Sunday, 19 June 2011

Life in 3D

Well, Trinity Sunday has arrived and this morning we looked at the readings listed below on the previous post. 

Recently I had the opportunity to take two of our daughters to the latest Pirates movie - in 3D. You know, the type of movie where you have to wear the polarized glasses which allow you to see the special 3D effects. It got me to thinking about how we live so much of our lives in 2D, leaving out the spiritual dimension. God made humans in his image as trinitarian creatures, body, soul and spirit. We are aware of our physical and psychological aspects most of the time but,  mysterious and wonderful as they are, there is something missing if we are not open to the spiritual.  Sin separated us from God; this is what it means to be spiritually dead. But, when we come to faith in Christ, the Son of God, His Spirit makes our spirits alive again and Jesus's Father becomes our Heavenly Father. It is as though the Spirit gives us new eyes (3D glasses) to see what we did not see before. God's wisdom is foolishness to a 2D world which thinks the followers  of Jesus are victims of an optical illusion, but we know that life in the Spirit is the true reality. 

God has existed from all eternity as Father, Son (the eternal Word) and Holy Spirit. 1 John 4:8 tells us that God is love. But love cannot exist without an object to love. God is complete in himself as a community of love between Father, Son and Spirit. He did not need to create anything but did so to reflect his glory. The Trinity is evident in Creation, redemption, in the incarnation, baptism and teaching of Christ and in his resurrection. 

  • When the Father created the heavens and the earth by his Word, the Spirit hovered over the face of the water. 
  • When the angel Gabriel was sent by God the Father to announce to Mary that she would be the mother of the Messiah, he said:  “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. So the Word became flesh and lived among us. 
  • When Christ was baptized the Father said "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased" and the Spirit came upon him like a dove. His ministry was empowered by the Spirit but he did and said only what his Father instructed him to. 
  • Jesus taught constantly about his Father and the role of the Spirit, especially in his long discourse and prayer the night he was betrayed (John chapters 13-17).
  • Christ predicted that he would rise from the dead. Peter tells us that God raised him (Acts 2:24). Paul tells us that the same Spirit who raised Christ from the dead dwells in us. (Romans 8:11)
The Church likewise is triune in character - it has an Upward dimension in relation to God, and Inward dimension in our fellowship with each other and an Outward dimension in reaching out to the world with the Good News. The local church is also trinitarian in relation to God: we are the Body of Christ, the family of God our heavenly Father, and the dwelling place of the Spirit. 

This Trinity Sunday the question we should ask ourselves is this: are we living in these three dimensions, relating to God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit?

Now may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit rest with you and remain with you always. Amen. 

Fr David. 

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Trinity Sunday - June 19, 2011

This coming Sunday we consider the fact that God has revealed himself to us as God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, one God eternally existing in three Persons, equal in divinity but distinguished in role or function. This belief is firmly taught in scripture, taught by the early church and affirmed in the Nicene Creed. Our readings are

Isaiah 40.12-17,27-31
Psalm 8
2 Corinthians 13.11-13
Matthew 28.16-20

In all the talks and books I have come across about the Trinity, perhaps the best was a talk given by Dr Edith Humphrey at the Anglican Essentials conference. She has also written a book called Ecstacy and Intimacy. Google her.

Pentecost 2011

Sunday was Cynthia's birthday. It was also the birthday of the Christian Church - we celebrated the feast of Pentecost, when we remembered the gift of God's Holy Spirit to the Church. Following the Revised Common Lectionary  our readings were
Acts 2.1-21
Psalm 104.26-36,37b*
1 Corinthians 12.3b-13
John 20.19-23 and
John 7.37-39

We reviewed the four facets of becoming a disciple of Jesus: 1.believing in Christ (faith), 2. turning to God from sin, which is the choice of going one's own way instead of God's (repentance), 3. baptism in water, and 4. receiving the Holy Spirit. Looking at several passages in Acts we saw that the sequence of these four aspects are not always the same in every person's experience. More important than deciding the contentious point about whether one receives the Holy Spirit at conversion, baptism, confirmation or some later experience, is the question of how much of us the Holy Spirit has in his control, and the need to be continually being filled again with the Holy Spirit. We also noted that the fruit of the Spirit (which is what he produces in us) and the gifts of the Spirit (which he gives to us for the sake of others) are both important; there is no dichotomy between them.

Are you certain that God's Holy Spirit has filled you? You can be.  Firstly, "Sorry" - confess your sin to God, asking for his forgiveness; "Thank you" - thank God for sending his Son Jesus Christ to die for you on the cross, taking on himself your sins, and "Please" - ask him to fill you with his Holy Spirit. He will.

Friday, 10 June 2011

At the Helm

Steering COOL isn't all plain sailing. Sometimes it is serious business but usually it's a lot of fun, especially with a great team.

Shokran! (Thank you, in Arabic)

The children at the learning centre who receive a daily hot meal from COOL were delighted to show their appreciation at their graduation ceremony recently. Mary-Jean and Neil Crouch from Comox were present at the celebration.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

NAMS Global Strategic Assembly

Check out the news, videos and audio talks from the recent NAMS Global Strategic Assembly in Florida. NAMS companions and those with whom we are partnered are planting  churches  all over the world, sometimes in surprising places.


Welcome to COOL's new site, a work in progress.