Are you a true worshipper?

I’m a hopeless romantic when it comes God. How would I describe my relationship with God? Or how I relate to him and how I see myself with Him?

Here’s an old and old-fashioned mushy song:

“I just want to be where You are dwelling daily in Your presence. I don’t want to worship from afar, draw me near to where You are.”

As the mystery of God unravels for me, when I realise He is at work, He is out there, in the trenches, fighting, saving, loving, restoring, giving, serving, this song has profound implications. When I realise He is dwelling in me, that I am His dwelling place, transforming and changing me with His love and that He lives in me and others, this song has profound implications in how I see God in me and God in the world.

I just want to be where You are is no longer a protected, sheltered compound they call church. It is out there, in the world, that grace that preserves the world and keeps it amidst all that threatens to tear everything to pieces. God is in His world, making things new. I just want to be where You are is no longer just serving a cloistered cluster of people and making it my life’s greatest goal and satisfaction. I just want to be where You are is stepping out into the dark world, walking with the Light, being part of the company of little lights to the world together with that big light.

What do I do to be where He His? Oh, more than I could ever imagine. And yet far lesser than the clumsy ambitions my poor imagination can conjure.

Being a worshipper, singing those romantic, self-defying, self-denying things. That’s dangerous guys. Very dangerous.

But that also brings us straight to the ever-present Help that is our God, that mighty arm that saves, that face that as image bearers we see.

As it becomes evident that the one we call God is not sitting in His throne at a distance soaking in the Hallelujahs of elders for strength and power (like a megalomaniac), as it becomes more evident that He is more like a Captain Kirk sitting on His seat at work with His friends, as it becomes evident even that He is in His planet earth working and being with people through His Spirit, we become transformed as to what “being with God” and “drawing near” means.

Being with Him is a serene, peaceful existence that surpasses all understanding: you keep having to give up the tyrannous anxiety of the distant future, for the lighter yoke that Jesus gives. And yet it is also means a lot of hard work keeping up with the Ultimate Worker, the Servant of All, the King of Kings. It means we see His pain, anguish, joy and love, and we share it with Him.

Being with Him, you learn to live in paradoxes like that. 

Love can save even the darkest souls

Love can save even the darkest souls.
– Snow, Ep 14 Season 6, Once Upon a Time

It’s episodes like these that I know why I watch Once Upon a Time. It reinforces and nails this repeated lesson into my heart. This, that love transforms us, it makes us new, makes us more fully ourselves. It doesn’t let us go scot free when we have messed up, letting us go our own way again the moment it meets us. It doesn’t leave us when we fail, and come back when we are fine. Love is very much in our dark nights as He is in our days. Love sits with us, and dines with us, and we with Him, if we lets Him. And He changes us, with love, in time. And that this is the resurrected (or as Elevation Worship aptly puts it, “resurrecting“) life. God is resurrecting us. Love itself, Grace itself, resurrects us.

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Christianity is much more about living and doing than thinking. As Thomas Aquinas, no Catholic lightweight, put it, Prius vita quam doctrina (“Life is prior to doctrines”).

Perfect spirituality is just to imitate God.

Excerpt From: “Immortal Diamond: The search for our true self” by Richard Rohr. Scribd.

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Joy, resurrection joy

Having the Watoto choir minister to your church on Easter morning is like having RESURRECTION proclaimed in the fullest measure. Bellowed into your ear, shouting into your eyes, exploding into your heart. Having Watoto choir sharing their lives with you is seeing Redemption in full force – you cannot look away. You cannot but realise that transformation has happened and is continuing to happen throughout the world as a result of the inclusive love of God and His invitation for the nations.

2,000 over years after the resurrection of Jesus, we see the magnified version of the continuing work of the God, after Jesus announced, “the Kingdom of God is here”, we see today it is here, and it is here to stay in increasing measure. I see the resurrection life evident in my fellow Christians from Uganda, and my heart is so filled with hope. There is hope.

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today we his friends died

At this point, Jesus was to them, (permanently,) dead. Pick up the pieces yourself. Game over.

The ghastly Friday where Jesus was stripped of all His earthly identity culminating in His death, must have been terrifying to watch. How did Jesus’ disciples feel?

As the weight of the experience of Jesus slowly sinks into my mind and throughout my busy day, I wonder. How did Jesus’ disciples take it? Did they even sleep?

They certainly shared in His suffering because of how their lives were intertwined. They had given up everything for Jesus and lived a carefree, happy life with Him. They could pluck grains to snack on on Sabbath and Jesus would tell off the Pharisees. They could get away with not doing the ablutions before meals, and Jesus would have their back. They drove away demons in His name. They survived a storm because Jesus calmed it. Things were really good with Him.

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Jesus, becoming obedient to death

Even though it is said that Jesus came to die, I often reflect it over and over in my mind that many things preceded His death. Many important things, preceded His death. His final hours were not an abrupt and neat death sentence, but a series of events when Jesus became increasingly emptied of Himself at every turn.

Jesus’ death was not only the giving up of His breath, it was the complete emptying of Himself.

At today’s Good Friday Tenebrae service, the reflections at Bangsar Lutheran Church led me to reflect on how Jesus’ earthly self was gradually stripped away as the evening went on.

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As Death hovers, where is our home?

God is not in the business of whisking His people away from an awful place (earth) into a faraway castle (heaven) to stay in. That’s a European fairy tale.

If heaven is our ultimate home, why do we need new, resurrected, physical bodies? If God is Creator and Lord of the heavens and the earth, why is our final home merely “Heaven”? Isn’t that, a downgrade, especially after all the hoo-ha about earth in Genesis 1? Wouldn’t it be a regression to see that after Jesus has brought about salvation on the cross, heaven is all we are looking forward to as our final home (after all the majesty and glory described to us about earth)? You mean to say, Jesus died just so we can get to heaven in the afterlife, and just stay there, only?

If life is a train ride that everyone is destined to hop off… then doesn’t that make death just a necessary albeit uncomfortable door to the final destination (presumably, heaven)? If our only concern is for our destination in the afterlife, then doesn’t that make death a lot more acceptable? If death is an acceptable and necessary doorway to heaven or hell, then… why did Jesus come to defeat death and destruction? Why was Jesus said to have triumphed over (sin and) death (1 Cor 15:55-57), if death is no biggie after all?

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