Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Christian community in photographs

Christian community as an intentional way of life. Living together, sharing your always. For some people it may seem like a kind of wonderful Utopian dream, heaven on earth. For others a kind of hell.

For us in New Creation Christian Community, it is a response to a shared passion. We want to follow Jesus. We want to be where He is. And we have found Him to be primarily where His people gather together and determine to obey His command to love.
'This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.' (1 John 3:16-18)

So we share our houses, share our money, share our possessions, our time, our dreams, our joys and pains. We share a vision.

Christian community is primarily Christian and secondarily community. That is, it is first about a person - Jesus - and second about people. And then, far less important, but still worth noting, come things like the effect such simplicity has on the environment, the economy, and society at large.

It was Dietrich Bonhoeffer who said: 'He who loves community, destroys community. He who loves the brethren, builds community.' Christian Community is about people - Jesus' people.

Given this, it may seem strange that this collection of photographs (taken mainly at one of our large community houses) has few people in it. (People feature in these pictures fleetingly, almost by accident.) But sometimes, over time, objects and buildings can begin, strangely, to tell the story of the people who live among and within them more eloquently than the people themselves.

And, together, the houses and objects - and the people they tell us about - tell us of the Person... the head of the house.

On that day 'Holy to the Lord' will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, and the cooking pots in the Lord's house will be like the sacred bowls in front of the altar. (Zechariah 14:20)

Community springs from prayer or it ends in stressCommunity springs from prayer or it ends in stress.

Spelling it out.

Let them eat cake.

And behold, it was done.

The inevitable flapjack.

Dyed in the wood.

Kath and a cat.

Table and chairs, waiting...

Through a glass dimly. But love remains.

A miniature planetarium?

Spoons and their friends.

Jesus Army.

Upstairs, downstairs.

Faith as a seed.

Armchairs and windows, waiting.

Keys of the kingdom.


Guitar, waiting.

Outside again.

Who needs Mothercare?

Boots, waiting.

Chill out.

Sure as eggs is eggs (and we get through quite a lot).

At your service.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

RAW pix

Some pictures to give the flavour of the RAW event.

What? No chairs?!

Passion-fuelled worship: "I want to meet You, I want to know You, I want to love You, Jesus, as You really are"...

"Jesus Christ, I give You my life".

It's like this... Jesus is alive. No doubt about it.

Brotherhood love: it isn't all high-octane intensity.

I could claim this was me, but no-one would believe me, and it would be a downright lie.

No-one would want to make out that RAW was run by a load of cowboys...

Back to Eden.

Red is the colour of love...

Nailed: people make their commitments to God on the last night.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The power of powerlessness

Powerless powerLuke’s account of the crucifixion [in Luke chapter 23] particularly contrasts the powerlessness of Christ (in worldly terms) with His total authority (in spiritual terms).

Bound, He is bundled from one worldly power to another: high priest, (religious power), Pilate, Herod, Pilate again (rival political powers), and finally to the soldiers (brute force). He is mocked, rejected and crucified, yet remains ‘in charge’ at all times.

With complete courage He tells the high priest the devastating truth: 'this is your hour – when darkness reigns' [22:53]; Pilate is confounded, unable to find a charge against His obvious purity [v.4]; Herod, desperate for some entertainment in his bored worldly life, cannot get a single word out of Him [v.8-9]; on His way to die, Jesus speaks the terrible truth of judgement to the women of Jerusalem [v.27-31]; as the nails are hammered in He prays Father forgive [v.34]; He speaks to the repentant thief as the king that He is [v.42-43]; finally, as the temple curtain is torn in two, He chooses to die, committing His spirit to the Father He had obeyed so unswervingly [v.45-46]. This is true authority which rules in the midst of enemies [Ps.110: 2]. It exposes all worldly power as the sham it is – this is the true authority of love, and of God.

I want us, as a community, as a church, to move in the same authority which is pure, selfless love. The more we divest ourselves of outward power, the more we gain inward authority.

Not that being powerless is having no voice, no influence. Rather that, letting go of the wrong sort of power and influence - the self-protecting, the manipulative, the paranoid and the false - and committing ourselves to the Father, we can have true power. Power not for self - but for Love.

Monday, August 06, 2007

RAW songs

Here's the lyrics to a couple of the new songs we sang at RAW.

This one is about getting past our own fond notions of who Jesus is, or who we'd like Him to be - and getting to know Him as He really is, whether or not the experience of that is "nice":

The Real Jesus Song

I want to break the stained glass window,
See through the stereotypes.
I want to push past all the false Messiahs
Of shallow “Christian” hype
I want to get beyond my own desires
Of what You’ll say to me
And listen to Your real words, Jesus,
Whatever those words may be

I want to meet You
I want to know You
I want to love You, love You, love You, love You
Meet You
I want to know You
I want to love You, Jesus,
As You really are

I want to slam the door on my fantasies,
Stop lying to myself
I’ve got to stop pretending all is well
In a life of sin by stealth
Not going to try and make heaven from hell,
Living for pleasures of the earth
Abandoning all, let me follow You, Jesus,
Discover Your true worth

I want to meet You
I want to know You
I want to love You, love You, love You, love You
Meet You
I want to know You
I want to love You, Jesus,
As You really are

And I will carry my cross daily
And I will kiss You when You slay me
Know You as you really are
As you really are
And I will carry my cross daily
And I will kiss You when You slay me
Know You as you really are
As you really are

And this one's a call to our generation to be "real and wild" (RAW) - not fake and tame (FAT?):

Real and Wild Song

Are we generation X-box?
Generation fake?
Are we hiding behind Facebook,
Behind the masks we make?

Wanna be part of something real
Something worth getting up for
Not a cinema world of make-believe hype
But something real and raw

Are we generation playstation?
Generation tame?
Do we blog about our boredom?
Is life always the same?

Wanna be part of something wild
Something worth getting up for
Not a “whatever” world of “take it or leave it”
But something wild and raw

Thursday, August 02, 2007


It's upon us! It's here!

In three days it will be all over (surreal though that seems, given that right at this moment it's just about to begin after eight months of busy busy preparation...)

Meeting the "real" Jesus, joining His wild church, finding vision and a call for the future, firestarter evangelism, mission with the poor, living the New Testament even when it hurts, meals of bread and water, Holy Spirit happenings, energetic worship...

It's gonna be the most electric gathering in the UK this weekend.