Recently I’ve had the phrase “radical transformation” going through my head quite a lot. It is so easy for us to loose sight of how radical and how transforming the life of a disciple can be. Sometimes we can read the words of the Bible and miss the shock and even disgust that the first hearers of those words would have felt. At other times we overlook the extent of the transformation that has been undertaken in the lives of the people impacted.
Jesus first disciples would have been a perplexing mix to those who would have known them. There is no way that Simon the Zealot would have been in the same room as Matthew the Tax Collector. They were sworn enemies, Simon as a Zealot would, under normal circumstance, done his utmost to kill Matthew. Perhaps a modern parallel would be for a member of Al Qaeda to be sat in the same room as an American Army Officer.
The Parable of the Lost Son in Luke 15 is just as radical. Those hearing it for the first time wouldn’t have regarded it as a “nice tale”, they would have thought that it was shocking. Chris highlighted the different perspectives to the story this Sunday and did a great job of bringing it to life afresh.
(Apologies for the sound quality that makes Chris sound like he’s shouting all of the time, it’s something we are working on).
We’re running a bit of a series at the moment, which hasn’t yet got a name. The ideas for the series came out of some questions that were asked to the men who attend our Men’s Breakfasts.
One of the areas that the men wanted to think about was the Holy Spirit. In much the same was as Ian did last term, Andrew has decided to run a bit of a mini-series on the Holy Spirit. He started this week by looking at the Holy Spirit in Creation.
I’m really looking forward to think again about the Holy Spirit, something wonderful happens when we uphold the trinity as Father, Son and Spirit. In our rational world it does me good to realise that there are thing beyond my comprehension, but also to realise that I don’t need to comprehend it to receive the benefit from it. Furthermore, I don’t have to comprehend it in order to be transformed by it.
If you can think of a good name for the new series please let us know.
And finally, if you’ve been wondering where the fourth part in Ian Higginbotham’s mini-series on the Kingdom of God has got to – we are working on it. We had another technical problem which means that the sound quality is very poor. We haven’t concluded what we are going to do yet, but as a last resort Ian has offered to re-record the sermon.