Saturday, March 30, 2019

The age of the laity?

Our era has been called “the age of the laity”, and indeed, recent decades have seen an increase in the appreciation of the laity’s contribution to the body of Christ. Yet much remains to be done. Through Baptism the laity are full members of the bod of Christ, with rights and responsibilities in their lay vocation. But to often, ordination to the clerical state is the source of power in the church, and lay people function at the SERVICE OF, or in ANSWER TO, priests - a situation which clearly needs to change.
St Francis and the Foolishness of God (p56 c1993)

Written as a reflection on the gospel centred communities formed by St Francis a millennia ago. So in 1993 and even more so in our leadership obsessed church of 2019, this old Saint has something to teach me. Unfortunately, even recently I have succumbed to practice that has created a gap between what he would have called clergy and laity. 

I need to think of my vocation as much more equipping the “saints” than leading the “saints”.

“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to EQUIP the saints for the WORK OF MINISTRY, for building up the body of Christ,”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:11-12‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Sunday, March 17, 2019


Like it or not, the life of St Francis, presents us with startling paradoxes. An enormously free and spontaneous person, he nevertheless adhered faithfully to the institutional church; a fully alive human being, he embraced suffering; a true lover, he chose celibacy; born into relative affluence, he practiced a literal poverty. 

St Francis and the foolishness of God (p8)

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

The Journey of the ordinary in the story of an extraordinary God

Scott Sauls in Irresistible Faith.

According to Jesus, there is and always has been a group of ambassadors endowed with the resources to nudge the world toward peace, healing, wholeness, and flourishing. These ambassadors are unique. They are equipped to be less dependent on the strength of the human spirit, the intelligence of the human mind, and the moxie of the human will. They are called to lean instead on the strength of the Holy Spirit, the wisdom of God, and the determination of God’s vision to bring about peace, health, wholeness, and flourishing. 

Included among Jesus’ ambassadors are academics and scientists and celebrities and politicians and movers and shakers and such, to be sure. 

But in addition to these, Jesus also includes those like himself who aren’t part of the world’s elite clubs, VIP lists, and manifestos. These are people like Amos and Bathsheba and Peter and Mary the mother of Jesus, easily dismissed as “weak” and “common” and “foolish” and “low” and “despised,” but who, time and time again, find themselves right in the center of God’s strategy to bless and heal the world:

For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast. . . Because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption. (1 Cor. 1: 26-30) 

According to the One who created and sustains and intends to renew the world, the answer to the world’s woes includes ordinary men, women, and children who have been awakened to their place in the Story of an extraordinary God.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Take my life...

The most deadly appetites are not for the poison of evil, but for the simple pleasures of earth, For when these replace an appetite for God himself, the idolatry is scarcely recognizable, and and almost incurable” 

- John Piper 

(A Hunger for God, 18).

Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love;
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee,
Swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing
Always, only, for my King;
Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee,
Filled with messages from Thee.

Take my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold;
Take my intellect, and use
Every power as Thou shalt choose,
Every power as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it Thine;
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart; it is Thine own;
It shall be Thy royal throne,
It shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love; my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure-store.
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee,
Ever, only, all for Thee.

Francis Ridley Havergal