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Reimagining church ... and the Garden of Eden

So this is my first blog for 2014. I’ve been delaying it – not because I don’t have something to say – but because I have too many things to say and quite frankly got confused along the way about what I had to say. On this my good friend would say – “say what you think”. Put in another way – don’t procrastinate. So let’s get on with it.

I’m reading this book ... it’s called “Reimagining church” by Frank Viola (http://frankviola.org/books/#book7). Quite the controversial book if you’re used to “doing” church in a certain way. The book basically questions the validity of present-day (present being a couple of hundred years) church structure. You know the clergy-leity system. Or the pastor-congregation system or the active-passive system depending on how you want to look at it. It lays out very candidly how the early church (as described in the New Testament) gathered and how Christ intended for His body to gather – which is not as a structured hierarchical body but as a function-driven organic body. Lots more is discussed and you’d have to read it to get the full picture of course. Now, to tell you the truth, I’m searching. I’m searching for more than what I have now, and believe me I try my best to participate and give and volunteer and etcetera. The one thing I am certain of is that this journey will bring me closer and closer to Christ.

On to a less sticky topic. This past weekend in Ceres was phenomenal. For many reasons. But I will highlight only one. The phrase that came up in discussion was “Garden of Eden”. Most of us know the Garden of Eden as the perfect habitation that God created for Adam and Eve to dwell and for them to duplicate all over the earth. But then of course, the Great Fall happened and that dream got stunted. Until Christ came along. Christ became the gateway to the Garden of Eden. The gateway to how we can perfectly live in unison with God – the Garden of Eden indeed. For God’s intention has never changed – he always wants to live and dwell with us. So, I got to thinking. Each one of us, wherever we are on this earth, have the capacity to access the Garden of Eden. The place where we can dwell with God in unison. I think so many of us are looking out for heaven that we don’t realise we can have a pretty good semblance of the best part of heaven here on earth – God dwelling with us. In any event – I’m not living under any illusions – my life is tough right now – freakishly tough I’ll add. But one thing is certain. With God in it with me it’s amazingly bearable and doable.

 

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