If you evoke this verse as a broadside against Driscoll's advocacy of home-ownership, you war against all architecture. Jesus was a couchsurfer Mt10v11 but only because there were people first choosing to give a hint of Jn14v2's sign signified.

Mt8v21-22 Let me just, Lord. Let me just finish this thought, habit, way of life, this middle class comfort. Let me stay with this death a little longer. But don't really, Lord, don't let me stay here, allow me to become distasteful to myself where I am become this way.. This is the mandate that permeates all our conversations about community & counterculture for the next season: 'follow me follow me follow me' .. Let this surrender be your highest.

Mt8v23-24 Jesus slept. And this was no Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht. Jesus slept (in heavenly peace). Sleeping, like sabbathing, is an act of faith in the sovereignty of God. Jesus slept (like a Calvinist). This is a word to me, as Octavia Hill's life is teaching me: Christians concerned for the state of housing in London beware, she burnt out and had to take three years away to sleep it off. Jesus slept (when there was work to be done). God gives sleep to the ones He loves Ps127v2. Jesus slept (belovedly). Picture Philippe Petit laid down on his wire, so Jesus is so staggeringly bold, daring naps in the maelstrom of ministry, being in the face of death, as the god of the air huffs and puffs, on the brink of the void, in a tiny vessel, sailing close to the wind, in all maritime analogies, against the terrors of the night, beyond the chemistry of insomnia, regardless the discomfort of a wooden berth. Jesus slept.

Mt8v25-26 Hard words Jesus says, he says them to me, as I shake him awake. Why are you so afraid? Why do you have so little faith? & yet Jesus is not being unkind. A knowingness to the words, perhaps. There is reason to be afraid, because the waves are big and the boat is small, I know. Yet. The deep-down smiling-in-your-belly come-what-may of knowing Jesus, this is the ground of every angelic don't-be-afraid. This essay anxiety planning woe will melt away before the joy of the holiness beheld in Christ. It is a kind of laughter, that undoes this anxiety. Jesus gently mocks us, because we are His beloved, and He has us. Also that he would say...I'm glad you woke me up, dear hearts, although you are faithless and foolish, I'm glad you woke me up, that I can expose myself to you. Here I am, I'm glad you woke me up.

Mt8v27-28 v27 Jesus has total authority over the chaotic, violent and apparently impersonal, science of meteorology (but what does it mean for a storm cloud to hear and respond to a command, do those electrons have ears?!) v28-34 Jesus has total authority over the chaotic, violent and more apparently personal enemies manifest in the realm of demons. What are demons? When do you invoke 'demon'? There is a 1Cor12v10 gap in my spiritual experience, discernment and vocabulary, and I would love my handful of textees to help me. It is too easy to define one's theology of demons against a hyperventilating pentecostalism and so settle for a naive naturalising of 'demonic' to mere metaphor for misfortune or mental health issues. If there is an active personal occult evil at work in the world, where are the limits of our diagnosing the demonic? And how can I helpfully engage this understanding? I say this as there are architectures which resemble the Gadarene demoniac: in being unclothed Lk8v27, preoccupied with tombs by dead architects, the shells of former life Mt8v28 (8v22) (Mt23v29), philosophically unshackled in the deconstruction of all law Mk5v4, self-harming in sociological injustices and in stylistically violent or wounded ways Mk5v5. So syllogistically demonic architecture? How might one exorcise such? .. Here we are, the darkest day of the year, the morning after the end of the world. These questions are slightly semantic, because ultimately Jesus, in these verses, demonstrates himself to be sovereign over the whole spectrum of fearful forces, literal, analogical, natural, supernatural, personal, apparently-impersonal, which seek to keep us from wholeness and progress in the gospel Ph1v12. He has us.

Mt8v29-30 'In every moment slumbers the possibility of being the eschatological moment. You must awaken it.' Bultmann, a fave. Jesus comes ahead of time, he sets the order & timetable for the universe, then violates both. Jesus is always breaking his own rules, a caution to both our arrogance & our apathy, our timidity & tamed temporality. He engages demons ahead of time, he heals & restores ahead of time.

Mt8v31-32 'A horrible conviction darted through Oak. With a sensation of bodily faintness he advanced: at one point the rails were broken through and there he saw the footprints of his ewes. Oak looked over the precipice. The ewes lay dead and dying at its foot - a heap of two hundred mangled carcasses.. .."Thank God I am not married: what would she have done in the poverty now coming upon me"' quoting Hardy to conjure a tragedy, cliff-related, albeit of a very different cause, so to consider the cost of exorcising idols, demons and unclean entanglements. .. Also struck by the character of demons: parasitic, possessive, dependent, desperately clinging consumingly to the real. .. Also struck by the implications of this power encounter: if evil is personal, it can be cast out, and it can be sent to die. You can be free, I can be free, in Jesus' name.

Mt8v33-34 You will hear stories told of this Christmas child, they should be terrifying, they should make part of us flinch, the impulse to beg him to leave as we Is9v2 have seen a great light, our darkness (1) does not Jn1v5 does not understand, nor v10 recognise him, (Doctor Who?) &so we beg him to leave, fearing the unknown, & (2) our darkness Jn3v19-20 hates the light, we hate the Christ child, who exposes us. But. The light overcomes the darkness. Rejoice!

Monday, 24 December 2012

found flowers: 030

 we skip you a merry christmas

img: via EW - thanks!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Monday, 3 December 2012

found flowers: 027

 wrought reached for the unreached

Saturday, 1 December 2012

texting matthew seven

All the small things. 07729056452

Mt7v1-2 Hard to judge. The English language seems to carry exactly the difficulty of the practice of not-judgment within the range of the word itself: being judgmental vs displaying a lack of judgment; judicious use vs being prejudicial. A timely verse for the end of this season in journalism: have I learnt to not-judge well? When does art criticism become the export of a critical spirit? Where is the border of scoffing crossed? Perhaps these are the wrong questions. The 'judge-not' cri du couer of the individualist hopes in an I-am-an-island nothing-touches-me mode of immunity from judgment which is a hope for mere tolerance. And no one wants Darcy to speak a 'tolerable' over them. Let our art criticism be all Ph4v8, as, to 'judge' here is to speak the biggest ultimate reality over an individual, who is always one 'fearfully and wonderfully made' Ps139v14, 'very good' Gn1v31.. The scale of their flaws are as gnats to camels.

Mt7v3-4 It is brokenness that keeps us focussed on the other's speck & blind to our own log. A defence mechanism. A superiority complex, perhaps masking an inferiority complex. Such a defence locates a problem either inside or outside, denying the complexity and relationality of sin...perhaps to learn & remember that grace tells us that this is not so, grace never runs just inwards or outwards, but rather it expands, it spreads, it covers, it evacuates. Grace is like a tree, not a monetary exchange...Sometimes we fixate on the other's speck because, to stay with the sight metaphor, we are so afraid of how-we-are-seen by them, not trusting Christ for our identity but investing in our seen-ness for in that even a small distortion becomes overwhelming to a sense of who WE are. This takes up all our energy so that we stop caring about & evaluating how-we-see, where we are belogged, where we look at the world & the other in distorted & unjust ways... Logs & specks though, they can be removed, they can be righted, thank God. Jesus we pray for clear vision this day.

Mt7v5-6 Our aim for everyone is that they might gain an Mt13v44 'in his joy..' which comes of encountering the (pearl of the) kingdom (Mt13v46). How? How do you get your friends from spiritual planet tharg to an encounter with this pearl without their trampling it v6? Working backwards. If not pearls, what then? Crumbs for dogs Mt7v28? Perhaps milk before solid food 1Pt2v2 1Co3v2 Hb5v12. Pointedly Hb5v11 contrasts 'dull of hearing' milk-drinkers with Hb5v14 your 'trained powers of discernment' – we train so to see/discern incremental modes of appropriate nurture for them. So planks and v5's 'seeing': evangelism is dialogical with an emphasis on you listening, hearing, looking, discerning, truly seeing what it is that they need. An apply-your-own-oxygen-mask-first chronology, but also a recognition that private sin and hypocrisy impede your sight by affecting your sense of sin's scale: mote-beam, gnat-camel..

Mt7v7-8 So asking seeing & knocking for healing, joining in that prayer, because this came several times at the weekend, you shoul ask God, you should keep asking God, because I want the life and the change, because I want the stories to tell. Praying for healing of hearts, minds & bodies, my own & yours & theirs, the loved ones & the strangers, specific seasonal needs & underlying aches & terminal threats ask seek know, don't give up.. God rush upon us. 

Mt7v9-10 O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear.. Why don't I pray more? At what cost? In this season more than ever we are too busy to *not* pray. Apt that this should follow MetTab wisdom on Jm4 this Sunday: not praying for things we want will necessarily lead to wanting things wrongly, worldlily, anaccountably, anxiously. .. Against my conservative/cessationist/inferiority-complex/British Keep-Calm-And-Carry-On tendancy to stoicly not-pray, Jesus here risks a prosperity gospel, but even that would helpfully challenge my understanding of the generosity of God's character, the goodness of the universe's materiality, and the efficacy of prayer. .. To make his point, Jesus uses objects which appear good at first, that on closer inspection, at the moment of need, turn out to be worthless and poisonous. But we pray to defy the claim that our loaf-looking faith is a dead-weight.

Mt7v11 I remember D, who likes to go to churches to start arguments, said that human beings are this extraordinary thing, that even the otherwise indifferent businessman rings for an ambulance if someone has a heart attack in front of him. The animals don't do that. Our capacity to be moved & to reach out is a beauty, a glory. & that glimpse of glory is God's, multiplied a million times in His reaching out to us. Ask. God aches to reach out.

Mt7v12 Way less straightforward than it may first look, 'cause others are other, & doing unto others as you would wish to be done unto thus does not mean literally doing to them things you like for yourself. They like different things, they need different things,they express truth beauty & goodness in different ways, they have different primary love languages. SO the golden rule invites us into dialogue & discovery, only here can we honour humanity.

Mt7v13-14 In Kingdom topology there is a discontinuity, a dividing partition, a not-open-plan eschatology, there is a threshold, there is a gate, and at all moments there is a not-yet into which we step into from this present now? My fear about erasing hell is that it not only undermines justice, but is addles time and a sense of eternity? What it takes from the emphatic motive force to urgently v12 do-for-others-as-yourself, a hell-less theology doesn't replace with any stronger myth structure? The moral consequentialism of Super Size Me and the wide gate to heart disease is all we are left with? If there is no final gate, even if 'final' is only in the sense of visible horizon, how does this render all intervening gates, choices and freedoms? And why does Jesus use this language? And by what 'fruit' are the 'trees' of these theologies of interpretting destruction to be assessed? How is my fertility and flavour?

Mt7v15-16 Grateful for T's word that a lack of fruit can often be traced to one's own lack of right attitude to & before God. To believe that God is so real, to acknowledge one's own falseness, false prophecy & wolfishness. Remind me, God, & show me new ways this is true. Right me, in all ways, because you are real, because it matters.

Mt7v17-18 If ever there was a picture of the natural overflow of the essence of an organism, fruit is it. Trees can't plan a marketing campaign, they can't exam cram, there's no voting amongst the leaves, can't hire substitutes, there's no mental striving in this fruitfulnes, they cannot but make like a tree. but. There are preconditions to fruitfulness ps1v3 being planted by living water, Mt13v8 in good soil, from good seed. Are you? Am I? Not naturally, we ate bad fruit from a bad tree and put bad seed into a heart of stone, and accordingly death reigned in us from Adam and how can a tree change its nature? 1Cor15v22 It can. And this makes Mt7v18 awesome. 'We are the firstfruits..' 'We are the light of the world..' 'He who began a good work in you will complete it..' 'He will give you the desires of your heart..' Ridiculous. Now, 'You are a good tree, you cannot bear bad fruit!' .. Love God, do what you want.

Mt7v19-20 What is this thing masking? These different contrasts between inner & outer, the move from v15 an inability to distinguish between a sheep-in-wolf's-clothing & a sheep, towards a v20 recognition of what is inside from the outside, the fruit. Prayers for uncloudy minds, for wisdom & revelation for this inner, more buried, more hidden. Unmask me. Repent receive rebuke replace, yes. v19, cut it down & burn it, oh God.

Mt7v21-22 What is the secret to defeating my terrifying ability to simulate faith, to imitate Christianity, even to manufacture mighty works in my own strength? First, what is the incentive to such self-deception? What is its reward? (1) There is an externally rewarded false-disciplehood: people-pleasing, motivated by the praise of man in rice-christian rituals of performing to Richborne Terrace's tenancy agreement. So, nip that in the bud and ensure that certain faith practices are ninja. For the sake of your own soul find ways to meet God in a secret secret place, don't close your curtains for your quiet time, go underground and leave no trace. (2) Is there also an entirely internal force for self-deception, so to avoid the reality of total-christianity and a holy God, I try to construct categories of 'semi-christian' as if it were valid to be half-married or half-pregnant.. Christianity is not a pick-n-mix moral code, nor merely a subjectively dependent experience of temperamental warm fuzzies, Christianity is not a static state, the image of a thing, a retrospectively projected veneer. Christianity is deeply and actively the difference between 'I never knew you' and Jn21v17 'you know that I love you' Know and Love, be Known and Beloved.

Mt7v23-24 Imagining what is would be like to hear Jesus say 'I never knew you'. Where would I go, what would I do? I have nothing outside of Jesus, all would be ashes in the mouth. Perhaps this could be a reminder of Christ's reality here & now, the immediacy, the seriousness of this God-relationship. & the relationship is constituted in prayer? To be known is 'to do what God wants you to do' – so it is active, but it is personal, not generic Christian things learned from a sermon. What does God want YOU to do, what is your specific calling to Kingdom inbreaking? So you have to hear God, the v24 wise woman hears & obeys. To hear is to be in prayer. So we must pray, if we are to be Jesus people.

Mt7v25-26 We cannot say what God is, except he is what he is, he is that he is: yahweh, is-ness itself. But we are given permission and precedent to say God-is-like. So smilies and metaphors are given to us and should be guarded, studiously interrogated, and reinforced. Everytime we build we have the opportunity to display God, that is, to revisit and refresh some God-is-like's for a new generation, every architectural moment is pregnant with the chance to live allusively conspicuously. At the risk of exhausting the analogy, three possible applications: 1. Sands of Galilee and site context: houses which wisely engage their context display an understanding of a universe whose God is not generic but personal, local and concerned for the specifics. Micro-climate engagement is a theological statement. 2. Owner occupier: Houses which are built owned and occupied by the one risk-taker display the risk of faith in a way that speculative housing will struggle to embody. 3. Found foundations and a display of the rock: Not everyone knows what is beneath the surface, but Christianity is concerned with the heart, which is beneath the surface, and we delight to show its working. This is less the Pompidou fetishisation of innards, but rather the joy of making legible that replicable testimony of the God who holds your house up. Ps127v1 + Rm10v14

Mt7v27-28 Without any self-important words, we pray because we v27 desperately literally need Jesus, or we will fail, fall & die. Let this teetering-on-edge be real to our minds, so that we practice the desperate need we have at all times, we know that the one who grounds us & makes kingdom come is not ourselves. & we pray to this astonishing Jesus, mysterious Christ, who cuts to the heart. Change what we have been, with wonder.

Mt7v29 Scribe here is pejorative. Scribes waste breath, mince words, split hairs and play language games. I waste breath, mince words, split hairs and play language games when I text unanchored from that bedrock of faith and epistemology who is God. You know.. Anchoring language requires an unbroken chain to an immovable object. Prayer is that chain, so make it constant. .. Authority. Jesus sends us out in that authority. Mt28v18, the centurion's faith is an understanding of authority. Mt8v9 The answer to 'what is church?' needs to deal with authority delegated and its abuses, growing in our prayer life will require a better grasping of a theology of our authority. You know..

found flowers: 026

lily Livers

found flowers: 025


img: Dana

found flowers: 024

hide-rangea and seek

img: Dana