Skip to main content

Beyond Necessity 1: A window into the heart


For some the hero is Napoleon or Churchill, or a sporting superstar. I find myself inspired by the story of Steve Jobs. I love the combination of passion for beauty combined with high level engineering that Jobs' Apple represent. And perhaps he's just the genius who could make it happen but I'm intruiged.

When Jobs died Walter Isaacson's biography was published. How do you turn an enormous book into a film? That's the job of The West Wing and The Social Network writer Aaron Sorkin. Up there on my list of inspirational people too for the Walk and Talk scenes and characters in The West Wing.

Sorkins approach has been to build his film around the launch moments. Get a window into the man by catching his mindset and his heart around those high pressure moments. I can't wait for the film.

What about a window in to the heart of Jesus?

I know that Jesus provides. His Father in heaven clothes the flowers and counts the hairs on my head. I have no grounds for anxiety. But when life gets bumpy thats how I feel.

I shared this with a wise friend some months ago and he said it sounds like you’re trying to carry the people in your life on your shoulders, and that’s hard work. Imagine instead if you were running a three-legged race with the people around you. It’d be clumsy and messy but a whole lot less stressful. Pondering Jesus I don’t just see him, I get a window into my own heart.

As John shows us the launch of JesusTM, its low key. Films are launched in London - unless you're Alan Partridge in which case there is good reason to launch in Norwich. This is in a little town in Galilee. Yet this account has crossed into our culture. Any church wedding includes the phrase “Jesus attended a Wedding at Cana” and the story of Jesus turning “water into wine” is one of his better known miracles. Few would put the two together, and less know the significance John draws from it.

A brief word on miracles. 
The biographies of Jesus record him doing miracles. If you’ve grown up in the West that might be troubling. We assume that this world is all there is. Suppose you had always lived in a sports hall (like the one our church meets in). One day someone comes in saying they’ve come from Exeter. With them an iPhone, Credit Card, a Crankhouse Coffee. You might examine the devices and coffee and find them extraordinary to your experience of life. What it all means is a question of whether the person seems credible. John marks miracles as signposts. He says: this isn’t normal. And he asks us what they point to.

John asks: What do I make of this Jesus?

Two headings as we approach this account - continued in the next two posts.

Image - from UCCF Uncover John


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…