Sunday, April 08, 2007

he is risen indeed

palmsunday300.jpg It’s Easter Sunday and this morning we sat in the Easter Garden, on sofas, and among the New Zealand native trees. Sparking grape juice in long stemmed wine glasses were passed around and people were invited to share the stories of life. It was very cool to sip the sparkling and listen to story after story, told among the people of God. We proposed toasts:
: to invited neighbours moved to tears by the Easter Journey,
: to fathers who play with their children,
: to the differently able we work with who are being re-integrated into the community
: to cleaning up garages and realising that
: it is Jesus who makes it possible to start again, and again, and again.

Over a 1,000 people walked the Easter Journey. Photos to follow.

Posted by steve at 01:42 PM

Saturday, April 07, 2007

on Saturday God wept

God cried
a icy tear rolled down

i sat in my grey room

all colour
reds, whites,
greens and blues


dark skies out my window
earth weeping

On Saturday God cried
with all those,
who lost sons
with all those,
trapped in their grey room

If this poem means something to you, or you would like to pray it with someone, feel free to leave your initials in the comments.

Posted by steve at 03:14 PM

Thursday, April 05, 2007

the politics of palm sunday

Palm Sunday and
Jesus enters the city
A hot bed of religious fervour and zealous passion

Some wanted him dead
Some wanted him to take up arms against the oppressor
Some simply wanted a son
once the shouting was over

Jesus what if you were mis-
misquoted, stood?
shot with words
riddled with emotion
to a dominant agenda

Jesus give me the courage to keep saying yes
to your call
and your Kingdom
no matter how many people shout
wave, holler

If this prayer means something to you, or you would like to pray it for someone, feel free to leave your initials in the comments.

Posted by steve at 06:21 PM

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

an easter journey

My latest radio viewpoint, going live today.

… The church has killed the Christian gospel with words. Blah blah blah from pulpits every single Sunday. It’s time we started truly following Jesus. It’s time we embraced all the 5 senses that God gave us… for more:


Posted by steve at 08:15 AM

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

updated: why am I a vegetarian?

Should all Christians be vegetarian? Yes.

Will meat eaters get to heaven? Yes.

Over the weekend I was asked by two different people why I am a vegetarian. Last nite I went to a vegetarian cooking evening, to learn about tomato tarts, pumpkin and kumara balls, tortilla stack. It seems an appropriate time to narrate my conversion, which occured in 2001. The following processes were significant.

A Bible conversation: When I was 20, I led a team of Christian young people to Nicaragua. We deliberately chose to partner with group from Universities in Australasia. One of the group, not a Christian, was astounded to discover that I, a Christian, ate meat. He pointed out to me that the Garden of Eden was meat-free. I still savour the irony, me a Christian, getting a Bible lesson from a non-Christian. Since then I have been forced to consider the reality of Isaiah’s vision of lion and lamb together. I am currently writing a paper on animal spiriuality in light of theology of creation and sacramentality.

An essay on population growth in my first year of university: I learnt that humans have protein needs that can be met by both beans and beef. But you can grow lots and lots of beans in the space it would take a graze a cow. In other words, if humans ate more beans and less beef, than more humans would have their protein needs met. In a world of hunger, I became increasingly uneasy about my meat consumption.

A conversation with a dietician and my family: I did not want my change of eating habits to negatively impact upon a young and growing family. A dietician told us that one meat meal a week, supported by good amounts of vegetables, provides a balanced diet. So if all the Taylor family ate less meat and increased the amount of beans, nuts, spinach eaten during 6 days, then I could go totally vegetarian, without disrupting our growing children, who could still enjoy meat if they wanted.

An emerging spirituality issue: I was becoming increasingly aware that many in the emerging culture were vegetarian, and that good, contextual, missiology would want to consider Paul’s words “to the Jew I become a Jew, to the vegetarian, I become a vegetarian.”

So I went vegetarian. One of the upsides for me has been a far greater link between my everyday life and my spirituality. My Christian faith feels more entwined with my lifestyle and I am made constantly aware of the justice issues around human consumption every time I eat. I need that.

The second upside is a much more interesting diet, as our family have discovered beans, lentils, chick peas, couscous. Anyone for tortilla stack, tomato tarts, pumpkin and kumara balls?

A downside is that I tend to forget to tell people I am vegetarian when they invite me for dinner. This has lead to some embarrassing moments for all concerned.

Update: support, with some expansion of the argument, from here. And then here (I particularly liked the point about the consumption of meat in Jesus times being for economic neccessity, in contrast to the extravagance of today.)

Posted by steve at 03:09 PM

Sunday, April 01, 2007

what lurks in Jesus wallet


This is the 7th, and last, of our Practising our faith series. (The 7 week series, with accompanying takehome resource and small group study guides, has worked really well). The Biblical text is Jesus entry to Jerusalem. The art image wonders what Jesus would have carried in his wallet? The practice is the invitation to empty one’s wallet and consider what the contents reveal about one’s priorities, relationships and values.

In response the symbols – chalk (black/white); coins; rock; nails; plumbline; flower; bulb – I wrote the following meditation (concept inspired from the Grace Lent blog):


Posted by steve at 06:37 PM