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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

 

Your kingdom come......

Last night at bible study we looked at the Lord's prayer in Matthew 6. I love looking at what the Lord's prayer actually teaches us about praying, which most people skip over and just say the words. Today I have been catching up on some blogs I didn't get a chance to read over the weekend and there has been a common theme running through them which links into the Lord's prayer. Funny how God works like that isn't it.

Last night as we read Matt 6:10, "Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" we talked about what that actually means. Jesus was praying that heaven would happen on earth, believing it would become a reality. This prayer doesn't sit well with the idea that God will destroy the Earth and take all his good little Christians to heaven, in fact it doesn't sit with that idea at all. The second point that came up was how can we say these words if we don't believe they will happen and if we aren't actively making them happen.

I came across a blog post talking about what we can learn from the Amish about the power of pacifism. Ben looks at the shooting at the Amish school in the US last week. A young girl who stood up to a gunman and said "shoot me and let everyone else go."

A few years ago I joined with tens of thousands of other Melbournians and marched in the city to say that invading Iraq was not the way to deal with global terrorism or Saddam Hussein. The biggest accusation levelled against those who objected to invading Iraq was "so you support Saddam Hussein." Apart from the fact that I think those protests have been vindicated by the current situation in Iraq and the further discontent bred from the invasion that led to home grown terrorists attacking the London underground, I think we protestors still have to learn from the experience.

It is very easy to protest about the way things are, and I believe it is very necessary, but our protests hold no integrity if we do not have an alternative to put forward.

I came across two different (1 & 2) articles looking at how Andrew Bolt's attack on global warming campaigners are at best misleading and at worst down right wrong. The issue of global warming and the ecological crisis are now widely recognised (even if Andrew Bolt wants to stick his head in the sand) but how effective have we been at putting forward alternatives that people want to take on?

I came across this quote from Martin Luther King, “Today the judgment of God is upon the church for its failure to be true to its mission. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.” Richard Munn, the author of the article, suggests some helpful principles for what it should look like for Salvationists especially, but all people to seek justice.

What issues do we as Christians get annoyed about? What issues do we as a Church get passionate about? What issues does our Salvation Army get involved in speaking about?

Are they issues of justice? Sometimes the Salvation Armyspeaks out.

Or are they issues of personal preference? How many Christians and churches get passionate about what style of music they should be playing or what time the Sunday morning meeting should be on?

Do we sound prophetic? Or do we sound pathetic? Prophetic zeal or irrelevant social club?

In the church our 'prophetic utterances' are more often about fortune telling for those in the club, rather than identifying issues of justice that need to be tackled, and providing God's advice on how to deal with them.

A young Amish girl standing up to a gunman saying "shoot me and let everyone else go", this is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

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