Skip to main content

God Involved. God estranged.

This is the first of five posts this week in a series God in the present tense, designed to tell the story of God and his people.

Some paint a picture of a distant god who might ‘spiritually’ be with us but who will finally dwell in heaven while we dwell on a peaceful earth. Others say the physical is evil and so god is disinterested in us. And others suggest that if god did come near it would evidently be to smite us and therefore he should be disbelieved.

The Bible tells a different story.

Before the beginning, the Son is present with his Father, given love and glory . They know and enjoy one another’s presence before anything is made, before anything else they know us and give us grace . Against this backdrop God comes into the dark, empty and formless world, announcing his presence in person as the ‘Light’ to spread beams of love into his world and divide the darkness.

God takes man out of the dust and put him in his garden. The Father and Son and Spirit were never alone, and so it is not good for man to be alone . He must have a bride, just as the Son will have a bride. Together they are sent to fill the whole of God’s good world , to cultivate a global Eden, a temple in which they will enjoy intimacy with one another and with God. God involved, personally.

They live together with God, without shame , until the serpent leads them astray from their pure devotion to Christ , and they turn on one another and hide from the face of the Word who walks in the garden. They sought to be like God on their own terms instead of receiving from him. Even as they hide he seeks them , before sending them away from his face back to the dust , barring the way to the mountain with the swords of angels . Cain will be driven further from the presence of God. God-estranged.


Popular posts from this blog

"Big eyes full of wonder"

Books. Fiction. Libraries. Second only to churches as are the best gateways in your community to ultimate reality and new possibilities.

Our local library has just re-opened after refurbishment, and I love that our boys have spent several mornings there during the summer holidays, discovering some wonderful new stories.

I realised a few months back that I wasn't reading enough fiction. My work necessitates reading a lot of non-fiction, a mix of historical and contemporary thinking, biblical studies and theology. But fiction is the cinderella. Easily overlooked, and yet able to awaken my imagination and show me the way things are meant to be.

So I've picked up a few more lately - bought and borrowed. Not every book attempted flies, and that's ok. These have been winners though.

Ink. This is Alice Broadway's debut novel. It's young adult fiction and tells the story of Leora who lives in a world where the events of your life are tattooed on your skin. Nothing gets hid…

Uniquely Matthew

Reading gospel accounts in parallel is sometimes used to blur the differences in perspective between the evangelists, seeking to harmonise the texts and find a definitive historical account of what happened. No such thing exists because every account is biased and limited. You simply can't record everything. You have to hold a vantage point. And that's not a problem.

Matthew, Mark and Luke take a very different vantage point to John who was of course an eyewitness himself of the events. Comparing the text of Matthew, Mark and Luke across the death and resurrection of Jesus yields two steps.

Firstly, the common ground. All three accounts tell of...
Simon of Cyrene carrying the cross…. · Jesus labelled as King of the Jews…. · Criminals crucified with Jesus… · Darkness in the daytime… · Jesus' loud final cry… The women who witnessed Jesus death, and Jesus' burial… · The tomb lent to Jesus by Joseph of Arimithea… · The women who went to the tomb on the morning of the…

Songs we're singing in Church

Christians are a singing people, it's part of what we do when we gather.

Our church meets morning an evening on a Sunday - normally using 5 songs in each service. So, over the year that's about 520 song-slots available. The report from the database system we use ( tells us that in the past year we've sung about 150 different songs.

Our current most used song has been sung 11 times in the last year, just under once a month. Our top 10 are used about every 6 weeks. By #30 we're talking about songs used every two months. The tail is long and includes loads of classic hymns from across the centuries, plus other songs from the past 40 years, that we have used around once a term or less.

1. Rejoice - Dustin Kensrue

2. Come Praise & Glorify - Bob Kauflin

3. Man of Sorrows - Hillsong

4. Cornerstone - Hillsong

Rejoice was a song I didn't previously know, along with a couple of others that have quickly become firm favourites for me: Chri…