“We grow, change and develop into more mature, complete people because we listen and learn from those who think and believe differently to us. We grow each others’ empathy, understanding, depth and character by building authentic community with one another and by proactively seeing one another as valuable to our development as whole people.”
“I think that in this story, Paul is acting as an Ally, in a way we can learn from in modern times. In particular, he is doing something which all Allies should do – he is talking to someone with a very similar set of privileges to himself, and helping them to become a more just and fair person.”
“I’m just trying not to waver between two opinions. I just want to follow Jesus and I’d rather have my integrity than a job, and I’d rather be remembered by my children and grandchildren as someone who gave following Jesus a red hot go, rather than someone who wavered for security. My learning curve has been so steep, that I know it’s not over. And of course it’s not for you either.”
“This is what God looks like. Love in action. Leadership through humble service. Victory through selfless love. Success measured in generosity, compassion and kindness. Power in mercy and grace rather than violence and coercion.”
“Sometimes, the Gospel is a message that can seem confusing and cruel in its handling of ideas like original sin, blood sacrifice, and conscious endless torment. The Gospel can seem like bad news, instead of good news.
Originally the Gospel was an ancient political statement, a proclamation of a world order, specifically of the Roman Empire. The Gospel, the Good News of Jesus, was also a proclamation of a world order, but it was a proclamation of a new world, the Kingdom of God.
For the poor and the powerless, for many of us, the Gospel can often seem confusing and cruel, like bad news. But the Gospel of Jesus is good news, the Kingdom of God is here.”
“There has been a long history of revival preachers who have proclaimed this pre-gospel of fear, threat and condemnation – telling people the bad news so that they can then receive the good news. The basic philosophy of this approach being that people need to be shaken out of their complacency and made ready to respond to the gospel….. How could things have gone so wrong? When did the good news become the bad news?”
“Life may not look the way we imagined it and there may be areas in which we long for change and that’s ok. But if our framework sounds a little like, “When I’m rich, then I will give to charity” or, “When I have a nice house, then I’ll invite people over”, it implies that “now” is insufficient or inadequate and that is not true. It is not the way of Jesus. Jesus is whispering “I will use you in all of your life, just follow me”.
“Jesus died in solidarity with all of those – with all of us. He cares about what we care about, he is interested in what we are interested in. And he calls us to that kind of costly solidarity as the expression of the kingdom of heaven on earth. This is how we live the sermon on the mount, it’s how we learn how to do all of life from Jesus. In solidarity with all of humanity, seeing the image of God in each of them, and offering them our grace, compassion, love and selfless service.
“Jesus is Lord, Master, and Saviour. He has called us to follow and serve him so when we do his will, when we follow his orders, we shouldn’t expect gratitude or praise. Our work is for his glory not ours. We are nothing special. And so, when we have done all that is commanded us we don’t say to ourselves ‘I’m somebody very special.’ We say, ‘We are unworthy servants, we have done only that which we ought to have done.’ ”
What if we had this crazy kind of faith that doesn’t let our circumstances change who God is?
What if we knew God so deeply that when our integrity is tested we choose to walk with God rather than with society.
Not so we get glory, but so that we can participate in putting the world to right, join in the invitation that God has extended to us. What if?