This Sunday @ Healingsprings fellowship

The Reformation is in many ways synonymous with the present socio-political climate in Europe at the moment. 

For instance, like Brexit, Luther’s Reformation was propelled majorly by social and patriotic goals as to ‘spiritual’ ones. Perhaps he did not see a dichotomy between the spiritual and social. 
Hence it gained traction with the people and the nobles, who were keen to brake ranks with the authority of the Catholic Church at the time – the first institution, and symbol of European cooperation. 

But unlike Brexit, broadly speaking, Luther’s Reformation was a movement towards the emancipation and enlightenment of the Germans. This was the same with other counter Reformation initiatives.  
Writing on the Reformation in England, Owen Chadwick argues that, 

“[m]any clergy were ignorant, simple, poverty stricken, and generally ‘unreformed’. Others, more capable of decision, were convinced that the Church needed reform.” – (The Reformation in England to 1559, p.135)

I say this to emphasise that the Church cannot be devolved from the daily challenges facing humanity, locally and globally.
This brings me back to two themes captured by Paul on the subject of Reconciliation in 2 Cor. 5:19. For Paul, 

“in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.”

First and perhaps foremost, the role of Christ as The Reconciler, bringing divinity into humanity. Secondly, our role as the Church through the power of the Holy Spirit in the continuation of the work of reconciliation here on earth.
Join us this Sunday for my new series: God was in Christ.  

This Sunday I will be examining Core Teaching About Christ.
3pm 

The Parish Hall 

St John’s Sidcup,

Church Road, 

Sidcup, 

Kent DA14 6BX

This Sunday @ Healingsprings fellowship

As the season changes and 2016 draws to a close, and we are at the dawn of 2017, friends, I hear the warning the lord gave to Nineveh through Prophet Nahum (2:1), and the consolation he returned to Israel (2:2) for her years in exile, affliction and shame. 

So tomorrow I will be revisiting our theme for 2016: Our Year of Plenty, (Gen. 41:46-49). And over the next 3 months we will be going into a season of Prayer, Prophetic Declaration, and Thanksgiving. 
For “Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from Pharaoh’s presence and traveled throughout Egypt. 
During the seven years of abundance the land produced plentifully. Joseph collected all the food produced in those seven years of abundance in Egypt and stored it in the cities. 
In each city he put the food grown in the fields surrounding it. Joseph stored up huge quantities of grain, like the sand of the sea; it was so much that he stopped keeping records because it was beyond measure.” – Genesis 41:46-49
Join us this Sunday at our new venue.
3pm (light refreshment afterwards)
The Parish Hall 

St John’s Sidcup,

Church Road, 

Sidcup, Kent DA14 6BX

The Challenge of Our Times

Like the current Brexit debate which hinges on 3 core positions: hard Brexit, soft Brexit and no Brexit; the disciples were faced with similar challenges after the death of our Lord. 

By way of background, Judaism was not originally a missional faith. Converts were meant to be attracted to the faith through the actions of the Jews, and God’s glory in their midst. But during the time of our Lord there was already a missional drive by the Rabbis, hence Jesus’ rebuke to the Pharisees (Matthew 23:15), for the negative impact of their efforts.

It is also important to note that Jesus was a prophet of his time. In otherwords, he addressed issues of his time, challenged the ‘ideals’, and reinterpreted scriptures. Jesus didn’t come to set-up Christianity (as many would love to believe), but rather to reform the Jewish faith, and to open its doors for mission to the wider-world. In fact, most of what we know today as Paul’s teaching or insight are from Jewish commentaries on the Old Testament (the Talmud and Mishnah). 

Equipped with the Holy Spirit, the apostles (who had the mandate to ‘go’ and tell the world about the messiah) were still caught between: hard Judaism, soft Judaism or no Judaism. But they were never shy of these debates. The sharp end of their arguments are evident in most of the letters in the New Testament. 

As we know through history, Judaism has always moved with the times. From the invisible God who communed with the patriarchs, the Tabernacle, the temple, destruction of the temple, the exile, the second temple; the faith has always been resilient, adapting to the forces of change and pace of human advancement.

These changes were led by people with inspired vision, people with strong convictions, radicals – willing to go against popular opinion. 

In the same vein, the faith we know today as Christianity needs to keep evolving dear friends. We need to challenge the status quo. Ask the difficult questions. Revisit scriptures, and interpret them in light of the speed of change in our world. The reformation was not meant to stop after the efforts of the reformers, rather, it should be part of our DNA.

Are you willing to stand up and be counted?