Tonight, on the 40th anniversary of his ordination, Gilbert Joyce reflected on his journey in pastoral ministry.
Living in hope-fuelled anticipation of God’s promised future does not mean withdrawing from the life of the world around us.
Honestly owning the rage that sometimes consumes us is an important part of maintaining our resistance to all that stands in the way of a Jesus-shaped life.
Jesus offers us vision of the future which sharply differs from that offered by modern economics, and we need to intentionally nourish that vision.
God longs to welcome and bless us far more than we deserve, but if we don’t contribute to a culture of extravagant grace, we are unlikely to be able to receive it.
History will end with the unbridled joy of a loving shepherd who celebrates the neighbourhood filling up with dead losers who don’t deserve to be there.
The culture of God is so radical in its loving embrace of everyone that mainstream society will see it as a dangerous rejection of all it holds dear.
If we construct our identity around a pursuit of social esteem, we will degrade our true selves, but if we model ourselves on the generosity of God, we will find true life where few look for it.
True Christianity is not transactional but transformational. It is not a series of prescribed actions intended to please God, but the formation of a culture of grace and other-centred love.
The people who blame Jesus for increasing violence may be right. He has kicked out the foundations of our peace-keeping strategies, and now violent chaos will grow unless we learn the ways of love and mercy.
There are numerous competing claims about what a faithful Christian life looks like, and sometimes the truth about following Jesus may be the least palatable of them all.
The Transfiguration is not about the remoteness of God, but about a promise that through the exodus of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we might with him shine, transfigured, with the blazing glory of God.
If we delight in shaming and punishing wrongdoers, we will not recognise the scandalous love and mercy revealed in Jesus, but instead find ourselves being harshly judged by an outraged condemning god who we have created in our own image.
The ways of God’s Kingdom are different to the ways of this world. One thing is needed, prioritising God’s ways, and when we get that right, all the other things follow.
Discerning the will of God is a skill that needs work if you want to develop it, whether as a community together or as individuals.
Election week sheds new light on how we can participate with Jesus in bringing satanic principalities and powers crashing down.
When we fear for our own safety, we condone the violence that promises to protect us, and we use religion to justify it, but Jesus wants to free us to rise above the fear without resorting to hatred and violence.
When we offer hospitality to, and accept hospitality from, anyone who comes – every sinner, wretch, reprobate, and wicked woman – we will encounter Christ and experience forgiveness.
Sometimes God has to kill off our hopes and destroy our faith structures in order to create space for new life and truth to arise among us.
The gospel of love and grace revealed by Jesus is always at risk of being distorted into a false gospel of ‘holy’ hostility.