Sunday, March 23, 2008

He has risen, he has risen ... Jesus is alive

Easter Day ... The Easter hope ... The empty tomb ... The resurrection of the dead

Over the course of the last few months I have been reading Tom Wrights book surprised by Hope and have been chatting to others about it. Its terrific ... if you haven't read it - read it!

It speaks of the hope we have as Christians, the empty tomb being the "first fruits" of the resurrection. John S in his sermon today referred to this hope made possible through the resurrection - the last great fear of humans - that of death has been conquered and we have complete assurance of that.

Furthermore, we do not have to worry about what life after death will be - what resurrection will mean for us. The idea of a transformed body. But what we can expect is a bodily resurrection! - if it were not, how on earth do we account for the transformation in the first disciples?, how do we explain our hope to a world looking for such hope?

Over the past while I have encountered people who are totally disillusioned with what life has given them, what can christianity provide for such people? surely what we can do is provide a glimpse of hope, hope of a plan, of a future ...

"The question of Jesus' resurrection, though it may in some senses burst the boundries of history, also remains within them; that is precisely why it is so important, so disturbing, so life and death. We could cope, the world could cope with a Jesus who ultimately remains a good idea inside the disciples hearts and minds. The world cannot cope with a Jesus who comes out of the tomb, who inaugurates God's new creation right within the middle of the old one "

What we need to do is return to the "sure and certain hope of the resurrection of the dead" not some vague fuzzy optimism that somehow things may work out in the end.

But then there is also the "eschatological tension" we are to be living now - this new life has started with those who are in Christ - we need to be sharing this hope, the love of God NOW, today with those around, unashamedly - mmmm ..., The gospel has to be what is on offer, through the power of the Spirit....

Friday, March 14, 2008

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Zambia ....

I found out there yesterday that I'm heading back over to Zambia this summer. Which I am really looking foward to, realising of course that it is going to be very, very different - no team meetings, no team times, no Jules, no Chrissie.

Hopefully the blog will be used to keep yas up to date with what's going on - There are lots to do before then - Letters to be written, funds to be sought, prayer points to be uploaded, Exams to be studied for, Driving lessons to be had, placements for college to be sought ...

so all in all it is going to be a busy few months but I am really, really looking forward to this journey. Here's what I will be doing in a nut shell!

Summer 2008

This summer, I am hoping to embark on a parish placement with a difference, being the last summer of University Study, I have been granted a place on a CMSI STEP (Short Term Experience Placement) programme heading out to Kitwe, in the Copperbelt region of Northern Zambia. This placement will be based with CMSI Mission Partners Rev. Keith & Lynn Scott at the Anglican Seminary. The experience will be see me working and studying alongside local seminarians also training for Anglican ministry.

I will also have the chance to work with Keith in his parish duties in a local church, to work with the local diocesan Youth co-ordinator, Peter who I have already built up a good relationship with as well as, I’m sure lots of other experiences. In return for this experience, I would aim to assist with resources and computer training for the college and individuals and to get involved in other things as they rise.

This is the first time I have been out to Africa as an individual and am looking forward to the experience. I am also in consultation with a Methodist Minister who is working in a different part of the country, on a community development programme and am hoping to draw alongside him in his work towards the end of my trip.

All in all I am really looking forward to the summer.