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This mini-series of Reconciliation & Transformation is part of ‘fishing the world’ to turn our church outward to engage in social transformation. We shared personal stories of racism and reconciliation. Then I taught God’s Greater Story in which our personal stories find meaning – God’s Seven Act Drama of Reconciliation & Transformation:
Act One: CREATION – God’s Garden of Delight
Act Two: HUMANITY – The Rebellious Fall
Act Three: RESTART – Noah, Babel and The Nations
Act Four: ISRAEL – God’s Instrument of Reconciliation
Act Seven: THE END – Shalom!
Act Five: JESUS – God’s Reconciler
Act Six: HOLY SPIRIT – Through The Church
The weird numbering is theologically important: from Israel (4), the failed instrument of reconciliation, to her prophetic hope of the The End as seen in Isaiah, and then in John’s Revelation when all things are made new (7). But THAT future END broke into our world 2000 years ago in Jesus, dissecting history (5). Act 5 is the gift of God’s Son (Jn 3:16) who accomplishes reconciliation in his own body on the cross, where all barriers and walls of division were destroyed, the principalities and powers defeated, and Jews and Gentiles reconciled into “one new humanity” (see Eph 2:14-18 & Col 2:15).
Act 6 is the gift of God’s Spirit who comes at Pentecost to effect (apply and make real) Jesus’ work of reconciliation & transformation. Act 6 goes all the way through to Christ’s Second Coming – The End of God’s drama, The Beginning of the Eternal Ages. Do you realise that we’re playing our particular part LIVE in Act 6, on the world’s stage right now as witness to world to bring the drama to The End (Act 7)? See the diagram Continue reading Reconciliation & Transformation Act 6: Holy Spirit & Church
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Introduction: This mini-series of Reconciliation & Transformation is part of ‘fishing the world’ to turn the church outward to engage in social transformation. I’m teaching on this because of the growing racism and polarization in our nation. Plus, the Church ought to be the reconciler and healer in society. I shared my story of crossing the divides in SA under Apartheid to seek reconciliation with brothers and sisters in Soweto. Then we had two weeks of story telling from people representing the major race groups in SA. Our stories of racial consciousness and hurt only find redemption and meaning to the extent they become part of and are interpreted by God’s Greater Story of Reconciliation and Transformation – else we may become imprisoned by anger and hatred.
Reconciliation is to ‘make peace’ (restore Shalom) by removing the cause of alienation and division, thus making the two one again (Matt 5:9). And transformation is a change of heart, attitude and behaviour, by God’s Spirit and our responses to his work in us.
So, here is the sweeping storyline of God’s work acted out in human His-Story:
God’s Seven Act Drama of Reconciliation & Transformation.
Act One: CREATION – God’s Garden of Delight
In the beginning God created all things ‘good’. He then created humanity (Adam & Eve) in his image and likeness (‘very good’) to rule under God over creation through Shalom. Shalom is more than peace: it’s God’s order, wellbeing, harmony & abundance, through right relationship with God, ourselves, each other and creation. The Garden of Eden (‘Delight’) was a replica of heaven on earth: Adam & Eve were ONE with God, each other and creation, in an exquisite eternal dance of delight, love and community. Continue reading Reconciliation & Transformation: God’s 7 Act Drama of His-Story
We had a wonderful experience of the Spirit’s outpouring in this morning’s service at Following Jesus. Many were touched by God in various ways, some filled or baptized with the Spirit for the first time – especially our young people – while some reported to me that they didn’t feel anything consciously happening, despite having hands laid on them.
I’ve been teaching a series on Being the Beloved – A Year of Spiritual Formation, and had planned to do the next teaching today on the discipline of the Word. But during last week three ‘indicators’ came to me from different people: I should put aside my planned teaching and focus the meeting on Pentecost – receiving a fresh baptism in the Holy Spirit. I decided it was the Lord, so I tweeted it and also sent email to our church encouraging everyone to come prayed up and prepared to celebrate Pentecost. The responses I got were interesting and instructive. Continue reading “Come Holy Spirit!” Report on Today’s Pentecost Service
Hi Family and Friends,
I am soooo thrilled at what’s happening in our church. God is working among us. Faith and energy is rising. Father, pour out your Holy Spirit with great power!
What is a Novena? It’s nine days of prayer for the outpouring of God’s Spirit. Continue reading Pastoral Letter: Novena & Pentecost