Whew! Its been a busy couple of weeks. Just finished off the 1 Corinthians series
on Sundays at church, it is amazing how many of the things that were in my heart to share at NorthHarbour were raised in the text of this book. Has really confirmed a commitment to teach primarily through the bible a book at a time, rather than go for too many "topic" series, though we will spend a couple of weeks on God and the environment shortly as it is a very present theme for so many of us.
went to Brian McLaren last Saturday - realised when I got there I had already listened to most of the material on the internet from Emergent UK (http://www.emergent-uk.org/ukresources.htm
) . Was worth being there though - mostly to hang out with Tim from NorthHarbour (www.timbarrett.org
) and spend some time with Pete Horsley and the Small Boat, Big Sea guys. And Brian did prove to be a man full of grace.
The busy-ness has been tough on the family recently - Liz and i especially have been quite worn out. We are so set on this NorthHarbour VC thing not being just an achievement that we can notch on our belt, but definitely something that God is building. Have felt a mingling of joy and grief in my heart over the last few weeks, especially as we have worked through 1 Corinthians 15. So magnificent to look forward to our bodily resurrection alongside Jesus, who is our prototype for new life in a renewed creation (Creation Take 2, as Darrell Johnson
puts it). But it has also impressed on me how far our present experience can be from the resurrection - the pain we feel, the dysfunction that doesn't shift, the anger, greed and petty selfishness that haunts our human existence. Maranatha! The tears have been flowing on Sundays....:-)
The last few days have been uplifting, getting lots of sleep, and it feels as though we are moving again into a season of grace.
I'm off to my next Spiritual Direction training retreat
this weekend, really looking forward to it (though praying Liz and the kids will also be able to relax and rest in my absence). I love these weekends away with a large group of primarily high Anglicans, Catholic priests and those who have dropped out of the church through dissillusionment - we approach Christ through very different lenses most of the time (with me being a "generous post-evangelical"), but the conversations are always rich and there is immense interest and dialogue of our different viewpoints and experiences.Andrew Hughes
is preaching in my absence, and with others like Pete Stremp and Vijay
looking after the details, what a blessing to be able to nick off and leave NorthHarbour in such capable hands. peace john