Archive for the ‘Essentials Blue’ Category

“For: The Institute of Contemporary and Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephens University, Essentials Blue Online Worship Theology Course with Dan Wilt.”

The theological phrase the “Kingdom of God” has been pushed out of its original shape in my mind because of my readings this week.  My interest was especially piqued by Jesus’ words “The Kingdom of God is at hand” that N.T. Wright speaks of in Simply Christian, p.85. I had always considered these words as meaning God’s Kingdom is nearly here, it is yet to come.  We may see glimpses but it is a weakened version at times of what will one day be.  Yet, as I read the text, I felt that perhaps the meaning was much deeper than this.  If something is at hand, it is there, ready to be touched, tapped into, and used.  I don’t often live in this reality.  I pray for God’s Kingdom to come but it is here already in part and in power.  I want to live in that truth more and more and tap into what God has brought to us here and now in his son Jesus.

The theological idea I believe has the most importance for the next 10-20 years is that of God as King.  I find it difficult to behave as a subject under the reign of a sovereign king – I know for myself, I enjoy sitting on the throne of my own life, having total control.  As I read the material, I was again challenged to ask the deep question “if God is my King, what does that look like for me?”

I am challenged most by the notion of God as King.  I don’t struggle so much with knowing God saved me and living out of this truth.  Yet to say He is King means to surrender to His sovereign control over all things, to defer to His judgement, to worship Him, to speak my allegiance and live out of that allegiance in all things.  Can I do that?  Do I truly understand what it means to do that?

I remember as a child at school having to recite the following at weekly school assemblies:

“I love God and my country, I honour the flag, I serve the Queen and cheerfully obey my parents, teachers and the law.” 

No longer are these words spoken at school.  Our focus on allegiance on God and on a Queen/King has dissipated.  What does allegiance to God as my King look like – would it be obvious to others that I serve a risen King who came to save all of humanity?

I am always challenged, each time I engage in the worship experience, whether that be in song or in prayer or in quiet times, to behave as if I could see Jesus.  It is the biggest challenge for me – would I behave any differently if Jesus were here in the flesh?  Would I pray differently, would I worship differently if the King of my life and the King of this universe were standing before me and I could reach out and touch Him?  We would do well to think about this because I know I often attend church and behave as if God is not present.

N.T. Wright. Simply Christian. (London: SPCK, 2006) p. 85.


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“For: The Institute of Contemporary and Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephens University, Essentials Blue Online Worship Theology Course with Dan Wilt.”

N.T. Wright speaks of the four echoes of God in the world. The echo that most resonates with me as evidence of God’s reality is relationship. In a moment in time we began, in the mind of God, because He desired to be in relationship with us. From the instant we are born and take our first breath, we are invited into relationship with our parents and also with others. It is within the context of relationship that we glimpse God’s heart of love and of mercy. Because of our fragile state on this earth, we know in part what it is to love and to be loved. We know what it is to belong and also to be rescued from our own frailties.

I am always drawn and moved by songs that are about the character of God and His thoughts toward me and all of humanity. Songs like “Breathe” by Marie Barnett, remind me of my deep need of God and also that He has given me the life I live, the breath I breathe. Brooke Fraser’s “Hymn” also brings me back to the truth that God longs for me to dwell where He dwells and to have Him dwell in me. I can so easily live my life in a self-sufficient manner and worship songs that call to mind the need in me for God cause me to stop and again humbly submit to Him in relationship.

There tends though to be a greater focus on celebrating creation and worshiping God’s majesty, celebrating relationship with God and also that God would “open the eyes of our heart” so that we may see more of Him and know more of Him. The aspect or echo of justice is not so prominent in my own worship time or even in the corporate church worship setting I belong to. Do we shy away from justice and singing about this aspect of God because it is the echo that eludes us more? It can matter to us but is perhaps less tangible because we see less evidence of it in society. This is certainly something I would like to ponder more as the weeks go on as I read more and interact more with the experiences of others during Essentials Blue.

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