Wednesday, 15 April 2009

A final thought

Give out a thought and an image:
Our final thought is the video below. Our grand hope is that in some small way this lent blog has helped to bring a little 're-creation' to the way things are heading. Our grand belief is that our faith contains the potential to reimagine and reshape our world. Keep dreaming!

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

A great community

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Prayer as Community from 24-7 Prayer on Vimeo.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

shalom - four -

We're so sorry that we've missed the last week of the blog. We were at a conference with limited internet access. Over the next few days we'll post our remaining images/ thoughts etc.

Give out an image:

Give out a thought:

Indeed there are many ways of compromising God's will for shalom.

One way that the community can say "no" to the vision and live without shalom is by deceiving itself into thinking that its private arrangements of injustice and exploitation are suitable ways of living...

 The prophets persistently criticized and polemicized against those well-off and powerful ones who legitimized their selfish prosperity and deceived themselves into thinking this was permanent. The prophetic vision of shalom stands against all private arrangements, all "seperate peaces," all ghettos, that pretend the others are not there...

A second way of perverting the vision is to take a short term view...

A third way of abusing God's will for shalom is to credit certain props as sources of life - for example, to idolize political or religious furniture and prentend it is the power of God. (Brueggemann)

Friday, 3 April 2009

shalom - three -

Peacemakers must remember that the shalom of a community will depend on its willingness to face economic questions. Justice and peace are interrelated. The absence of shalom in the Old Testament is signified by poverty, economic injustice, and political oppression. Shalom, on the other hand, is signified by the social harmony where there is no oppression in any form (Isaiah 54:13-14; Jeremiah 32:16-17)

Thursday, 2 April 2009

shalom - one an two -

sorry, yesterday was manic and didn't get round to posting so here's two thoughts today.

Give out a thought:
Shalom has often been interpreted as peace. Yet its meaning is so much richer, deeper and wider than that.
Biblical peace, shalom, refers first of all to well-being and material prosperity... Second, peace refers to just relationships... Third... moral integrity. (Alan Kreider)

From this material meaning of shalom, which dominates in the Hebrew Bible, we need to carefully note two things. First, since in English we often use peace to refer either to relationships between people or to an inner state of mind, we must underline the fact that contrary to the English meaning of peace, shalom in the Hebrew Bible refers primarily to a physical state of well-being, to things being as they ought to be in the material world. Shalom is marked by the presence of physical well-being and by the absence of physical threats like war, disease, and famine.

Second, we must stress that shalom is a positive idea. It points to the presence of something like well-being of health, rather than having mainly a negative focus like English peace which points to the absence of something like war. This is important, because in English we tend to define peace as the absence of something: turmoil, distress, or war; rather than the positive presence of things as they should be. This can result in a notion that peacemakers are passive, avoiding conflict and struggle. On the contrary, shalom making is being for something - for a new situation in which people are all right with their material needs being met. In this light, peacemaking as shalom making is striving so that those who do not now enjoy material shalom and physical well-being can do so. (Perry Yoder)

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Tuesday, 31 March 2009

difficult places - where do we find peace?

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Give out an action:
Place something beautiful somewhere you consider challenging - it could be a physical space, a relational space, or a symbolic space. Thank God that he is already at work in that place and that as you seek reconciliation there, you will also be reconciled.

Give out a thought:
Judah finds itself in exile in Babylon, this is bad news. Babylon is considered the antithesis of Jerusalem. It is corrupt at its core. 'How can we sing the songs of Zion in this strange land?' the Jews complain. Yet, one poet/prophet comes along. One of their own who not only suggests that they can, but that their sense of well-being, justice and morality will only be re-ignited as they seek the same for their captors.

'But seek the shalom of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its shalom you will find your shalom.'... (Jeremiah 29)

And the speaker for the vision dares to say, "Your shalom will be found in Babylon's shalom." The well-being of the chosen ones is tied to the well-being of that hated metropolis, which the chosen people fear and resent. It is profound and disturbing to discover that this remarkable religious vision will have to be actualized in the civil community. (Walter Brueggemann)

Monday, 30 March 2009

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Give out a thought and an action:

The following is an adaptation of the Holy City in Revelation written for Glasgow by Rev. Doug Gay. Read it through, meditate upon it and then you may wish to re-write it for your neighbourhood or city.

I saw a vision – It was last Thursday at eleven o’clock in the morning.

I was standing on the Necropolis, looking down over the city

            and the cold blue autumn sky broke open over my head

            and the Spirit of God breathed on my eyes, and my eyes were opened:


I saw Glasgow, the holy city, coming down out of heaven

            shining like a rare jewel, sparkling like clear water in the eye of the sun

            and all the sickness was gone from the city

            and there were no more suburbs and schemes

            no difference between Bearsden and Drumchapel.


I saw the Clyde running with the water of life

            as bright as crystal

            as clear as glass

            the children of Glasgow swimming in it.


And the Spirit showed me the tree of life

            growing on Glasgow Green.


I looked out and there were no more homeless people

            there were no women working the streets

            there were no more junkies up the closes

            HIV and AIDS were things of the past

            there were no more racist attacks

            no more attacks on gay people

            no more rapists

            no more stabbings

            no more Protestants and Catholics

            no more IRA graffiti, no more Orange marches

            because there was no more hate

            and I saw women walking safe at nights

            and the men were full of passion and gentleness

            and none of the children were ever abused

            because the people’s sex was full of justice and joy.


I saw an old woman throw back her head

            and laugh like a young girl

and when the sky closed back her laughter rang in my head

            for days and days

            and would not go away.


This is what I saw, looking over the Gallowgate,

Looking up from the city of death

and I knew then that there would be a day of resurrection

and I believe that there will be a day of resurrection.