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Chris Welch
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Celebrating Pesach together doesn't get any easier in Christ either. But at this stage, periodically we hit a zapper of a seder. I think once Jews fully "get it" and Christians fully "get what it was" we'll probably continually have fantastic seders from thereon in. Each without the other is currently incomplete. A bit like the two loaves at Pentecost. Not only Israel and Judah were divided, like two original denominations or something, but Jews and Christians have been two divided houses around the same table, around the same God. All we ever need to know about the "code" that unlocks everything are in the two passages...the original which describes the first flight from Egypt, and the second which is in the New Testament chapters John 13 through 17, and in particular John 15 to 17. At the moment Jews are afraid to look into the second sequence because they think in terms of an angry God....if they get that far....usually long before that they have dismissed the Christian's God as another God entirely anyway and therefore pitched the necessity of ever looking into it. If you speak to your average Jew on the street, it hasn't occurred to them that each and every one of the first ever disciples of Jesus IS EXACTLY THE SAME as everyone else at the second main Pesach. The Pesach that was really what the first Pesach was the mirror of. What do I mean? Everybody. I mean everybody....except perhaps Jesus mother and John....upped and walked out on Jesus as he was condemned to death.If the whole thing had been staged in England now. Or the USA now. Or Russia now. The same thing would have happened. If God had chosen China to be the sovereign country carrying His Name in all the earth, then Jesus Himself as God the son had been Chinese....the Chinese would have been just the same. Isaiah 53 and psalm 22 indicate that there was nothing different about the man Jesus. He just looked normal. He didn't look like Robert Redford or Brad Pitt. Whichever nation God had chosen, and had they been expecting a Messiah, there is no possible way for anyone to make the leap of the imagination required from whatever a "Messiah" should look like and then how Jesus "looked". Which was pretty much as your next rabbi. And nobody aligned the suffering servant figure of Isaiah 53 with Jesus, and the concept of a Messiah. And Jews still don't. And secular people don't either. But in the first church, every single leader had to face the fact that he had walked away from Jesus at precisely that time. That they hadn't done a thing to stop it all. Peter did initially. With a sword. Because Jesus was messing with his idea of a freedomfighter Messiah. But later, as Darkness squashed in....(much the same as later in Nazi Germany...when the lights went out of that once Christian nation) even Peter just tossed it all away. "Me...I never knew the guy". And he became the leader of the first church of Jesus Christ. So we see that God is not an angry God. He was fully cognizant from the beginning that this would happen. He had to use a nation to demonstrate it. In the end it was Israel. But some nation somewhere had to be chosen to demonstrate the utter uselessness of religion to ever be up to the task of recognising a God who refers to Himself in the Old Testament scriptures in these words... 'Behold it says of me in the Book...."I come to do thy will....a body thou hast prepared for me".' And David making a Trinity reference, well, Father to Son conversation..."The Lord said to my Lord..." Every year the Pesach had been celebrated the same. Every year Jesus had celebrated the Pesach in the same way with His disciples. But the third year He changed the words. The disciples didn't really pick it up, but they remembered later. This one time Jesus said...of the bread as He picked it up...This is My Body and of the cup...This is my Blood. Eat and drink of them. And that was it....... Within hours and precisely coincident with the Pesach as celebrated as usual that year, that was Jesus killed as the Lamb, a sacrifice for every individual that has ever lived. It had to be somewhere at some time...but really He was the Lamb slain from before creation....the only difference was now it was enacted in spacetime. The whole sequence really began when a man, completely by faith, called Abraham, picked up a knife and was prepared to slaughter his own son Isaac. The son he had believed for against all odds for decades. And now he was fully grown. And precisely at this instant of willingness, a snapshot in heaven of total faithfulness and submissiveness was created, and God through an angel called to him to say....OK...that's far I know I've got a man, after whom to pattern a people...called Israel. "Stay your hand Abraham and slaughter that sheep stuck in the bushes!" Why would God then having chosen Jews, then allow them to fluff it up so badly? OK...let's answer with another question. Why would the main logo for a people be a circumcised penis? Because God's calling just isnt in the pride of man. It is the flesh... as a sign that we could never boast off. We LIVE the STORY of GOD, but we must never boast in the STORY OF GOD. Like a freshly hatched chicken, we can hardly boast in the way we have come. We stand by one wrecked chicken egg shell that we have just bust. Can we say...hey....look at how beautifully formed was my eggshell! It was one of the best! Errr....oooops....I just smashed it to smithereens escaping to tell you. See, that is circumcision. No one can go to another man of another faith and show them the Jewish logo! Rothschild may have invented the hexagram to get around that one. But the genuine Jewish logo is just not something to show people. The importance of God's story is not the emblem of the story as it has been written. As it says in scripture...."lest any man should boast"....and "that every mouth should be stopped". For in the end, dear Rachel... what remains is the glory of the seder.You are absolutely right. True seder's are God events. We had one once, at the wrong time of year for a Jew. But we felt to have one on one summer's day on the grass outside someone's farmhouse. The presence of God....all but the Shekinah of God, came down amongst us, and I had a German penfriend with me. His Dad was a Lutheran pastor but in those days of the 70s all the youth were so cut off from their parents that he was a total atheist. None of the youth could identify with what their parents were even thinking about, honouring such a man as Hitler, so every youth made sure there was a complete break in all their values. And as the Lutheran church had been so instrumental in welcoming Hitler, as had the Catholics...nearly nobody was a Christian anymore. And into his vacuum of belief, suddenly that afternoon, in our little Pesach,outside all churchianity, on a lawn in Chesham Vale,Bucks NW London, the glory of God came down and his whole frame broke. Tears poured down his face. In that instance he knew this God, that had seemed so absent in a youth growing up in the shadow of 25 years previous, was real. He was the same God. Manifesting Himself in the same way, as countless years in Christian's breaking bread, and countless years before that among Jews in the seder. The same God. Faithful to His Word. Faithful to His promises.But the means by which we all got here... the circumcised penis the disciples' complete abandonment of Jesus the rest of Israel being manipulated by chief priests in the crowd shouting "Let his blood be upon us all our generations" the complete fiasco of the church over centuries as Jesus prophesied it would be in the parable of the farmer, and the rogue enemy sowing rogue seed... all this total embarrassment of our "pride of life".... but after all the shambles....the Presence of the Lord. And everyone just knows it's all OK.
Toggle Commented Mar 25, 2013 on 14 Nisan: Being at Velveteen Rabbi
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Brad, I look in occasionally and have commented before. It was good to meet you on our church weekend here with Peter Stott's church. I came by for one purpose,but maybe I'll mention two others. Firstly to encourage you and Eden to vote KMOO in your local political endeavours. OR NOT! %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% Secondly, to say the first Clarion I read covered Burma. Within a few days I was piano tuning in a little West Sussex village called Bosham. A chocolate box place of second homes for well-off Londoners see: %%%%%%%%%%%%%% %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% On the table in front of me was a whole pile of concert programmes for Dominic Miller,(Sting's guitarist)and his concert in New York to which George Bush or his wife had been invited.It was to raise awareness and money for a charity that is seeking to free Burma, and set in place infrastructure ready for its democratization. Stunningly, Sting bought Dominic out at the last minute to appear with him at one of his American West Coast the Burma concert never happened.I was gob-smacked, considering how radical Sting can be in favour of unjust situations. The timing of Clarion in all this was quite crucial to me even bothering to listen intently to my client. I was amazed that quite an ordinary businesswoman client of mine was arranging all this from her little quiet choc box house in England. %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% So that brings me to this article. As my blogtitle above shows I am shameless in my advocation that yes indeed a seismic shift in thinking is going on regarding the work of Christ. If you read "Against the Tide" by Watchman Nee, you read that in 1966 this old servant of God who was feted on all the conference platforms of the world, having spent years in prison, felt the call of God to go back inside prison. The Cultural revolution we read about in Jung Chang's book on Mao was in full swing.Brutal times. By 1972 Nee's tongue had been cut out and later that year he died in prison. Many talk of him as "the womb of the West" in his intercession. All I know is that a great wave swept many into the Kingdom that very year, my wife and I separately...and significantly large numbers were swept into charismatic expressions of the Kingdom.Things changed quite radically in the USA,UK and later Europe. My blog is about the 3rd level. The identification level. The God so fusing with us level, that our decisions become His decisions. That He can set off atom bombs through us. I am grateful for Acts because it devotes so much attention to patterns of behaviour in Paul's ministry. And that's about all we have to go on. Apart from amazing phrases such as "being baptized on behalf of the dead"...which from the context is NOTHING at AT ALL to do with collecting genealogies together so we can baptize by proxy....but on the other hand , everything to do with being imprisoned, being beaten up, suffering extremes of hardship...that in our very bodies we "fill up that which is lacking in Christ's suffering". Imagine a combination lock embedded in your very flesh, which as it turns, tens, thousands , millions stream into the Kingdom. This is mimicked at best, at worst caricatured to an absolutley pointless extent by people surrendering to monasticism. The third level is real. Organic. Not institional. We take the decision ourselves. We click the switch on our insides when we respond from the base of our being to the prophetic call from the Living Word Himself. And later. Maybe 10,20,30 years later, we find third level stuff unfolding in our lives, for others to read like a book.