27 November 2008

Thanksgiving Day

Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

(BCP, pg. 246)

20 November 2008

Another thought...

To go along with the previous post...

Since God has already reconciled people to Godself, and is 'not counting [people's] sins against them' (2Cor. 5), it seems to me that, again, the idea would be to show that you believe that by your actions, since, you will be held accountable for you actions at the 'end'.

Wow...

Think about the impact of that statement in regard to mission. If 2Corinthians 5 is 'true', then we have got it all wrong. We are telling people that they are 'sinners in the hands of an angry god' when, in light of 2Corinthians 5, God has already reconciled with them. They just need to reconcile themselves back to God. It seems to me that we need to rethink this whole thing.

Blessings of God be with you.

OD

Another thought...

To go along with the previous post...

Since God has already reconciled people to Godself, and is 'not counting [people's] sins against them' (2Cor. 5), it seems to me that, again, the idea would be to show that you believe that by your actions, since, you will be held accountable for you actions at the 'end'.

Wow...

Think about the impact of that statement in regard to mission. If 2Corinthians 5 is 'true', then we have got it all wrong. We are telling people that they are 'sinners in the hands of an angry god' when, in light of 2Corinthians 5, God has already reconciled with them. They just need to reconcile themselves back to God. It seems to me that we need to rethink this whole thing.

Blessings of God be with you.

OD

Just a thought or two...

Here is a question that seems to have escaped notice from quite a lot of people. Have you ever noticed that all of the judgment scenes in the Bible have nothing to do with what one believes? Every one of them has to do with what one has done for the poor, widowed, naked, hungry/thirsty, imprisoned, sick, etc. What should we make of this? My thoughts are just now forming, but here is my take on it.

The gospel (i.e., 'Jesus is Lord') is a statement of fact. It doesn't matter if one believes it or not. One can choose to believe that gravity doesn't exist but that doesn't change the fact that it does. So, the 'belief' part of the modern gospel might not mean anything. Jesus is creations rightful High King. Period. So, the most obvious question would be, since all of creation is living under his rule, 'What are the requirements for living within this kingdom?' Ah... that is the right question. That question makes the biblical judgment scenes make sense.

But what does this say about mission? To me, it says that we need to rethink how we do mission. We need to retool how we do mission. The focus must shift from ones acceptance of certain belief statements to how one treats other people (whether neighbor or enemy) and the rest of creation. Most certainly we need to tell people that 'Jesus is Lord'. That this 'very good' creation is under his rule. But the idea of an individual salvific experience separated from the rest of creation can miss the point. Likewise, the idea of just doing 'good works' would miss the point as well. Both of these things, belief (acknowledgment) and actions ('good deeds') are needed. Nay, are expected. That is what living within the kingdom means. It means acting like one believes the 'good news' that Jesus of Nazareth is Master of the creation and being about what Jesus deems worthy. For a good look at what that would be, all one would need do is look at the 'gosples' found in the New Testament. Specifically, one could read the 'Sermon on the Mount' or the 'Sermon on the Plain' to get a very good idea of what is expected of the people living withing the 'very good' creation of Jesus.

Blessings of God be with you.

OD