Sunday, 30 November 2014

Memory of a river

The Slave River, Fort Smith, Northwest Territories

And even in the dead of northwest winter, with a silver hush over all the world, the rapids murmur. There are waters that run so fast they never freeze, never succumb to winter’s sleep. In the silent nights, their voice is heard, the hopeful lullaby of December. Summer’s roar is a powerful whisper still, a testament to the faithfulness of living water. Perhaps it is their music which calls down the northern lights to dance wild rose above the white river. Perhaps it is their music which echoes in the ache of a distant island. Perhaps even these eastern waves and breakers can hear it, a dozen parallels away, singing over Canadian shield to this sandstone, you are not forgotten.


Saturday, 22 November 2014

New Article: At the Heart of Christmas

Click on over here to read my latest article in Testimony Magazine.

"The mystery of the Incarnation hovers over Christmas, whispering through the twinkling lights and beckoning in the silent nights. That “God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made”  should come down from heaven and put on our tattered flesh—here is awe and wonder! Here is joy to the world and all the true magic of Christmas. Immanuel has come: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory …” (John 1:14).

But what a home we gave Him then. “No room at the inn,” the story goes. Bethlehem hospitality fell short that night in what could only be described as an epic fail. Now, eager to make amends, we sing, O come to my heart, Lord Jesus, There is room in my heart for Thee. We want to clear a space, sweep away the dung and stale hay, and prepare a proper bed for baby Jesus. If God is choosing to make His home in us, then we feel we need to have things just right on Christmas Day.

Yet, almost inevitably, the turkey burns or the cat throws up under the tree. Tensions surface between family members or we are stuffing our mess into a hall closet two minutes before company is due to arrive. It’s so hard to get it just right, so hard to make space in our cluttered souls. How many times do we lie awake the night before Christmas whispering, “I’m not ready”?
But what if Christmas is not so much about making room in our hearts for God as it is God making room in His heart for us?"

Read more here...


Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Run for Covenant

What I want to say is this: In the face of the bewildering nature of human interaction, there is nothing better than to throw oneself headlong into those relationships defined by covenant. When you want to run for cover, run for covenant. When restlessness calls like the mythical merfolk out beyond the sandbars, don’t waste your time splashing in the tidepools straining to hear more. Turn and run for the hills, to the Mount Zion of your relational landscape. Run to the shelter of timber and hearth before the storm surges up and sweeps you out to sea. Run to the fortress of covenant.

The only true freedom to be had is that of obedience, and the sacred bonds of spoken vows will only chafe unless you are close enough to run together. It is not restriction – it is the place of revelation. It is not limitation – it is the face of love, whose lines can only be traced, caressed, transfigured in the constant whispering of the covenant oath.

Here is grace.
Here is truth, when the tempter’s lies buffet.
Here is trust, when trials should come.

Our original response to original sin is a patchwork cover threaded with shame. And there are days when the old bruised heel still aches along the stony way of life. But even though the path back may be laced with thorns, the healing balm is held by the hands of covenant.

It is the covering for shame.
It is the context for sanctification.
It is the geography whose contours lead to the horizon of hope and whose ridges all rise in ascent to the holy city.

What I want to say is this: Run for the covenant. For Christ Himself will always be found in the relationships He institutes. He is present in the sacramental mystery as King of the mountain. He is its heart. So run for covenant. Run for love. Run for your lives. Run to Christ.

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