The two weeks of prayer and fasting with which we began the year have been a real high light for me. It was so good to set time apart to pray and listen to God with others from Christ Church who carry a longing and desire for us as a church to be responsive and attentive to what God is saying to us. What stands out for me was a word that God gave us right at the start of the two weeks. In fact it was two words:
Respectability (NO) and Authenticity (YES) … don’t try to be respectable and allow fear of what people think and say determine how we act, but be dangerously real open, transparent and vulnerable. That puts you in a place were I can use you and my power can be released in you.
This stayed with us as we continued through the two weeks. God spoke about stripping away the outward stuff and getting to an inner place of surrender. He spoke about us allowing hardened hearts to be softened. As a well resourced church we can be easily tempted into putting our trust in the resources we have; the money, the skills, teaching material and know how. More than that we are easily tempted to believe that the resources we have are the answer to the challenges others have. And very often they might believe the same and express it in different ways and so reinforce this lie we have drifted into believing.
We have a vision and sense that God is calling us to share generously and humbly with others. This is partly expressed by the plans to develop a youth resource hub. But we have to ask what it is that we are to share? What are we going to pass on to others? While this must include material resources it has got to be more than that. The resources we have will not bring salvation, change lives, transform communities, and heal people and families. The treasure we have to share is “Christ in us the hope of glory” (Col 1:27).
And we have this treasure, Paul reminds us (2 Cor 4:7) “in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us”.
In the words of a Leonard Cohen song from way back when, “It is the cracks that let the light in”.
So Amen and Amen. NO to respectability – don’t glaze over the cracks. And YES to authenticity – be real and vulnerable owning our weaknesses and failures. That will let the real treasure be seen. That will transform and heal.
Pressing on …
Duncan(Author: Duncan Mclea)
The SA Church Leaders Indaba
SACL Indaba 22-24 Jan 2013 (Author: Duncan Mclea)
Sermon Preached at the Consecration of Margaret Vertue Ezek 3:4-11, Psa 23, Acts 4:8-13, Matt 16:13-
19th January 2013 - Stellenbosch (Author: Duncan Mclea)
I believe in the resurrection of the body
Easter Sermon at Christ Church looking at the last line of the Creed - I believe in the resurrection of the body and the life of the world to come. (Author: Duncan Mclea)
'A year of God's faithfulness'
Duncan's annual report to the Christ Church Annual Meeting and to Parish Vestry (Author: Duncan Mclea)
Andrew Murray - a life God used
Talk given at New Wine on 25th February 2012 (Author: Duncan Mclea)
What does the Bible say about women being in leadership in the church?
A reply to an email from my daughter asking about why women don't keep silent in church. (Author: Duncan Mclea)
Two weeks of prayer and fasting
No to respectability and yes to courageous authenticity. Various extracts taken from the two weeks of prayer and fasting. (Author: Duncan Mclea)
Sunday Services - Half Time Team Talk
If being missional is our organizing principle what will Sunday services look like? (Author: Duncan Mclea)
Duncan’s Diary 2011-06-01 “Parish Vestry 2011”
An update on the Parish Vestry Meeting held on 31 May 2011 (Author: Duncan Mclea)
Duncan's Diary Archive
An Archive of Duncan's Blog Articles (Author: Stephen Hofmeyr)
Duncan's Diary 2011-05-14
There is no doubt that the six churches of the Parish, along with the Warehouse, have huge potential to impact the communities and the city of which we are part with the good news of Jesus ... (Author: Duncan Mclea)
Duncan's Annual Report 2011
The text of my report to the church meeting on 12th April 2011 (Author: Duncan Mclea)
“… who are growing maturing disciples”
My sermon preached at Christ Church on 30th January 2011 Phil 37-14 (Author: Duncan Mclea)
List of Duncan's Diary Entries (Author: Duncan Mclea)
Growing maturing disciples ...
My sermon preached at Christ Church on 23rd January 2011. Ephesians 4:11-16, Matthew 28:16-20 (Author: Duncan Mclea)
Worship - the best thing we can do in 2011
On Christmas Day I concluded our sermon series on Revelation. (Author: Duncan Mclea)
Looking ahead to 2011
This is an edited version of what I said at the Christ Church church meeting on 23rd November 2010 (Author: Duncan Mclea)
Running through Wynberg Boys High
DD blog on 11 Nov 2010 (Author: Duncan Mclea)
Some reflections on Lausanne
DD blog on 31 Oct 2010 (Author: Duncan Mclea)