Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Grow Colliding Worlds 1

A smashing nite! Colliding worlds (rich/poor etc) were written on dinner plates. Which we then smashed. Literally. That was the call to worship. The evening ended with those broken pieces being placed in a cradle, symbol of the life of Christ, and in which communion was placed.

What worlds/people/places do you see colliding?
China, America, Zimbabwe, East/West (worlds) Iraq; Life & death; Disease & health; Doubt & faith; Lack & abundance; Peace & war; Poverty & wealth; Fendalton & Manilla slum; Earthquake China; Celebration – Pain; Life – Death; Wealthy – Needy; Carpenter –Rich; Obama – Mrs Clinton; Well fed/hungry; Tertiary education/people with impairments; Cultural and worldview collisions; Traditional culture verses exponential world cultural shiff; Real world vs cyber “virtual” world interaction; I see the distance between the haves and have not; How the system cannot carry on how it is; Me and my work; Myanmar; Chengdu; Families; Financial pressures; Hunger/poverty; Religion; Culture; Politics; Home, friends, emotions; Work, religions, beliefs

What words would you use to describe Jesus when worlds collide??
Compassionate, loving but still firm and forthright; Bringing people closer; Healer; Commitment; Secure (security); Confrontational; Willing to be involved; Challenger; Strength; Open to persuasion; Abundance; Full of life; Wants happiness; Forgiveness; Truth; Healer; Saver; Helper; Lover; Giver; Redeemed; Bridge-builder; Compassionate, just, personal, abundant giver healer; Understanding; Bewilderment – Why don’t people get it after all these years; Anger/frustration at our responses; Our lack of response/apathy; Western response/”Fendaltons”!; Understanding, forgiving, compassion; Respect, love hugs; Giving sharing

Monday, April 28, 2008

Grow Why I believe in Jesus? 3

So, with so many questions, why do our pastoral team believe in Jesus? Steve shared part of his life story. Being Anzac weekend, there were some linkages made between Anzac Day and 1 Peter 2:9-10, complete with poppies and OpShop's song One day. Being Anzac weekend, it was also a small turnout. Does size matter? Should we not do church on holiday weekends?

What questions would you like to ask Jesus if he was sitting here with your table group? Why is it that sometimes life is difficult to understand? Why is it that sometimes Jesus is difficult to understand? Why humans do stupid things – when will we ever learn? Thank you that life is relatively easy without war. But Jesus we seem to have little wars inside us every day/week. What do you think of the Battles at Gallipoli? What do you think of the ANZAC Day parades, in particular all the young people going? What do you think about non-violent resistance? Why do you let us fight? What was it like to actually be there in 1915/16? How long do we have to wait for the world to become at peace? Where were you in Marie Davis/s death and river tragedy? When will we ever learn? How painful was the beating up and killing on the cross? How do you feel about the world at the moment? Connecting with 1915. Did you ever feel exhausted? When “things” were happening did you every want to “hide” – not have so many demands on you?
How do you feel about war?

What words would you use to describe Jesus? Someone that you can have a personal relationship with. God is patient, has a plan, loves us unconditionally. (Better way of treating people) leads by example changes life and changes world. Comforter, friend, knowledgeable, broken-hearted. Loving, caring. Healer, tolerant. Faithful, loving, encourager of hard work. Working on us, working in us. Compassionate, sacrificial, hater of all evil

Monday, April 21, 2008

Grow Why I believe in Jesus? 2

So, with so many questions, why do our pastoral team believe in Jesus? Paul shared his life story. It was the weekend after the death of Marie Davis. So we took some time to send her family a card, to pray for the brokenhearted and for our teenage girls.

What questions would you like to ask Jesus is he was sitting here with your table group? Was it hard to keep under control when you were being beaten up on the cross? Do you ever wish you could just “fix” it all once and for all? Why have you given me this affliction is it to teach others? In what way does God sharing in our pain make it better for us? Were you annoyed at us when you had to dies…”accepting your cup”? Could we be happy in a pain free environment? What breaks your heart, Jesus, does not break mine – why Why is being a teenager so crappy? At least for most people…? Is that? If free will is a gift, why is it easier to be crappy to others? Why are we so worried about what other people may think? Why do we equate, so often, what others think with what you thing? Why??? Why was it a Christian school that was affected? Would you like a muffin? Why can’t Christians be protected from others’ free will? Why do we need to go through suffering before we are drawn to you? What do I do that hurts you most? Why now? Why did they die so young? Why do innocent and poor people have to suffer so much? Who killed Marie?? Where were you in people’s time of need?

What words would you use to describe Jesus? Suffering with us, merciful, full of love. Forgiving, understanding, gentle, loving compassionate, weeping with us. Ready for anything, knowing, easy to get along with, well prepared. Present with us, present with all. Kind and caring. Empathetic. Like me, unlike me. Close. Near to those aching for love. Where we don’t want to look or go. Willing to forgive the buddy Jesus in me. Loving, acceptor, forgiving, caring, controller, patient, father. Reliable, loving, present in the highs and lows of life “experienced”. Transforming love. Not concerned with reputation. Inclusive. Non-religious. Deliverer, involved in lives, inspiring, accepting, sufferer. Caring, picked upon, compassionate, heroic, liberator, passive, yet transforming

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Grow Why I believe in Jesus?

So, with so many questions, why do our pastoral team believe in Jesus? Craig shared his life story.

What questions would you like to ask Jesus if he was sitting here with your table group? Would you like a muffin? Could you please go visit my friend? When you were dead, were you conscious of anything? What do we pray for, for our world today? What more can I do, to help others come to know you? Did you ever have any moments when you thought it was too hard? Or have I got the strength? Did you get the “near death” closeness to God? Did you always know the time of your death? Did you know the “whole plan” or did God give it to you bit by bit? How do you feel about people disbelieving your death on the cross and minimizing it? Did you ever just want to run away from your calling? Why do some people follow Jesus after having heard or been taught about his resurrection, and some not? Do you still harden peoples hearts towards yourself? Why do a bunch of people who follow Jesus still fight about what they believe in? Did it feel weird when you came back to life? Was it fun? Did you feel pressured to please everyone? Were you thinking of anyone while you were on the cross, so, who were you thinking off? Why did you take my husband so young was it because he was in so much pain?

What words would you use to describe Jesus?
Alive. Obedient, brave, loving focused, faithful to His Father’s will. Betrayed. Selfless. Amazing. Faithful. Courageous. Luke 18 1-8. Risen, determined/focused. Amazing, giving. Sacrificial, steadfast (unchanged in motive after 2000years). Magnificent, awesome, Wise, caring. Frumpy clothing. Courageous, wise, powerful. Forgiving, loving, guiding, rejoicing. A man of opportunities.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Grow through searching for the real Jesus 2

We continue our search for the real Jesus. We looked at the history of how we got the Bible. We had the results of our first text challenge, as we asked the "buddy Jesus", the "Gnostic Jesus" and the "real Jesus" a question during the week.

At table groups, at the end of the evening, this was what was discussed.

What questions would you like to ask Jesus if he was sitting here with your table group?
When will the world end? Did they translate the bible right? What do you think of the biblical doodles? What do you think of people who warp your words? Was Peter serious when he claimed he didn’t know you? What do you think of Da Vinci code? Would you bless me? How do you feel knowing that you would be betrayed? We would be so awe-struck we probably would not ask any questions. Would you like a muffin? What is God’s plan for my life? How are you able to love everyone? Why did some not believe when they saw the miracles that you did? Why didn’t God make more sons? Why are your eyes so penetrating? Why do they appear like they are seeing all my thoughts? Do you love me as you say you do? Why was Mary Magdalene so prominent as one of the women that we hear about? How do you feel about your Church today? Paul would like to know when he will die? Why so much confusion…why not be more simple?

What words would you use to describe Jesus?
Saviour, human and divine, friend, mine, hippie(peace), father, loving. Alive. Accessable (through truth of the bible). Better than the bunny! Denied 3 times! Saviour, patient with non believers, and healer. Real, righteous, reliable, and interested right where we are. Saviour, closest friend, dependable, miracle worker and story teller. Forgiving, healer, friend and lover. A vine. Non-mythical. Inspirational. Divine, trustworthy, the word, holy, Man, human God, heavenly.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Grow through searching for the real Jesus

This week we went searching for the real Jesus. We looked at the Gnostic gospels, the history of how we got our Bible and the implications of the orthodox Christian claim that Jesus is both fully human and fully divine. The evening generated the following (excellent) table discussions.

What questions would you like to ask Jesus if he was sitting here with your table group?
What he thinks of the 4 gospels. Did he think gospels were accurate/faithful/authentic? Is he comfortable with the Nicene God? What he would do with gnostic gospels? Frame them ……them, ignore them? Why is it hard to preach an Incarnation? Did Jesus enjoy being on earth? What was it like being human and divine? Burden or joy? Did you feel different as a boy growing up? To the other kids?
Did you have play mates? What do you think about the bible? Is it what you said? Is it what you’d say now? What his childhood memories were. Was he always aware that he was God’s son? When did it become so strongly apparent? Why did he choose those particular people to be his disciples? Why did he choose Judas Iscariot if he knew he was going to betray him? What did God say to him when he left heaven to be born on earth? Did it hurt as the nails went through your hands? How much? Did you fall in love with a young lady when you were in your teens? Did Satan tempt you with marriage?
Did you celebrate your birthday? Why was it necessary to have Judas betray you?
What did you look like? Are you an ancestor of Keith Green? Exactly how politically radical were you? Who are you who stands with the poor and broken hearted people? Jesus, while you were on earth in your human form did you have full memory of your heavenly existence prior?

What words would you use to describe Jesus?
A father, An appreciator of fine perfume, An appreciator of foot massages, Retreat important, human, divine, patient, present, healer, friend, contemplative, In the spotlight, Human, Brave, kind, relied on, loving helpful, understanding, perfect, beware!, Kind, real, dusty footed, sharing a quiet wine with his friends

Sunday, December 23, 2007

grow in christmas cheer week 3

At Grow in Christmas cheer 3 we learnt about the 12 days of Christmas, we sang carols, we reflected on the magi, ate Christmas cake and learnt how to make our own gift tags.

Who is God? Incarnate God - Jesus. Fulfilling the plan of salvation, for everyone. Jesus becoming human. Reaching out to those who are "not of the fold." The father of Jesus, who wants to reach a wide range of people, through horoscopes and peace labyrinths. A God who makes announcements, who created stars, who planted dreams and visions into people and continues to do so. God is achieving this by people who are obedient to the message of these visions. God is a truth not a decoration, bringing people hope, by giving us Jesus so that we can have eternal life. Able to use all types of people. Shaking people's perceptions of what is appropriate or inappropriate as a form of worship. Helping us when we get stuck. Hearing, preaching his word and being challenged on the fundamental beliefs we hold. God is vitally interested in humans. God is calling all sorts of people, all sorts of ways eg visions, extraordinary ways, with and without the help of people. He is father of Jesus. Using us to tell the message of hope we have because Jesus was born. Uses the most likely people to achieve things. Doesn't always work in ways we expect.

Who are we? Human like Jesus. Going to heaven. Following God's roadmap (not a baked bean tin!). We are seekers. We are servants. We are potentially creative. Someone who still seeks Jesus. Growing in relationship with him. We are going to Bethlehem and the New Jerusalem, continuing the journey with him. Part of the story.Jesus seekers. Stop, listen, go. We are very different and have very different ways of reaching God. Walking a hard journey. Trying to stay on the path. GROWing. Questioning the unfamiliar. Have expectations (limited). A person least likely in human terms to have any skills God can use, but most likely in God terms. We are going on a journey -in the opposite direction to what my horoscope would have me believe. Is the getting there that important or progressing and staying on the right path on my journey! The journey is the destination.

How then should we live out our lives? Keep walking. To reach out to a wide range of people. Showing people the love of Jesus (caring, hugging the unhugged, being willing to listen, unconditionally loving people). Using our skills to seek and serve God. Read the stars. Use our gifts. Listen to our conscience. Generously, expectantly, continue to look and seek. Peacefully. Hopefully. Expecting God to work in the unexpected. Matthew 22:2-14.