Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Dear people of the world,

In the light of the tragic shootings in Orlando, I would like to ask respectfully that you just SHUT UP. There are families, friends and coworkers who are grieving the loss of their loved ones and friends, they need time and space to grieve, time and space which right now is being trodden on by the hooves of a thousand hobby horses stampeding to the left and the right. Islam, gun control, gay rights, migration, no matter what side of these issues you are on, there is a time to have these discussions but not now. Right now we need to stand in solidarity with the hurt and greiving and honour and respect their pain. The world is the lesser for the loss of those precious lives. Please let's remenber that.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Fat Sheep and Climate Change

I heard a late night Christian radio host the other night dismissing climate change as liberal alarmism.
Now firstly I am not a climate expert, so as to the validity or not of those claims, I really am not qualified to comment, except to say that she seems to be on the minority viewpoint on this issue. but it did start me thinking about why seemingly so many conservative Christians appear to be pushing back at the view that the climate is changing. Why there is a need to pick such a battle when there's so much else to do has me scratching my head. If climate change is happening and we do nothing that consequences could be catastrophic, the flip-side of course is if it is not happening and we as a people work together to limit the damage  to the planet we and our children and our children's children will be far better of. there really is not much to lose .
Climate change or not there is no doubt that we are treating our limited resources in a very foolish way using non-renewables to power our wasteful consumption economies. I would recommend watching The story of Stuff to get a real idea of wisely we are using our unarguably finite resources.

There is a chilling warning for us in the West found in the writings of prophet Ezekiel

" Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of your pasture with your feet? Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet? Must my flock feed on what you have trampled and drink what you have muddied with your feet? “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says to them: See, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. Because you shove with flank and shoulder, butting all the weak sheep with your horns until you have driven them away," Ezekiel 34

Rather than dismiss climate change as alarmism, we as followers of Christ should seek to under than the task of wise stewardship that God entrusted to Adam at Creation. If we do nothing then we risk the judgement of God, and we are no better that fat sheep who show no love and care for those who most need it.
For a really interesting take on this issue watsh the short documentary below


Friday, December 18, 2015

Sermons without a pulpit: Number 1. Honour

Welcome to the first of what I hope will be a series, Sermons without a pulpit (it's really hard to get a pulpit online). Here I want to tackle different issues from a biblical perspective, hopefully shedding some misconceptions and bringing more depth and understanding to the scriptures.

Lets talk about honour, more specifically about honouring one's parents. This is a much used but very often not properly understood text. There are two crucial texts that need to be examined if we are to understand honouring your parents from a biblical perspective. The first is from Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you." This is then restated in Deuteronomy 5:16.  The second text is from the New Testament, Ephesians 6:1-2 "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise

Now a quick but important digression about context, the first two scriptures are from the Old testament ,more specifically from the Ten Commandments, also known as the Decalogue, they are a set of commandments which the Bible describes as being given to Moses on two stone tablets by God at Mount Sinai. The Commandments form the basis of what is known as the Mosaic (after Moses) laws. These laws form the core of the Jewish religion, to follow these laws which were given by God is to follow God. 

Now the contexts for the New Testament references are letters written by the apostle Paul to various early Christian congregations. Keep in mind the Jesus and the first apostles including Paul were all Jewish. 

So context is laid out, the scriptures are in front of us, now what does it mean to honour your parents? In order to really come to grips with this we need to have a quick under the bonnet at the original languages that the Bible was written in . For the OT this is of course Hebrew and for the New Testament it is Greek. 
The Hebrew word translated honour is kabad or kabed: (pronounced kawbad) it means to be heavy, weighty, or burdensome. This word never carries the meaning of obey in any place that it is used in the Old Testament. So to honour your parents here actually means to give greater weight to their teachings and advice, it does not mean that you have to obey everything that they say. it does mean that as long as they live, you bring honour and respect to them by seeking their opinion and advice. Now interestingly in the New Testament the Greek word for honour timaō means to honour, show respect, give recognition, So it too has the same sense as the Old Testament understanding.

             However I can hear the astute reader saying "Wait hold up you are quoting Eph 6, where it states "Children, obey your parents in the Lord", and in both English and Greek that is what it means obey. The key to this verse is the greek word  téknon ("a child living in willing dependence")  this is what is translated here as our English word child.  There are other words that Paul could have used if he wanted to this verse to carry the meaning that we should always obey our parents but Teknon is a specific age and it means a young person before the age of adulthood. For people of the first century to whom Paul was writing, this age was in the early teens.   

Ok so now it is time to wrap it all up. How do we honour our parents?  When we are little and in their full time care we do need to obey their instructions, however as we become an adult we no longer have to obey but we do for the remainder of our parents lives have to give greater weight to their opinions and advice we are not locked into obeying them but always we should respect them. Now this will undoubtedly raise some questions especially in relation to abusive parents. This is a question that I want to address in the second part of this series. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

A Lament

A lament

In the midst of a struggle
 in the mist of devouring blackness
I find myself crying out to You
I want to worship
 My heart desires something deeper something more profound and yet
I am here on the shores of your presence with a broken canoe

The desire to set forth,
to bring something new to pass
 bursts and burns my soul
I want to explore
to feel Your spirit on my face to taste the salt of Your refreshing  and yet
I am here on the shores of your presence with a broken canoe

At times though
the pollution overwhelms
my paddle slips my feeble grasp
disappearing in the dark

and I sit on the shores of your presence facing  a broken canoe.

Cris Jubb 10/4/15

Monday, October 07, 2013

Monday Musings- Thoughts on the Monday after Sunday 1

We didn't go to church yesterday, rather we ventured up to Halls Gap for the first time in six years. We were catching up with some family enjoying a picnic and some time together. After lunch we ventured up to the Venus Baths and it was while wandering midst the soaring natural buttresses of the the Grampians National Park that I started to reflect a little on how we as Christians worship on a Sunday morning. The Christian faith is one that affirms God as creator of this world and although the creation has been marred by sin our faith celebrates this fact. Many scriptures bear witness to this celebration of creation especially in the book of Psalms; for example

Psalm 8: 3-4
When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?[c]


Psalm 19 1-4

1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
3 They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.

The church in its worship music also celebrates Gods creation , be it hymns such as How Great Thou Art

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.

or modern worship songs such as God of Wonders
Lord of all creation
Of water, earth, and sky
The heavens are Your tabernacle
Glory to the Lord on High

God of wonders, beyond out galaxy
You are holy, holy
The universe declares Your majesty
You are holy, holy

Whether in the scriptures or in worship music Gods creation is celebrated as something that in its beauty and in the moments when it takes your breath away that points us to God.

Why then do we worship God inside buildings that at best reflect the beauty of what man has made and at worst have no beauty at all.

Church we need to get outside more, into the world that God has made for us to enjoy and not seal ourselves inside a box .

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Genesis 6
This chapter opens with the curious account of the Nephilim. The offspring of the Sons of God and the daughters of men. Then swiftly moves to the great wickedness of man. The Lord grieved and resolved to destroy humanity with the exception of the one righteous man Noah whom God commissioned to rescue all the animals with an ark.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Matthew 4
Straight after he is Baptised by John. Jesus heads in to the Judean wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After 40 days of fasting the Devil makes his move, but in direct contrast with Adam and Eve in Genesis 3. Jesus rebukes and rebuffs the Devil's every move. The Devil then withdraws and Jesus returns to Galilee to begin his ministry. He preaches calls the first disciples and heals the sick.
Genesis 5
The list of the generations for Adam to Noah notable for the long life spans Methuselah clocks in at 969 and for Enoch who walked with God and whos e death is not recorded because God took him away