Skip to main content

What story does your CV tell?

What qualifies as a good use of the years between 17 and 30?
What's my story in those years? I finished school, became a Christian, got a degree (just), worked for a dotcom  startup, did an internship, held down a job for 9 years, got married, got a mortgage, and become a father. Not bad by most estimates, though not quite the kind of story my University Alumni magazine is ever likely to publish (not enough money involved!).

How about Joseph?. At 17, clothed in splendour, his father sent his beloved son to his brothers who made him the victim of an attempted murder, sold him into slavery, reporting him as dead, and the spent his 20s in slavery and prison for an offence he didn't commit. At 28 it looked like he'd get his break for freedom but he languished a further two years in obscurity before finally at the age of 30 our Joe got his SuBo moment.

Genesis 41:37-57 tells the story.

He was recognised by the Pharaoh as having the Spirit of God within him (the first time we're told that happened to anyone) and to be full of wisdom. He was set over the kingdom, sovereign over everything. He's given a new name 'Zaphenath-paneah'- the treasury of glory, revealer of secrets or even the Saviour of the World. He stored up abundance for the world. Got married had two sons (between the age of 30 and 37) whom he named to reflect his experience. They testified that though he was fruitful it had come through affliction and hardship that was now behind him, blotted out. Then, the Pharaoh told the whole cursed world (struck by famine) to go to him. And he fed the world.

Fruitful through affliction, a true suffering servant.
Vindicated after hardship, a true type of Christ.
Full of the Spirit and wisdom, a true son of God.
And Joseph, like he one he foreshadowed, has abundance of food for the famished, abundance of blessing for the cursed, abundance of life for the dead. His people surely are called to the same path, which questions how it's by prosperity that I easily remember when I reflect on my life....

What I forget is.... that as seventeen year old middle-class kid I was among the famished, in a famine of the word of God, following the prince of the air and living as a child of wrath having born to Adam's cursed people. The years I've lived through have seen Christ's suffering appropriated for me, my testimony know - the years have been kind thus far, but Christ has been much more kind, his gospel is my life, in times of plenty and want. And as I've been drawn to him, to he who has the words of eternal life (for where else could I go?), I've become a child of a new humanity, given a whole new life, my old life blotted out - as Joseph's hardships were in his vindication. And all of it out of the riches of Christ's love, his Father's love and the power of the Holy Spirit - who was poured out upon Christ and so upon me!


  1. Brilliant! The last part was almost poetic :-)

  2. Poetic being a good thing, right?

  3. Of course! The Psalms are pretty poetic, after all.


Post a Comment

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…