Monthly Archives: April 2014

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Happy Zombie Jesus Day

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He is Risen but…

Is Jesus a zombie wizard who also knows kung fu???

The obvious answer to this question is, “NO, course not!”

The quote (Jesus is a zombie wizard who also knows kung fu) comes from a song called WWJD? by the band Axis of Awesome (if you are of a delicate mindset don’t listen to it, you won’t enjoy it, I love it but then again I have a very weird sense of humour). But it is a question that the church needs to address.

Is Jesus a undead sorcerer who can fly and do kung fu and shoot laser beams from his eyes and do ballet on Saturdays and just about anything else he wants to whenever he feels like it?

This is what a lot of society seem to think; it’s mainstream thought – Jesus is some kind of magic zombie, raised to life, not to eat our brains but, to show us how to do good things for other people and generally be nice.

But that is not what the resurrection is. We’ve lost the meaning; we’ve lost the mystery; we’ve lost the depth of what it truly is.

Now, as we all know strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government and a fairytale about a zombie with mystical powers is no basis for the founding of a religion. Nor should it be – if that is all we have then we may as well be the Church of Buffy or the Temple of Spike.

But that is not what we believe. At the very core of what we, as a church, believe is the fact that we serve a risen Lord; a resurrected Jesus, and the resurrection is far more than just a story; it’s bigger than a note on the page of history; it’s what makes Christianity so appealing to so many. It’s the living proof that a new start is possible.

That’s what resurrection is….but, you say;

“We’ve all seen Lord of the Rings – it’s that bit where Gandalf comes back as the White Wizard – that’s resurrection, isn’t it?”

“What about The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – Aslan and the broken stone table – that’s what it’s all about, I’m sure of it.”

Yes, in some way I suppose it is but it is also far more – Like Gandalf and Aslan, Jesus was seen by many people after that first Easter Sunday morning. Like the White Wizard and the friendly lion he also did some pretty cool things for a guy who had been dead for three days; they led armies and defeated Sauron and the wicked Queen, Jesus cooked breakfast and walked through walls (read the Gospels it’s all there, I’m not making this stuff up).

So yes, the resurrection is important; Jesus rose from the dead (we cannot stress the enormity of this enough) but many in the church aren’t sure exactly what that means.

For some it’s the simple (????) idea that Jesus rose from the dead – literally came back to life and was a walking, talking person again. No different from before except for a few nail holes.

For others it is more the idea of a spiritual resurrection, that he came back as some form of visible spirit, seen by many, able to speak and act as Jesus did. These are just two of loads of thoughts on what the resurrection is.

But what it is is nowhere near as important as what it means. Whatever you believe and however you perceive the resurrection, the stunning fact surrounding it is that Jesus is still knowable, we can still encounter Jesus and the power of the resurrection today. It’s all about a new start and the power to rebuild.

That’s the message of the resurrection. It’s the story of a new start. I love the resurrection because for me it sums up what the we, as the Church, are all about.

You see for me the Church is a place of resurrection, a place of new beginnings. The resurrection is a cosmic statement that no one is so far gone that they cannot be brought back. Even death cannot stop resurrection – that’s the Easter message. Not that Jesus is a Zombie wizard who may, or may not, know Kung Fu but that we are all offered the chance of a new start through the events of that first Easter Sunday morning.

I cannot tell you how many times I have seen this happen but I can tell you every time it is special, every time it is unique. And it never gets old.

I’ve seen the homeless person who finally realises that they have worth and that God loves them for who they are not what they think they should be – that’s resurrection!

I’ve seen the be-suited businessman too busy for God who finally sees that God isn’t too busy for him – that’s resurrection.

I’ve also seen the young person confused about who and what they are but, at last, understanding that God loves them anyway – that’s resurrection

I’ve been there and seen the old lady in hospital who, in recounting her life story to a newly ordained minister, sees the impact God has had on others through what she has done and weeps tears of joy – that’s resurrection.

I’ve witnessed the gay guy who hated God who, when he found his true love, realised that it wasn’t God who hated him at all, it was just some of his so called helpers – that’s resurrection – right there.

Or it may be one of millions of other people who find that God is not what they expected but exceeds all they ever thought – that’s resurrection.

If you are looking for a kung fu chopping, magic wielding zombie called Jesus – you won’t find him here but you will find an ever loving Christ who will not give up on you even when you give up on him.

Happy Easter and remember –

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF GOD TO RESURRECT!

Happy_Zombie_Jesus_Day_by_Thunder_Tomoko


  • 0

Happy Zombie Jesus Day

 

He is Risen but…

Is Jesus a zombie wizard who also knows kung fu???

The obvious answer to this question is, “NO, course not!”

The quote (Jesus is a zombie wizard who also knows kung fu) comes from a song called WWJD? by the band Axis of Awesome (if you are of a delicate mindset don’t listen to it, you won’t enjoy it, I love it but then again I have a very weird sense of humour). But it is a question that the church needs to address.

Is Jesus a undead sorcerer who can fly and do kung fu and shoot laser beams from his eyes and do ballet on Saturdays and just about anything else he wants to whenever he feels like it?

This is what a lot of society seem to think; it’s mainstream thought – Jesus is some kind of magic zombie, raised to life, not to eat our brains but, to show us how to do good things for other people and generally be nice.

But that is not what the resurrection is. We’ve lost the meaning; we’ve lost the mystery; we’ve lost the depth of what it truly is.

Now, as we all know strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government and a fairytale about a zombie with mystical powers is no basis for the founding of a religion. Nor should it be – if that is all we have then we may as well be the Church of Buffy or the Temple of Spike.

But that is not what we believe. At the very core of what we, as a church, believe is the fact that we serve a risen Lord; a resurrected Jesus, and the resurrection is far more than just a story; it’s bigger than a note on the page of history; it’s what makes Christianity so appealing to so many. It’s the living proof that a new start is possible.

That’s what resurrection is….but, you say;

“We’ve all seen Lord of the Rings – it’s that bit where Gandalf comes back as the White Wizard – that’s resurrection, isn’t it?”

“What about The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – Aslan and the broken stone table – that’s what it’s all about, I’m sure of it.”

Yes, in some way I suppose it is but it is also far more – Like Gandalf and Aslan, Jesus was seen by many people after that first Easter Sunday morning. Like the White Wizard and the friendly lion he also did some pretty cool things for a guy who had been dead for three days; they led armies and defeated Sauron and the wicked Queen, Jesus cooked breakfast and walked through walls (read the Gospels it’s all there, I’m not making this stuff up).

So yes, the resurrection is important; Jesus rose from the dead (we cannot stress the enormity of this enough) but many in the church aren’t sure exactly what that means.

For some it’s the simple (????) idea that Jesus rose from the dead – literally came back to life and was a walking, talking person again. No different from before except for a few nail holes.

For others it is more the idea of a spiritual resurrection, that he came back as some form of visible spirit, seen by many, able to speak and act as Jesus did. These are just two of loads of thoughts on what the resurrection is.

But what it is is nowhere near as important as what it means. Whatever you believe and however you perceive the resurrection, the stunning fact surrounding it is that Jesus is still knowable, we can still encounter Jesus and the power of the resurrection today. It’s all about a new start and the power to rebuild.

That’s the message of the resurrection. It’s the story of a new start. I love the resurrection because for me it sums up what the we, as the Church, are all about.

You see for me the Church is a place of resurrection, a place of new beginnings. The resurrection is a cosmic statement that no one is so far gone that they cannot be brought back. Even death cannot stop resurrection – that’s the Easter message. Not that Jesus is a Zombie wizard who may, or may not, know Kung Fu but that we are all offered the chance of a new start through the events of that first Easter Sunday morning.

I cannot tell you how many times I have seen this happen but I can tell you every time it is special, every time it is unique. And it never gets old.

I’ve seen the homeless person who finally realises that they have worth and that God loves them for who they are not what they think they should be – that’s resurrection!

I’ve seen the be-suited businessman too busy for God who finally sees that God isn’t too busy for him – that’s resurrection.

I’ve also seen the young person confused about who and what they are but, at last, understanding that God loves them anyway – that’s resurrection

I’ve been there and seen the old lady in hospital who, in recounting her life story to a newly ordained minister, sees the impact God has had on others through what she has done and weeps tears of joy – that’s resurrection.

I’ve witnessed the gay guy who hated God who, when he found his true love, realised that it wasn’t God who hated him at all, it was just some of his so called helpers – that’s resurrection – right there.

Or it may be one of millions of other people who find that God is not what they expected but exceeds all they ever thought – that’s resurrection.

If you are looking for a kung fu chopping, magic wielding zombie called Jesus – you won’t find him here but you will find an ever loving Christ who will not give up on you even when you give up on him.

Happy Easter and remember –

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF GOD TO RESURRECT!

 


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Mini blog

IMG_0134

More people would play bowls if they called it mega marbles

They would.

That’s it.

Nothing else to say.

This customer service message was brought to you by the Melbourne Welsh Church.


  • 0

Mini blog

 

More people would play bowls if they called it mega marbles

They would.

That’s it.

Nothing else to say.

This customer service message was brought to you by the Melbourne Welsh Church.


  • 0

Jesus cares more about relationships than rules

IMG_0135

Jesus cares more about relationships than rules.

The title for this blog is from a sermon by Rev David Hansen – I saw it on twitter and I found it very thought provoking. I must admit I haven’t heard the sermon. So in the tradition of pinching other peoples’ writing, I would like to add that all similarities to any actual sermon, living or dead, are totally coincidental.

We only really have four books that tell us of Jesus’ life. Thousands (maybe millions) of others have been written about those four books but Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (the Gospels) are the only real reference points we have. Looking through those books I don’t find Jesus sticking to the rules very often – he lets his disciples pick and eat corn on the Sabbath – that’s a no no: he heals people on the Sabbath – a HUGE no no: he talks to a woman by a well, without her husband there – NO, JESUS NO: she’s a Samaritan woman: REALLY NO JESUS, REALLY, REALLY NO!: he stops a crowd from stoning a sinner – who is this guy? It’s the law (and good fun)!!.

Let’s not talk about the hanging around with tax collectors (seriously Jesus what were you thinking???) and lepers (they are so unclean, have a bit of decorum, please!). We’ll skirt around the issue of prostitutes (see what I did there, clever wordplay eh?) and we’ll try not to mention the delicious irony of arguing with the religious, law-making elite (which was an illegal thing to do, apparently.)

Quite a few rules broken there and it seems that each time a rule is broken it is done so that Jesus can spend time with people who needed just that – time, and more importantly time with Jesus.

So what has changed in 2000 or so years? People still need time with Jesus. Why has what’s important gone from being human beings to rules and regulations? Why is it that we forget the people? And the first ones we forget are usual the marginalised, the poor, the outcasts – the ones who really can’t afford to be forgotten.

Jesus cares more about relationships than rules – read the Gospels – it’s blinding obvious.

I used to go to a church where you didn’t wear jeans in a Sunday – it was frowned upon by the church elders, as a consequence of this and other rules we had a nice, middle class church where no one rocked the boat, and no-one who wasn’t like us was welcome. We were safe, secure Christians and we didn’t bother God very much, and he certainly didn’t bother us. I went back there to preach a few years ago and, as it was a communion service, I issued the invitation to “all to come to the table” – the service was stopped as I was reminded by a stern faced elder that only, and I quote, “paying members have the privileged of coming to the Lord’s Table”. The worst part is he was serious!!! Church has become the local golf club, as long as you pay your subs you’re in, what happens when you can’t? Does God’s grace suddenly get turned off because you’ve hit a bit of a rough patch?

When did who is allowed to take the bread and wine at communion become more important than “let the children come to me and do not hinder them”? Why, in some places, are the church accounts more important than “if you do this for the least of these you do it for me”? Since when did who can come to a service become a higher church law than “love your neighbour as yourself”?

Jesus cares more about relationships than rules – read the Gospels – it’s blinding obvious.

I’m not saying we should dispense with rules and order altogether and have the Melbourne Welsh Church of Anarchy and Chaos; Jesus didn’t dispense with rules altogether – but when rules become more important to us than people I think we’re in dangerous waters, steering toward trouble. People still need to be given time and, more importantly, time with Jesus. Relationships are more important than rules.

A few weeks ago we had a combined church meeting where some legitimate concerns were raised about this blog and our Facebook page. One of the issues raised was that on our Facebook page “the Federal Government was denigrated as to the treatment of asylum seeks/illegal immigrants.”

It was a well made point. The question behind the comment, I think, was should the Church, indeed any church, be speaking on Party Political matters.

On more than one occasion I have brought up the Australian government’s treatment of asylum seekers and the Federal Government has been denigrated as to the treatment of asylum seeks/illegal immigrants.

Yes, it most certainly has and it will continue to be as long as it continues to break the International Convention on Human Rights. So will the Labour Party and the Greens and anyone else who does. The post was not meant to be party political but it certainly was political. I will slam anyone who mis-treats other human beings the way the Federal government is; if anyone can read the Gospels and tell me that Jesus would condone the what is going on in places like Manus Island and the way human beings are seen as political bargaining chips I, for one, would question their reading of the Gospel. These people are the Samaritans of today, hated by government and pushed to one side and I don’t remember Jesus avoiding the Samaritans. In fact he broke long standing rules just to make time for them. People still need to be given time and, more importantly, time with Jesus.

Jesus cares more about relationships than rules – read the Gospels – it’s blinding obvious.

Relationships ARE more important than rules – being church is about building community through relationships with all sorts of different people. It’s what Jesus did and it’s what we should do. After all everybody has a story to tell and everyone has a place in the Kingdom of God, Jesus never forgot that – neither should we!!!


  • 0

Jesus cares more about relationships than rules

 

Jesus cares more about relationships than rules.

The title for this blog is from a sermon by Rev David Hansen – I saw it on twitter and I found it very thought provoking. I must admit I haven’t heard the sermon. So in the tradition of pinching other peoples’ writing, I would like to add that all similarities to any actual sermon, living or dead, are totally coincidental.

We only really have four books that tell us of Jesus’ life. Thousands (maybe millions) of others have been written about those four books but Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (the Gospels) are the only real reference points we have. Looking through those books I don’t find Jesus sticking to the rules very often – he lets his disciples pick and eat corn on the Sabbath – that’s a no no: he heals people on the Sabbath – a HUGE no no: he talks to a woman by a well, without her husband there – NO, JESUS NO: she’s a Samaritan woman: REALLY NO JESUS, REALLY, REALLY NO!: he stops a crowd from stoning a sinner – who is this guy? It’s the law (and good fun)!!.

Let’s not talk about the hanging around with tax collectors (seriously Jesus what were you thinking???) and lepers (they are so unclean, have a bit of decorum, please!). We’ll skirt around the issue of prostitutes (see what I did there, clever wordplay eh?) and we’ll try not to mention the delicious irony of arguing with the religious, law-making elite (which was an illegal thing to do, apparently.)

Quite a few rules broken there and it seems that each time a rule is broken it is done so that Jesus can spend time with people who needed just that – time, and more importantly time with Jesus.

So what has changed in 2000 or so years? People still need time with Jesus. Why has what’s important gone from being human beings to rules and regulations? Why is it that we forget the people? And the first ones we forget are usual the marginalised, the poor, the outcasts – the ones who really can’t afford to be forgotten.

Jesus cares more about relationships than rules – read the Gospels – it’s blinding obvious.

I used to go to a church where you didn’t wear jeans in a Sunday – it was frowned upon by the church elders, as a consequence of this and other rules we had a nice, middle class church where no one rocked the boat, and no-one who wasn’t like us was welcome. We were safe, secure Christians and we didn’t bother God very much, and he certainly didn’t bother us. I went back there to preach a few years ago and, as it was a communion service, I issued the invitation to “all to come to the table” – the service was stopped as I was reminded by a stern faced elder that only, and I quote, “paying members have the privileged of coming to the Lord’s Table”. The worst part is he was serious!!! Church has become the local golf club, as long as you pay your subs you’re in, what happens when you can’t? Does God’s grace suddenly get turned off because you’ve hit a bit of a rough patch?

When did who is allowed to take the bread and wine at communion become more important than “let the children come to me and do not hinder them”? Why, in some places, are the church accounts more important than “if you do this for the least of these you do it for me”? Since when did who can come to a service become a higher church law than “love your neighbour as yourself”?

Jesus cares more about relationships than rules – read the Gospels – it’s blinding obvious.

I’m not saying we should dispense with rules and order altogether and have the Melbourne Welsh Church of Anarchy and Chaos; Jesus didn’t dispense with rules altogether – but when rules become more important to us than people I think we’re in dangerous waters, steering toward trouble. People still need to be given time and, more importantly, time with Jesus. Relationships are more important than rules.

A few weeks ago we had a combined church meeting where some legitimate concerns were raised about this blog and our Facebook page. One of the issues raised was that on our Facebook page “the Federal Government was denigrated as to the treatment of asylum seeks/illegal immigrants.”

It was a well made point. The question behind the comment, I think, was should the Church, indeed any church, be speaking on Party Political matters.

On more than one occasion I have brought up the Australian government’s treatment of asylum seekers and the Federal Government has been denigrated as to the treatment of asylum seeks/illegal immigrants.

Yes, it most certainly has and it will continue to be as long as it continues to break the International Convention on Human Rights. So will the Labour Party and the Greens and anyone else who does. The post was not meant to be party political but it certainly was political. I will slam anyone who mis-treats other human beings the way the Federal government is; if anyone can read the Gospels and tell me that Jesus would condone the what is going on in places like Manus Island and the way human beings are seen as political bargaining chips I, for one, would question their reading of the Gospel. These people are the Samaritans of today, hated by government and pushed to one side and I don’t remember Jesus avoiding the Samaritans. In fact he broke long standing rules just to make time for them. People still need to be given time and, more importantly, time with Jesus.

Jesus cares more about relationships than rules – read the Gospels – it’s blinding obvious.

Relationships ARE more important than rules – being church is about building community through relationships with all sorts of different people. It’s what Jesus did and it’s what we should do. After all everybody has a story to tell and everyone has a place in the Kingdom of God, Jesus never forgot that – neither should we!!!


Upcoming Events

Dec
23
Sun
11:00 am NATIVITY SERVICE
NATIVITY SERVICE
Dec 23 @ 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
FOLLOWED BY A VISIT FROM SANTA AND A CHRISTMAS LUNCH
Jan
27
Sun
10:00 am CHURCH PICNIC
CHURCH PICNIC
Jan 27 @ 10:00 am – 3:30 pm
 
Mar
3
Sun
3:00 pm 2019 St. David’s Day Gymanfa Ganu
2019 St. David’s Day Gymanfa Ganu
Mar 3 @ 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm
A wonderful afternoon of traditional hymns and music held at St. Michael’s U.C. on the corner of Collins and Russell Streets. Features the Blue Ribbon winner from the 2018 National Eisteddfod of Wales, Andrew P.