I see the rugged hill
Where my saviour was
Blessed are the poor in spirit, Jesus said
On the Mount of Olives.
Now we live in poverty.
And now we are spiritually poor.
Our redeemer, rescuer has gone,
And he would be Messiah.
We are now poor
For Jesus has gone.
But we are rich
Yes we are rich
For having walked with him and talked
Yes we are rich.
And although I do not understand this crucifixion
Of an innocent man, I will understand this crucifixion.
And I saw the man next to Jesus at the Skull call
Jesus, asking forgiveness. Today you will be with me in
Paradise, Jesus replied. The other man insulted him.
And yes, a rich young man amidst the riches…
Of a slum? Amidst the riches of disease? Amidst the
Riches of not knowing God?
He rose again on the third day! Yes
And is coming back to take me to Paradise.
Jesus’ agony. Am I poor, am I rich? Do I know this God?
Do I know that he cares for me?
–Written in 1992
Image control and public relations or people made in the image of God? God doesn’t need image control or to manage his own public relations. I just don’t like using that business/marketing terminology to God! It is not true of God!
Members of a Christian group in New Zealand have been spreading the faith. Through their efforts, some students have put their faith in Jesus Christ while others want to know more, during a year marked by the Covid19 pandemic.
With so many different expressions of church I wondered who best represents Jesus? Is it the loving, generous, kind church? Or the militant, forthright church that has its “heart in the right place”? The one that listens and shares? Or the one that preaches and cares? I think that either of these expressions, as I have described them, are not only inadequate expressions of a church, but don’t really describe who Jesus really was, and is, the true, authentic Jesus.
I think most striking thing that can happen in a church is that Jesus uses that church and blesses someone. That is something special. One of the things that churches have done, is being a somewhat gifted, but flawed and imperfect, yet most of all functional vehicle for the blessing of Jesus in people’s lives, spiritually and otherwise.
Questions coming someone’s way. Why do you believe you have the truth about things since you believe in God? A pertinent question today when so many voices and opinions abound, but also ones that claim the truth. Is there one singular truth arising from faith in God? Why do people get upset if someone claims that? How would you know the truth? isn’t that arrogant? And when one says, God said it, I believe it, that settles it, why does that statement go rejected by those who hear it, unless you believe? Good questions, almost unanswerable, as there is a logic to it. If one said they held the truth, why should others believe that truth? Shouldn’t they be held to account for imposing their will on others?
I will answer this in terms of my faith which says there is no policy or manifesto to come on board, no one manipulating someone to believe their way. A political or ideological institution may not bring truth that is believed, and lived, with utter conviction.
But Jesus gives his truth freely to those who receive him. His ‘life’ inspires his truth in hearts even to the point of living his truth in their lives, such as to love thy neighbor. Those who have this blessing, should be humble indeed.