These are a round-up of some things that have got me thinking this week.
I enjoyed this review by Patricia Farris of A Thicker Jesus: Incarnational Discipleship in a Secular Age. Stasson points to the need for a deeper, more engaged, more thoughtful- thicker- conception of Christ if we are going to meet the challenges of a complex and fast changing world. Rather than concentrate of structural or pragmatic missional solutions the book challenges us to better theological understanding and to learn from some of the more complex modern saints such as Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther King Jr, Dorothy Day, and Muriel Lester. Here’s a quote from the review. The book is on my reading list!
A Thicker Jesus requires pastors and church leaders to explore where, how, in what ways, and to what ends, God’s grace enters incarnationally into the midst of our hiding, into the midst of our lives, into the midst of our witness. This will empower the church, Stassen reveals, to meet the challenges of the secularism of the twenty-first century.
Tearfund’s Executive Team spent a day together praying for each other and speaking into each others lives. It was a deep and profound time and I am convinced that building these strong personal spiritual foundations with each other provide a strong foundation for our work together. One of the areas that I was challenged on was my individualism. It was an a lovely challenge that was encouraging me to build stronger team with others rather than think I had to work things out on my own. It was a small part of a long day but, as is often the case, it is one of the things that has endured from the day in my thinking and prayer life. So it was maybe no coincidence that I also came across ‘Not so Lone Christians’ which, inspired by the upcoming film, looks at the futility of taking the Lone Ranger as a model of Christian life and ministry. Ouch! I am sure that uncovering the reasons for my individualism will be a journey involving fear, pride, arrogance, repentance, grace and painful re-learning! It is great to have loving family, friends and colleagues to help me on the way. This is how the article ends:
Walking in faith is difficult; and while it will never be an easy and effortless road, we are not alone. If we make time to aid those around us, to listen to their cries and offer faithful reassurance, then we will have plenty of companions standing at the ready to return the favor when we struggle. This web of Christian companionship doesn’t stop there, either. Companions in Christ build an energized community eager to reach into dark corners and, like The Lone Ranger and Tonto, help bring justice into God’s world.
And my favourite quote of the week!
I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination. -Jimmy Dean