Through the Bible in a Year – January 29

The Scheme for January and February can be found here

Job 10-12; Acts 4; Psalm 37:20-40

Over and over again we are staggered by the Life present in the church in Acts. I am privileged to be one of the founder members of a community which to this day sees such evidence of life. The disciples live without fear in the face of opposition to faith which is frankly unknown to most of us. But the opposition and the lack of fear have the same root, the presence of Christ amongst his people . . . something which we speak of, but which the quiet carefulness of our Christian lives, the agonized strategising of our church bodies denies.

Dare we with the apostles pray for boldness?

Soren Kierkegaard, the Danish prophet of our age saw our problem only too well – that we are all engaged in idle reflection, rather than risky commitment. Our commitments are to ideas, not to Life. Would we know the life of Christ present among us? Would we know once more a church which turns the world upside down? Then we too must commit to one another, our brothers and sisters in Christ. Only in this radical interdependence is is Life known . . . ‘the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul . . . and great grace was upon them all’

Through the Bible in a Year – January 27

The Scheme for January and February can be found here

Job 6-7; Acts 2; Psalm 36

As has often been pointed out, the events of the day of Pentecost reverse the effects of that old deep story of Babel [Genesis 10]. Now diversity of language is given to the apostles that with one voice they proclaim God’s deeds of power, that the many might be one . . . as He had prayed. And so it came to pass and from diverse nations a new people, born ‘not of blood, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of a man,’ but born of God. And as God is one so the people formed are one. ‘All who believed were together and had all things in common . . . day by day they spent much time together in the temple and broke bread at home’

As the Word became flesh and tabernacled amongst us – so the Spirit dwells in this new community, the body of Christ. ‘And day by day, the Lord added to their number those who were being saved’

The greatest contradiction of the Gospel, the scandal of the modern church in the West, is that we have not repented of the radical individualism of Babel. We refuse to be one. This in the end, not our fragmented theological differences, is our Unbelief.