Tuesday, 30 September 2014

No border signs

October 2014

Imagine, in some remote corner of the world, driving past a sign that reads:

King Maritoba
sovereign ruler of Cantabamba
welcomes you to his kingdom

But, as you pull up in the next town you realise that there are many Cantabambians who don’t recognise King Maritoba’s authority at all.  They tell you they never take any notice of his laws, they deface his statue in the square and they won’t pay his taxes.   Their allegiance is to other rulers.

It’s a reminder that a kingdom is not always defined by border signs and colours on maps, Its extent is seen in the lives of people who are clearly under the king’s authority, who obey the rulers and submit to their laws, either out of fear or love.

So it is that although there are no border signs welcoming you to the kingdom of Jesus and no lines that could be drawn on a map, yet Jesus was not joking when he said that he was forming a kingdom as real as any state or empire that the world has seen, and that would one day eclipse them all.  This kingdom grows every time another person or family bows the knee to Jesus and begins to have a higher allegiance to his sovereign, loving rule than to any other power.

Jesus told many stories to teach about his kingdom.  Over four Thursday evenings I would like to invite you to come and hear some of these stories that tell us what kind of king Jesus is and why we need to reckon with the spread of his kingdom.  You will be very welcome whatever your views; there will be plenty of time for questions and discussion and we won’t assume you are familiar with Jesus’ teaching.

‘The King and I’   7.30pm-9.30pm on 9th & 23rd October, 6th & 20th November.

There is no charge but please book a place by contacting me.

Graham Burrows

Friday, 5 September 2014

The middle-man

September 2014

Margaret Thatcher once seemed synonymous with the Conservative Party.  She has gone but the Tories remain.  Who could have envisaged the English football team without David Beckham, or University Challenge without Bamber Gascoigne?  No doubt, in the future, some will live to see Virgin without Richard Branson or the Royal Family without Queen Elizabeth II.  But Jesus Christ has not been replaced and never will be.  The Christian faith could not continue to exist without him. 

Why not?

No-one is like him.  The apostle John said he had seen, heard and touched ‘the eternal life’.  He had realised that Jesus who became an ordinary-looking man, had also, for ever, been there with his Father.  Jesus alone is the origin of all life in this universe.  He alone is the God-man.

And no-one can do his job.  Jesus, the God-man, stands in the middle, hands outstretched, with God on one side and us on the other.  He has made it possible for us to approach the God who has no darkness anywhere in him.  We may think that we could walk into God’s front garden at any time but Jesus tells us straight that no-one can get access to his Father except through him.

Churchyards are full of the graves of so-called indispensable people who had to step aside for others.  But Jesus doesn’t step aside.  He really is indispensable; he could not stay in the grave. 

This is the Jesus we are telling you about – still alive, still the head of his Church, still the ruler of heaven and earth, and still standing in the middle as no-one else can – the God-man bringing people like you and me back into a relationship with his Father.

We’d love to tell you more.


Graham Burrows