Today @ Healingsprings fellowship

Women are most times portrayed negatively in the Old Testament. Eve, Delilah, and Jezebel; come to mind. As we celebrate women, we need to understand that some of the big challenges women are facing today stems from the Judeo Christian heritage of Europe. To this end if we are really serious about gender empowerment or equality, we will need to look beyond the Bible.

By way of background, in their bid to galvanise the people after The Exile towards nationhood, the Elders needed something special.

Their vision was encapsulated in these three crucial elements: One God, One People, One Covenant. So, they captured stories from their oral traditions (very similar to what is left in the folk and oral traditions in most African settings), updated elements of these stories, infused new scripts based on the pitfalls and some of the new ideas they were exposed to during The Exile. This was the early form of what we know today as the Torah.

The Torah became the authoritative text, especially the so called historic books (Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Chronicles, Samuel, Kings, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther). The redactors were careful to use characters known through Jewish history to convey the sort of values that will strengthen and foster unity and prosperity; and those that were detrimental to their cause.

Hence they weaved into these stories values like collectivism, selflessness, faithfulness, loyalty, sacrifice, patience, humility, vision, kindness, unity, etc. At the same, time inverses or polar opposites like individualism, selfishness, disloyalty, greed, shortsightedness, pride etc.

To this end the characters we find in these stories are not there by coincidence, they are symbols and milestones in the struggle of a people trying to carve out a future amidst the complexities of the world around them.

Consequently we find ourselves in grave difficulties when we try to read these stories through the lenses of the New Testament or Christian dogmas and doctrines. Worse still, treat them as universal principles that govern all aspects of life.

While there might be elements of universality in these texts, they are clearly Jewish stories which were written with the vision of bringing the people together towards a common goal – nationhood.

Today I will be examining the story of the Witch of Endor in 1 Sam., in relation to King Saul, a symbol of the kind of ruler the people should avoid at all cost.

What were the redactors trying to convey?

How did it serve the community in their nation building project?

In other words the sort of Operative Narratives and Scripts were the Elders envisioning in the lives of the citizens of this great nation that was emerging?

Join us at 3pm

St John the Evangelist Hall

Church Rd,

Sidcup DA14 6BX

Reachout | Revive | Recover


Today at healingsprings fellowship

Broadly speaking, in Judaism Yahweh is perceived as Constant while all else is Variable. This philosophical tradition is responsible for the various theological explanations of their socioeconomic conditions through Jewish history.

Cleaving on to stories of supernatural interventions their ancestors passed on through their rich oral tradition, they waited in hope for Divine intervention whenever they encountered challenges.

Interestingly, apart from a small numbers of miracles recorded in their Cannon, and the fact that most times Yahweh never showed – up as they were told he did in the era of Moses and Joshua, their prophets and priests still urged them to remain faithful to their tradition and religious systems.

Even though in the recorded text we see Yahweh showing up amidst the sin, rebellion, and irreverence of the people as they journeyed from Egypt to The Promised Land; whenever they encountered disaster they will blame it on sin (missing the mark or standard).

This includes actions and omissions, or a lack of adherence to the written or revealed word, or even Yahweh choosing to defer justice to the Afterlife. So much so that the leaders even added more layers and safeguards to prevent the people from ‘sinning’; all in the hope that Yahweh will show up and deliver them from their enemies. Overtime these rules became a burden on the people. Hence Jesus’ call to them:

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – (Matthew 11:28-30)

Yahweh did not show up after Josiah’s reform, Uzziah’s reform, The Exile, Ezra’s reform, and the reforms which led to the Great Revolt against the Romans, and subsequent destruction of Judea, and the dispersion by the Romans. But yet they were still urged towards faithfulness, and to ‘wait’ on Yahweh.

I think there is a lesson for Christians, especially in the 21st Century. We cannot judge God based on his ‘performance’, rather, we are called into faithfulness. We are called to be lights and salt. A city set upon a hill, which cannot be hidden. We are called to infect this world with love and kindness.

To this end, we are not hooked on doctrines like the virgin birth, miracles, or even resurrection. Rather, we are focussed on his teaching and moral examples as we remain faithful to the Call to co-create a better World.

Join us for Resurrection and Ascension as part of our series, God Was in Christ.

3:00-4:30pm, coffee and light refreshments afterwards.

St John’s Hall

Church Rd,

Sidcup DA14 6BX

Reachout | Revive | Recover


On His Majesty’s Secret Service

Leadership Qualities part 2

 ‘… For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” – (Mark 10:45).

Last week we looked at our first set of Leadership qualities, building on the series on Leadership, under the title: On His Majesty’s Secret Service. 
Developing these ideas further, tomorrow I will be treating another set of Leadership Qualities, with a view to empower us for effectiveness in ministry, business, scholarship and career.

Come and be inspired!
(3:00 – 4:30)pm

The Drama Room

Ground floor,

Bexleyheath Academy, Woolwich Road, Bexleyheath, DA6 7DA