Friday, March 26, 2010

God Bless the King

Luk 19:37-40 When he came near Jerusalem, at the place where the road went down the Mount of Olives, the large crowd of his disciples began to thank God and praise him in loud voices for all the great things that they had seen: "God bless the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory to God!" Then some of the Pharisees in the crowd spoke to Jesus. "Teacher," they said, "command your disciples to be quiet!" Jesus answered, "I tell you that if they keep quiet, the stones themselves will start shouting."

I do not speak the Word of God.

This is because only God can speak God’s Word! The Word of God is beyond my human understanding (Psalm 145 vs 3). In contrast I speak of what I have seen and heard about God…. from within my very limited human experience. So when I write a comment in the Church notices, or when I preach a sermon, or when I lead a Bible Study, the best that I can do is express my opinions about the spiritual things I have experienced and thought about. And because I have so much more to learn about God ,I know that I will often have to change my mind. The best that I can do is to follow Jesus like the crowd of long ago…. even though I do not know where he will lead me.

This is what most angered the Pharisees when the crowds shouted their support. They were unable to follow someone without first having come to a correct theological position. It is this that led to the religious inertia of Jerusalem’s faith. And so when Jesus brought the joyful fresh air of God’s Spirit into Jerusalem, the Pharisees were unable to celebrate. Instead they wanted to silence Jesus.

I am inviting us to discover the Spirit-inspired joy of following Jesus into Jerusalem; I am inviting us to the Spirit-disturbing experience of allowing our temples to be cleansed by Jesus; I am inviting us to allow the Spirit to lead us to the Good Friday death of our most precious convictions; and I and inviting us to a Spirit-inspired resurrection of faith on Easter Sunday. I am inviting us to say with the crowds through the ages: "God bless the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory to God!"

Saturday, March 20, 2010


The Buff

5000 motorcycles, people, noisy exhausts, fast food, alcohol, and lots and lots of make-believe. This is a gathering of bike lovers who gather to talk, look and share knowledge... (read 'talk rubbish, look at girls, and brag about everything'). Here is a moment of fantasy where we can dress up in fierce clothing, look like thugs, swagger and swear, rev your bike's engine, and generally behave badly. This provides a cartharsis from the stress of life, and allows us to get back to the real world on Monday. Make-believe on two wheels.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Road Trip

8 men on motorcycles, four days, 2000 kilometres, lots of dorpies, three Royal hotels, finishing with the Buffalo Motorcycle Rally of more than 5000 motorcycles. Life is great.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Here is an e-mail that I receive from time to time:

Dear Customer
....... is working to increase the security of all Internet Banking Users.
To ensure the integrity of our online payment system, we periodically review certain accounts.
Your account might be placed on restricted status due to a number of invalid login attempts.

Restricted accounts continue to receive payments but they are limited to certain Internet banking features.
To initiate your Internet Banking Confirmation Process, please click below:

Account Reference: (0x3d.0x38.0x4e.0xcf)

This email (including any attachments) is intended for the above-mentioned person(s). If you are not the intended recipient of this email, please delete this email immediately. It is private and confidential and may contain legally privileged information.

Too bad that I do not bank with ......!

I omitted the name of this bank because it could as easily have been any other bank. I have friends who believed this to be genuine and responded with their banking details. A few weeks ago one lost all of his university study loan from his account - withdrawn within minutes of responding. A faceless trickster has shattered the life of a promising student. It is so easy to do this within the anonymity of a computer - the perpetrator probably does not even think of it as crime because it does not have the element of face to face violence. But it is deeply evil.

Monday, March 08, 2010

I went for a Walk

On Saturday morning I went for a walk with people who feel excluded from my city; and from my church; and from my continent. They are persecuted for the way they experience life. They experience mockery, insults, beatings, and rape – and mostly my continent silently approves. I have not heard my church leaders speaking out against their abuse. In fact I have just heard that my church has rejected one of my colleagues who scraped together enough courage to admit to her orientation. You see… she is a lesbian. And anyone who is not heterosexual is excluded.

I read in the Bible of Jesus who spent time with those who were excluded by his society…. And so chose to believe that Jesus would have joined me in the Cape Town Gay Pride March. It was a street parade of thousands of people – some “dressed in their best” and others just happy to have a momentary freedom to exist without stigma. I wore my clerical shirt as a sign that the people of Jesus could accompany the marginalised. Sadly there were some other people of Jesus who stood with banners that condemned the parade to hell. I was struck by the response of the crowd : they blew kisses towards those holding the spiteful banners.

And so I walked the streets of my city – with people who sang, and danced, and shared their joy at experiencing a glimpse of what freedom for all our people could look like.