Another from the Edbrooke Collective
The great and terrible Friday. The place where the great and terrible God of all creation judges. Where He loves. Where He mercies. Where He graces.
All will be judged. But through the one sent from the Father, we can escape judgement and receive love, mercy and grace.
Reworking of an old John newton (1725) Hymn by the Edbrooke Collective
Just click the play button.
Full credit to Adam Ford for his creative, cutting edge work. Click here to go to Adam’s site – enjoy the random button.
If you wonder how ISIS can appear so serious about Islam?
If you wonder why ISIS kills so easily?
If you wonder why ISIS is killing more Muslims than Christians?
If you wonder why Muslims all over the western world condemn ISIS?
Read this article by Graeme Wood. I encourage you not to rail against it but to consider it. I don’t agree with all his conclusions but I have encountered similar Muslim ideology on the streets of London and actually meet Anjem Choudary in an east London coffee house. Met, said hello, shook hands and that was it. It’s a longer story but not as sinister as it sounds.
Over the years, a number, quite a number in fact, of Muslims doing street faith sharing, Dawah, calling people to Islam, in answer to questions about the killing or subjugation of non believers, always cited the lack of the rule of a Caliph, the existence of a Caliphate as the reason, Muslims generally lived at peace in the West. It was a matter of timing and they and I never expected that that would change in our lifetimes. Legitimate or not, this ISIS Caliphate is making waves. Let’s hope it won’t be a Tsunami. Before you say I am over reacting, I must say that I never thought we would see some of the things happening in European cities as have happened in the last year. I hope and pray for a de-escalation of this wave of one of the forms of Islam. But the time for being naive is coming to an end. ISIS is certainly a form of Islam, thankfully not the majority form. But it’s not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog that counts. That’s and unfortunate metaphor, considering Muhammad, the muslim’s role model, relationship to dogs.
I will post an excerpt and encourage you to read the whole thing. Remember reassurance and denial will only work if there is nothing to worry about.
Here is an excerpt ……
According to Haykel, the ranks of the Islamic State are deeply infused with religious vigor. Koranic quotations are ubiquitous. “Even the foot soldiers spout this stuff constantly,” Haykel said. “They mug for their cameras and repeat their basic doctrines in formulaic fashion, and they do it all the time.” He regards the claim that the Islamic State has distorted the texts of Islam as preposterous, sustainable only through willful ignorance. “People want to absolve Islam,” he said. “It’s this ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ mantra. As if there is such a thing as ‘Islam’! It’s what Muslims do, and how they interpret their texts.” Those texts are shared by all Sunni Muslims, not just the Islamic State. “And these guys have just as much legitimacy as anyone else.”
All Muslims acknowledge that Muhammad’s earliest conquests were not tidy affairs, and that the laws of war passed down in the Koran and in the narrations of the Prophet’s rule were calibrated to fit a turbulent and violent time. In Haykel’s estimation, the fighters of the Islamic State are authentic throwbacks to early Islam and are faithfully reproducing its norms of war. This behavior includes a number of practices that modern Muslims tend to prefer not to acknowledge as integral to their sacred texts. “Slavery, crucifixion, and beheadings are not something that freakish [jihadists] are cherry-picking from the medieval tradition,” Haykel said. Islamic State fighters “are smack in the middle of the medieval tradition and are bringing it wholesale into the present day.”
Contemplative, compassionate, compelling – Come thou.
Wrath Cup it be full up
it be held over us
we wait for it to fall
it be right to be so
Wrath Cup it be poured out
it be our cup
it soon drown us
it be right to do so
Wrath Cup – it miss us
it pass us
it still pour out
it fall to another
be it right to be so?
Wrath Cup – why, how, who?
Wrath Cup – justice pour it
Wrath Cup – mercy cause it to miss us
Wrath Cup – grace instead cause us peace
be it right to do so?
Wrath Cup – justice poured
Mercy Cup – wrath cup averted
Grace Cup – grace cup drunk
Original poem by Humble Donkey.
Please feel free to reproduce electronically for non commercial purposes and with a link to this blog post.
This poem was inspired by this piece of writing by Jeremy R. Treat which I am reading at the moment. Out of my depth but getting blessed.
“To be handed over to the Gentiles is to be handed over to the wrath of God (Lev 26 :32– 33, 38; Hos 8: 10 LXX; cf. Ps 106: 41; Ezra 9: 7). 57 Even more explicit is Jesus’ reference to his death as drinking “a cup,” a common Old Testament symbol of God’s wrath (Ps 11: 6; 75: 8; Hab 2: 16; Ezek 23: 31– 34), especially for the Isaianic new exodus (Isa 51: 17). Based on this context, Bolt is right to conclude that “the servant’s death . . . has exhausted the cup of God’s wrath on behalf of Israel. Jesus now predicts that, as the servant of the Lord, he will drink the cup of God’s wrath.”
The Crucified King: Atonement and Kingdom in Biblical and Systematic Theology by Jeremy R. Treat Kindle page 101
Today I’m going to start a potentially short season of Waxing Lyrical on a Wednesday – a poem each Wrdnesday for as long as I can make it happen. I am not a poet but I enjoy expression through poetry. I increasingly like it as art form. To read and to write.
I have written other poems and posted them here on Humble Donkey – check the Categories on the right hand side and click Poetry to read more of them if you wish.
Also for those interested in the question who should be welcomed to the communion table at church, then check out my thoughts here The Table. Who’s it for?
coming near to the coming near – communion
coming in to the incoming – communion
broken in by the inbreaking – communion
partaker in the partaking – communion
flesh remembering flesh – communion
eating and drinking remembering the eater and drinker – communion
grace received from the grace giver – communion
holy wooden table points to holy wooden cross – communion
presence with – communion
union – communion
Original poem by humbledonkey. Please feel free to publish this poem electronically, citing this humbledonkey post as the source. Thank you.
In the scripture, it says it is the name above every name, technically meaning the title Lord Jesus.
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
In Ireland outside of religious ceremony and devotional acts, the Holy name of Jesus ranks down there with every expletive known to man, rank, and filed alongside them; lyrically flowing from the melifluous tongue of the Irish man and woman. Class, employment, upbringing is no barrier to such streams of ironic injury to the divine honour. The name Jesus, Jesus Christ, is used every minute of every day across Ireland and the diaspora throughout the world. Its used instead of Wow! What? Agghh! and Noooo! The great and the good, the young and the old, the religious and the non-religious all misuse it. By misuse I mean they treat it like they don’t realise what they are doing who he is, how we should honour and relate and love him. Therefore it becomes this device of exclamation – almost like a four letter word functions for many also instead of Wow! What? Agghh! and Noooo! Protestantism in Ireland perhaps is the thin dam holding out against this gaelic pastime. This verbal blasphemy may not be entirely sanctioned, or even desired but it is rarely spoken against, cautioned about or educated on. And the uneducated adherent goes after every opportunity to blaspheme – like a ‘divil’.
Why? one wonders. I can’t say I really know except that in a land of apparent religious history, there is but the superstitious form of adherence to the Christian religion with precious little life flowing from its fountainhead. God. Imagine a great family, where the head of the family both deserves and demands deference. And yet no one values the name and by implication the nature of the name bearer. Such is the tattered relationship the Irish now have with their supposed family head. It is in many ways unbelievable. The supposed stewards of the name in Ireland – the roman catholic clergy – are sleeping their way through a fuzzy ritualistic co-dependency. They dare not challenge too hard or even at all – lest The Faith lose another ‘practitioner’.
The day of challenging or instructing is long gone. Regarding the name and the climate that prevented or challenged its misuse, that day left town on a limping mule at least 30 years ago. Instruction happens only for the young. The concrete is certainly set by late adolescence if not before. After that, next to nothing. External compliance and use of the Faith for milestones is all that is required and again the weight and gravitas of the stones are lessening.
I still haven’t answered why the Irish engage so blindly in this dark art because I don’t have an answer. The great theologian of Ireland, Terry Wogan, long departed from the lush green sod, once spoke about the appearance of trash talking the holy name. He proposed that this apparent blasphemy of the name of Jesus was widely misunderstood by outsiders, when in fact no such disrespect or devaluation was at work. I cannot remember his treatise entirely but I remember not thinking it much for carrying water then, and I suspect I wouldn’t change my mind if I heard it repeated.
Back then, I was an insider and practitioner of the sacrilegious art of trash-talking the name of Jesus and now I am an outsider by conversion, immersion and expulsion. The name and its namesake has taken its place, higher than any; wife, beloved, or friend in my life. I would not recklessly demean their titles and names and it is no different in regard to the Divine Word made flesh – Jesus. My wife is esteemed to me above all persons and her name above all human names. How much more is the name of and being of the Son of God.
Dear, dear Humbledonkey readers – sorry for taking so long to get back in the game and for the December false start – I actually thought I had cancelled both of those random posts.
Here’s why I have been away:
My Dad passed away in October 2014 and all my energies since have gone on the daily/weekly task of living and surviving, working and being. Bereavement is the funniest thing. Even on your best days, you only have access to so much mental energy. When it’s gone, it’s gone. Blogging requires an abundance of mental energy.
Here’s why I am back.
I like blogging, it helps me get a handle of my own thoughts. And I missed it. I also have a little more mental energy available – not a lot. It’s a bit risky, certainly, but hey what’s the worst that can happen?
So let’s start with some music that is timely and timeless. Timely in that it is a tune to the New Year’s anthem, Auld Lang Syne but these new words by Dunstin Kensrue speak of the timeless eternal Son of the Eternal Father, who created time, entered time, submitted to it, lived, died and rose triumphant o’er the grave and time itself and now lives forever more – the first of a new generation. The resurrected ones.
Enjoy the music, thanks for the warm thoughts and have a good day. More again tomorrow.
This question comes out of a recent conversation with our best buds on Communion and when, if ever, one should hesitate to partake. It is something I have been thinking about for some time. A side question of who exactly can participate in communion arises and that will be my main focus in this post. I will be using the phrase ‘the table’ to describe the receiving of and participating in communion. For those wondering what is meant generally by communion within a christian context and what I am meaning by, it will become clear as we go along.
Thoughts and issues:
Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.
On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight.
And when Paul had gone up and had broken bread and eaten, he conversed with them a long while, until daybreak, and so departed.
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,
He V You
Competence V Incompetence
Saviour V Lost
Mighty V Weak
Humble V Proud
Sees V Blind
Sinless V Sin
Love V Non-love
Other-love V Self-love
Life V Death
Heaven V Hell
Hope V Despair
Full V Empty
Truth V Falsehood
Obedient V Rebel
Competence V Incompetence
He V You
There is a method of marking out Jesus’ words in Bible publications. They are printed in red. This method is only sometimes used. On the positive side, it makes his words easier to spot and quite convenient when scanning through a page quickly. However it has its downsides. Some chrsitians have begun to elevate these red letter words above the black letter words. We can then lose context and fail to see the rest of scripture as of equal value.
I attended an exciting evening of friendly christian-muslim discussion and debate in London last night. One of the thoughts that came out from the muslim perspective was a general though not complete acceptance of the red letter words of Jesus in the Gospels. Many though not all. This is not too surpirsing because many of the sayings and teachings of Jesus would be happily endorsed by almost every religious group in the world. His teachings on love, justice, sacrifice and service are unparraleled but yet universal. Hence their attractiveness. So I understand that my muslim friends (like Hindus and Buddhists) would be very accepting of much but not all of the actual spoken words of Jesus recorded in the Gospels.
But I took a few minutes today to just scan through one of the gospels – Matthew – and see a few of the things my muslim friends ceratinly could not accept because of a message from 600 years after Jesus that they have an allegiance to. I think I can hear a couple of muslim friends saying “no problem” to one or two of these. But an honest reading and a sense of their meaning in the original context should deflate any such aspirations. But I do accept them because long before an ostensibly good man in a cave brought to those outside the cave, a message so contrary to Christianity, the black letters and the red letters of the Gospels were part of the literature of the world – that’s the parts that the good man in the cave would like and those he wouldn’t. I must accept them all.
10 problematic statements of Jesus (red letter) for our muslim friends:
Jesus is for Losers. Provocative title. Provokes me to gratitude. I’m one of Lifes greatest Losers. I cannot tell you how surprised I was and am to be a beneficiary of God’s kindness toward rebel sinners. And the Father chose to show his love for the world by sending the Son (the Incarnation) to die in the place of others (The Atonement) so that rebel sinners could be counted as righteous – perfect (Justification) and go on to lead a life ever seeking to honour God – growing in righteous living, empowered by the Holy Spirit (Sanctification). Theology matters. Losers matter.
Not a balm
Not a comfort
Not a lift up
Not a help out
Not an improvement
Not a supplement
The Gospel of Jesus is for dead people
The Gospel of Jesus is LIFE for dead people
And from the wonderfully creative and insightful Adam Ford.
Hidden in plain sight.
God in Christ.
For all to see.
Yet not seen by all.
To some it is given.
To those who have eyes and ears to see and hear.
Does God exist?
Where is he?
In plain sight.
God in Christ.
What about your beautiful eyes and ears?
Are they to see the Hidden in plain sight?
2 Corinthians 5:19
… in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
Hat tip to Jared C. Wilson for posting this over at his blog. Octavious Winslow – great name, great meditation on the Son of God – eternally begotten of the Father.
Eternal love moved the heart of Jesus to relinquish . . .
heaven for earth;
a diadem for a cross;
the robe of divine majesty for the garment of our nature;
by taking upon Himself the leprosy of our sin.
Oh, the infinite love of Christ!
What a boundless, fathomless ocean!
Ask the ransomed of the Lord, whose chains He has dissolved, whose dungeon He has opened, whose liberty He has conferred — if there ever was love like His!
What shall we say of the ransom price? It was the richest, the costliest, that Heaven could give! He gave Himself for us! What more could He do? He gave Himself; body, soul and spirit. He gave His time, His labor, His blood, His life, His ALL — as the price for our ransom, the cost of our redemption. He carried the wood and reared the altar. Then, bearing His bosom to the stroke of the uplifted and descending arm of the Father — He paid the price of our salvation in the warm lifeblood of His heart!
What a boundless, fathomless ocean! How is it that we feel the force and exemplify the practical influence of this amazing, all commanding truth so faintly? Oh, the desperate depravity of our nature! Oh, the deep iniquity of our iniquitous hearts! Will not the blood-drops of Jesus move us? Will not the agonies of the cross influence us? Will not His dying love constrain us to a more heavenly life?
Just beginning to read Jared’s book The Story Telling God – which I am enjoying very much so far. An exploration on the Parables of Jesus.
Jesus could not be God – he hungered, ate – game over!
I say to lovely muslims that I, a christian
expect to see Jesus eating and hungering;
because Jesus on earth was the eternal Word of God – made flesh.
Flesh – real flesh – not fake flesh – not pretend flesh;
real eating – real hungering.
That is what incarnation (Word made flesh) means; what one expects with incarnation.
Jesus – God but not solely God
Jesus – man but not solely man.
Jesus – God and man.
Read the scriptures – all of them – not just the ‘Jesus eats! Game Over’ ones.
So when the lovely muslim person says to me, “Jesus ate, he was hungry”, said muslim undoubtedly has an expectation of a light bulb moment for me. There certainly is one – but not the one he expects.
The lightbulb moment for me is the sudden awareness that although this muslim knows I am a christian, he clearly does not know what christians understand our scriptures to say and what we therefore believe.
The lightbulb moment is seeing that the lovely muslim is putting 6th century islamic requirements on the first century Jesus and our scriptures.
We have work to do to understand one another and have a productive chat, this lovely muslim and me.
Gospel according to John – Chapter 1 – Verses 1 to 5
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Gospel according to John – Chapter 1 – Verse 14
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Jesus the ultimate one who fasts – he fasted – laid aside his divine privileges to be rough and ready in the neighbourhood with us & for us
Jesus the ultimate breaking of the fast – arose after three days in death to break the fast of desolation and begin a new kind of life for those who would become his brothers
Jesus the ultimate one to pray behind – he said ‘pray like this “our Father in heaven …” ‘
Jesus the ultimate call to prayer – ‘he said “come unto me …” ‘
Jesus the ultimate alms – he is the embodied kindness of the Father to the poor and sin sick of this world
Jesus the ultimate striver for the Father’s glory – resists the way of Satan in the wilderness and in the garden
Jesus the ultimate one on pilgrimage – journeys from eternity into time to raise a band of brothers and sisters under his banner of grace
Jesus the ultimate religion of peace – opposites are reconciled in his crucified body
Jesus the ultimate brother – to all brothers and sisters adopted by his Father through the Holy Spirit
Jesus the ultimate in resurrection – first over a new creation
Jesus the ultimate one over all the angels
Jesus the ultimate advocate for repentant and believing sinners on the day of judgement
Jesus the ultimate eternal word of God – enfleshed
Jesus the Ultimate