A short book (only 40 pages) reflecting on the way Jesus is about life, not rules, regulations or religion.
An extract from the book
Also by Dave
Man of Joy & Sorrow - all about Jesus
Mark! – a modern retelling of the gospel of Mark
John – a modern retelling of the gospel of John
I’ve no idea how long this book will be – it may well be the shortest I’ve ever written, because I want to foolishly offer my thoughts and get outta here, mainly so that this book is a quick and easy read for you. Obviously by the time you hold it in your hands, it will be very clear how long it is. But right now, I’m just embarking on this haphazard mission, to somehow communicate the reality of Jesus, that he is full of grace and truth, that he understands our sorrows, and that he didn’t come to JUDGE the world but to rescue it. I am convinced he came to help us, to affirm us and forgive us, to offer us a whole new way of life that no one ever dreamt of before. I put the word JUDGE in capitals there because that is what many of us struggle with, the fear that others are judging us.
I think I’m right in saying that when we are little many of us have an innate sense of God, and we don’t perceive him as being a finger-jabbing tyrant. He’s just a presence with us, perhaps expressed at times as an invisible friend.
But as we get older, and we experience the various shades of reality, and we find life is far more complex and disappointing than we first imagined, so the baggage piles up. And we no longer see God as this wondrous, creative, constant accomplice.
It really saddens me when we get God confused with rules, regulations, and religion. Having recently watched the King’s coronation it seemed apparent to me that most people in Westminster Abbey had done just that. No one much looked as if the service was a life-giving, love-affirming, creative experience. Not even when the gospel choir sang and danced their heart out. At times you might have thought the congregation was attending a watching-paint-drying event. Or a slow-motion tumbleweed contest.
I may be reading the situation incorrectly, it was after all the coronation of our new King Charles, but let’s not forget, when Jesus of Nazareth rode into Jerusalem on a tiny donkey (the nearest thing to his coronation day), the place was alive, the crowd were cheering, there were no safety barriers or ear-pieced bodyguards, it was messy and surprising, and it made a whole city feel better. And as we were reminded by the Bible reading in Charlie’s service – Jesus is the true King, the once and future King, the one above all others. Here’s my paraphrase of that Bible reading from the book in the New Testament called Colossians.
Jesus made God visible and approachable, he was there when there was nothing, he was the beginning of all life. He was the spark of the big bang, the one who flung stars into space and set the planets spinning. He is the source of life that never runs out, even today. All the rulers, prime ministers, kings, queens, presidents, CEOs, and all of us precious, unique people, you and I, we have been wired up by him. He was around when nothing else was around, before time itself, when there was no time, no before or after. Only the present moment. He was the seed of all life in the universe. Everything we can see and everything we cannot. He put it all together. And the greatest thing is… we can get to know him. Day by day. Step by step. Little by little. The greatest king.
As I say, that reading draws on a bit of the letter to the Colossians, chapter 1 verses 15-17, and it’s a pretty extraordinary reminder of which king to look to for help and guidance, strength and purpose, inspiration, affirmation, and courage.
This is the worldview offered to us by the writers of the Bible...