A Season for “Coming out”…

Today is probably confusing nature. It is no doubt used to being confused by now, but snow in Edinburgh when it is almost May? There must be animals either thinking they came out of hibernation too soon or being tempted to go back into it too early.

At times in my Christian life I have felt that the seasons are not right for what God has been saying in my deepest heart to come out into the open and walk around in full view. It seems that what God is saying in my heart is not necessarily what the dominant message of the moment seems to be in Christian circles. I sort of feel that might be the case with this blog today. Perhaps it should have stayed hidden in hibernation for another while, but I feel prompted to let it out to walk about, and I am yielding to that temptation. I am, in a way, coming out in this blog…

I think I have been sensing the sadness of God the Father. I don’t mean sadness at what is happening in the world, but sadness about what is happening in the church, and most especially in churches that have a reputation of being alive. Years ago I remember reading a book called “My Father is the Gardener” by Colin Urquhart. Due to my lung condition I have had to get rid of all books that have been in my possession for a while because of an allergy to mould spores, which means I have departed company with hundreds of books. “My Father is the Gardener” is no longer on my book shelves. As far as I remember towards the end of that “story” about renewal in the Holy Spirit, there is a prophecy in which someone expresses the sadness of the Father in the midst of a Christian conference  in these simple terms: “I am looking for my Son. Where is my Son, Jesus.? I am looking for my Son. Can you tell me where I will find my Son? Will I find him here?” I guess that is what has been sleeping and breathing deeply with a slow but steady heart beat in me for a few years now; The Father is looking in the Church for His Son Jesus.

My version of that is if it does not look like Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, if it does not look, feel, smell like the Jesus I read of there, I don’t want anything to do with it. For a long time as a charismatic I have gone with the mantra that God offends the mind to reveal the heart. I still believe it, but it is not a blanket principle to excuse anything and everything that is done supposedly in the Name of Jesus Christ. I used to encourage people to be open  minded when the Spirit of God is moving, because sometimes things can look bizarre. I still believe that but again it is not a blanket principle. Now I am older and have less energy due to illness, I am really not going to commend anything that I have to surround with Kingdom of God health warnings  which shows that ultimately that event or that ministry is  perhaps as healthy or good for me or you as  a packet of cigarettes. Life is simpler  for me now. If it does not look like the Jesus I read of in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, then I don’t want anything to do with it, no matter how popular it may be,  and I will not encourage others to take anything to do with it either…though of course if they feel different and want to be involved they are free so to do.  To those who try and wriggle out of what I am saying theologically by saying that we do not know Christ after the days of his flesh now but as he is in risen glory, as though that were an excuse for ignoring the Jesus of Matthew, Mark Luke and John, I say simply, you are wrong! It is the same Jesus who is now glorified. He still has the same heart and the same priorities.

Which leads me to this; what is His priority? To save us form our sins of course. But what is sin? I know all the technical biblical definitions such as missing the mark or crossing a line etc etc. But though these are the dictionary definitions and are indeed accurate, in themselves they do  not quite get to the heart  of things concerning what sin means to God and to man. I am not sure I have ever got closer to the heart breaking reality of what sin is than when I read these words in Jean Vanier’s , “Jesus, gift of love.” He says this;

“Throughout his life and ministry Jesus reveals a new and deeper meaning of sin. It is not just disobedience to a written law, the refusal or incapacity to obey because of the power of passion and pride. Sin is the breakage of a relationship of love, it is the breakage of covenant, the breakage of trust. It is to say “no” to God and to the vision of love; it is to turn one’s back on Jesus; “I do not want you and your saving  power, your promises or your love. I want to do things on my own, my way.” Sin is to work against love and communion. … that is why Jesus rejoices when he meets people who have discovered the emptiness of power, of things and of flickering distractions, and who seek communion with him; and he rejoices when he meets little children who want to be held and when he meets the  poor, the weak, crying out for recognition and relationship. In some mysterious way Jesus is consoled by the cry of the poor and the broken. They awaken the cry to give love hidden in his own heart, The disciples do not understand Jesus and his desire to give love; they are too taken up with their own projects, power and the need for messianic and spiritual success… Jesus is a lover…crying out to give himself…” (Jesus, Gift of Love, Page 59.)

I had to shut the book and sit and think and after a  few tears coming to my eyes because of the beauty of the writing and the fact that the writing was so so true, I turned to pray.

There is one test for whether Jesus is really present somewhere or in someone. Is there  sharing in His joy when the weak and the poor come into  relationship with him? Is that at the centre of why I live or at the centre of what I am involved in as a Christian? Am I organising my thinking, my life, my priorities, my service around this Jesus of Matthew Mark Luke and John.

I have been thinking about what church I might go to when I retire officially. I think it would be a church in which I can look and find  Jesus the Son of God being honoured for Who He has always been and always will be and wants to be in the life of His Church.  For me that is now more important than the style of worship or whether that church is famous for being evangelical or charismatic. If I can ask this without being judgmental: Will I find it easy to find such a church wherever we end up living?

Mm… not  very sure….

God Bless


13 comments on “A Season for “Coming out”…

  1. Lynn Lindsay says:

    Oh God Bless you, Kenny !!!
    All that we need, All that we’ve ever needed, is Relationship with Him and to know, that not only does He want that too, but that He Himself has bridged the gap so that we can be rescued and live in Restored Relationship with Him.
    He has done everything, everything necessary.
    I felt quite lost after the loss of certain significant others in my life but then I remembered that no matter what age or season we find ourselves in, Christ Jesus will Never leave us or forsake us.
    We are the ones who can run after wrong things or run down rabbit holes.
    Love and Countless Blessings Always !!!


  2. Ricky says:

    I read my Father is the gardener when I was living at the bethany homeless hostel. Every time I read John 15 I always think of that book 🙂

    Blessings on you Kenny


  3. June Brown says:

    We pray you will indeed find such a place to retire to Kenny. We have appreciated your ministry and trust you will continue to have opportunity to share. God bless you.


  4. Judith James-Davies says:

    Dear Kenny, your words bring me to tears. I’ve just returned from a stay in the States where I was honoured to experience some small,”insignificant”,churches where Jesus alone is the focal point. Not healing, not prosperity ,not even (God forbid) a smoke machine….but humble, passionate people who come to church just to honour Him and to adore Him with other believers. Needless to say, no one has ever heard of these churches, their numbers are small but their passion is real. There is a cry for a return to prayer, there is teaching on the Blood and the Cross, they haven’t even assigned the tambourine to the museum…..
    Reverence without religion, holiness without hype, I pray that there will be a multitude of such places all over the world. May the Lord lead us all to a place where nothing else matters but being in His Prescence. Greetings to you and Morag, love Judith (Sheena’s friend)


  5. phbasilicon says:

    I find that really helpful and very, very apposite and encouraging. We pray you do find that place. You will help sustain and maintain it wherever you find it.


  6. Sue says:

    Found myself singing a verse from a hymn as I read your blog.
    ‘As o’er each continent and island
    The dawn leads on another day
    The voice of prayer is never silent
    Nor dies the strain of praise away’
    The beauty of the music and words somehow link with the essence of your blog.


  7. kim ennis says:

    I am reminded:
    He is with us where ever we go.
    Stepping out of the Tardis speaks to me as anew day , a new dawn, anew
    Life-it feels good .(fish in the sea, blossom on the tree
    etc, etc.)
    We are to be welcomed into His domain , His garden. In pastures green.
    He is to restore my soul.
    Hope deferred has made my heart sick but a longing fulfilled is the tree of
    God bless Kenny.
    Sent from my iPad



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