Saturday 10 January 2009

John Stevens on Israel and this blog

Hi Chris,

Very good Christmas break. Much fun and a couple of crises - a normal dysfunctional festival!

Have you ever walked down a typical suburban road and seen how every so often a household can get the front garden and house 'just right', others try, it's all there but just doesn't hum, and others have weeds and rusty bikes where others have begonias and lawns. This is a meandering attempt to comploimat you on your website! It's just pleasnt on the eye and easy to roam around.

I'm tempted to join in the Israel stuff. I'm three days away from a sermon on Israel - or more specifically Jesus the King of Isarel. Probably with Mt21 as the centre of gravity. I'd pretty well commited myself on this track days before Gaza kicked off and Anne Franks diaries was broadcast.

It sees that the bible is up to its old tricks on Israel. Enigmatic, a tantalising brew of allegory and multi-level revelation let alone multi-fulfilment prophetic utterances. And that's just Jesus and his proclamations about the impending doom facing Israel and fulfilled in AD70 which seem also to have built-in eschtological truths!

It's the usual 'word of God, living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword able to divide between soul and spirit...' It divides for example between Israel and Israel. Not all Israel is of Israel. Sons of promise v physical descendents. But this has always been the case since Abraham's day. Real judgement.

I've been trying to look at the Jewish people through the eyes of the King of Israel. The cry of Jesus is emotion 'how I have longed to gather you together like a hen with chcks but you would not...'. The whole point of the cross and resurrection is new hope. A demonstration of a love that will not let go. The King will not abandon His people. He will shepherd them even through the centuries of diaspora. And even if the present state of Israel isn't the political entity that welcomes its returning King, He will shepherd them through this. But He is faithful and still longs to gather His people. That some of the physical descendants won't put their faith in Him 'will not have this man to be king over us' in the end is their look out. A long time ago Jesus transferred the kingdom from 'you (ponting to the Pharisees who'd just turned up for another pasting from the King) to a new nation (pointing to the tax collecting and sinning Jewish believers)'.

In being faithful the King of Israel has become the light to the Gentiles - and here we are! But I do see a future for an Israel that the world has never seen. It'll be something like David's crew from the cave at Adullum. The ones in trouble, in debt, the fearful, and the rich, the well to do, the strong, who are willing to give and give again, who recognised that David was the anointed King and would bring about a new kindom rule. Just how Jesus will accomplish this is a mystery. But when Jesus said 'it is accomplished' this is definitely one of those multi-level statements. So many riches were bundled into those few words.

Right now, in Israel, the King is gathering new disciples. His church is small and (full of Level this and Level that!!) and I don't know whether they all resalise the drama that's unfolding or the depth of hope at stake. But one day something dramatic is going to be heard. The father will hear them saying 'blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord' then He will send Jesus, the King of Israel, the Son of David. What happens then, trumpets, resurrection meets mortality, creation is liberated, sons of God revealed in glory - who knows. Maybe we've exceeded the limitations of language at this point? Milleniums and eternity. I've read all the of theories. And finally the apostles question 'is it at this time that you will restore the kingdom to Israel?' will be answered.

Just as you've rumbled (discerned) the difference between Level 2 and 3 and are busy exploring, seeking others, provoking a new thinking etc. Typical. Jesus gathering a new kingdom out of public and largely church gaze. Your website could have the hallmarks of a 21st century cave of Adullam. Wow what it must have been like. Close to David. Weak yet strong. Off stage but centre stage.

Ah well into 2009 we plunge!


ps having complimented your website I couldn't work the link to your music. Is there a way of navigating direct from your website?
(Chris asks: Have any others had the same trouble as John?
As for Adullams's cave I think a lot of our blogs viewed as a unit, could be viewed in this way.)

1 comment:

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

I've never been comploimatted before. It didn't hurt much. Actually quite enjoyed it.