Saturday, April 21, 2007

earth day: where are the christians?

A reporter from Challenge Weekly rang yesterday. He wanted to do a story on us at Opawa Baptist, because he had noted that Opawa Baptist was the only church in New Zealand he had come across doing anything for Earth Day.

Since Earth Day, April 22, falls on a Sunday this year, all of our church newsletter’s will include a Sustainability insert. I am preaching on “what does the resurrection of Jesus have to do with the environment” at the 10:30 am service, part 3 of a 4 part series on “Yeah? Jesus alive. Right!” that explores what the resurrection means for our everyday lives. From 3 pm we are showing the Inconvenient Truth, and a scientist and Christian film reviewer will respond. I am then preaching on “On earth as in heaven: is the Kingdom of God good news for our environment?” on Sunday at 7pm, starting with this great video clip from the Simpson.

After the phone call, I was not sure whether to feel a lone leader, or a lone fruit loop. I had thought that people who worship God the Creator, and who meet on Sunday when it is Earth Day, would have quite a bit to say about the environment, particularly given all the current societal concern around global warming. Yet it seems that I think alone. Am I missing something?

Posted by steve at 01:01 PM

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

the dog just scoffed the communion bread

It’s Sunday night and the people of God are gathered around the communion table. The youngest is Sam, all of 10 months. The oldest is Gavin, all of 60. A visitor wanders in late and takes a seat on a empty couch. Complete with dog on a leash. Rotwieler cross pup.

The people of God stir. Two teenagers quiz the minister. “What’s he doing here?” Same as you, replies the minister, “Being part of church.”

“Why a dog in church?” the 6 year old quizzes her mother. Delicately the mother picks her way toward an answer. All strangers are welcome. Yes. But are all animals? You see, the 6 year old is a bright one. The 6 year old has a rabbit! If the dog is welcome, then is this a precedent. Mother pictures rabbits lopping up aisle and fish bowls balanced delicately on child laps.

Back at the communion table, religion continues. The words of invitation are offered. This is the table of God. All are invited.

The loaf of bread is broken. Gifts of God. And the broken body of Jesus is passed down the table. For the people of God. People tear a hunk of God’s body. Crumbs shower on carpet.

Out of the corner of the eye, a blurr of movement. In a flash, the body of Christ is gone, woofed down by hungry jaws. Teenagers stare. The 6 year old is agog. Eagerly the dog looks up, licking the crumbs of Christ off salivating jaws.

Gifts of God for the people of God. A moment of hospitality? Or a moment of heresy?

Posted by steve at 12:22 PM

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

kiwi table manners

I have been thinking a lot lately about how Kiwis eat together. (Update: In Luke 10, mission is dwelling in the homes and around the tables of the culture. So I am re:imagining what it might mean to eat around Kiwi tables. So how do Kiwis eat together? What does the way we eat reveal about our values and identity.) So I am racking my brain, trying to think of Kiwi literature and Kiwi movies which show us eating together …

the hangi in No 2; the tea drinking and card playing around the kitchen table in Whale Rider; the tea making in World’s Fastest Indian; the candlelit orchard dinner in In My Fathers Den;

and from my fabulous commenters: the barbeque in Rain; and in Broken English; dinners in Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures; the “kai cart” in Footrot Flats; the shared crayfish in Once Were Warriors;

If you can think of any (Kiwi movies only please), then please drop them into the comments below …

Posted by steve at 05:07 PM