Ekklesia or ekklesia?

Paul uses (as did Jesus before him) the term ekklesia (usually translated ‘church’) to refer to those who were bounded together, in relation to Jesus, called to bring about a shift to wider context. It has a history within the Greek translation of the ‘Old Testament’, the Septuagint when used to translate the Hebrew word ‘qahal’, which refers to the people, but the people when they were called to respond actively to God (‘qol’ being the word for voice / speech). Those called for purpose (when there was no direct activity the word ‘edah’ tends to be used for the people of Israel).

Ekklesia also had a background in the Graeco-Roman world with its roots originally in Athens but by the NT times spread throughout each city-state. It was – almost – what we would call the city council. Paul wrote consistently to the ‘ekklesia in…’, and of course each of those places already had an ekklesia, so he wrote to the ekklesia in Jesus Christ. Of course this indicates how transformational was his vision, with a deep underlay of expecting the future destiny of the city not to be decided by the Imperially approved ekklesia but by the ekklesia in / of Jesus.

A huge question is did Paul expect the city ekklesia to disappear? Did he expect there only to remain one ekklesia – that of Jesus? I think that is a very difficult question to answer as a) he does not address that and b) I am not sure he had thought it through! I maintain that Paul had step 1 of the process in mind – get an ekklesia of Jesus in every part of the oikoumene (Empire) – hence his desire to get all the way across to Spain. Once step 1 had been completed what next?

This is the question we are facing. As well as an issue that is huge. I am not convinced we are as far on as Paul was, in other words we are pre-Pauline with ekklesia being shaped sociologically as community not movement, thus reversing the thrust of the New Testament. So at that level we are pre-Pauline, but I think with the end of Christendom in Europe we now need to be on the post-Pauline journey of where to now, hence the question of ‘one’ or ‘two’ ekklesiai becomes relevant.

Let me put that a little more practically. I observed Gayle and Andrew at work with a group from Meta and Google this past week. Urging those Christian believers to see themselves as ekklesia within the respective companies, taking responsibility for the culture, values and future of the company – so just like Paul releasing an ekklesia in the city-state for the city-state.

The questions we are now facing are: does the ekklesia that is necessary for transformation consist of only believers (after all I started the post with ‘in relation to Jesus’)? There is also an ekklesia, in the sense of governing boards within companies. Do they have any part to play in the outworking of the future?

Here then is where I am currently (spelt ‘tentatively’). We need believers to step up and as they do something is shaped in the heavens, for all authority in ‘heaven’ and on ‘earth’ is given to Jesus; as they do that space is created for others to align themselves with that. At that stage the blurring begins, the expansion takes place, the ‘Asiarchs’ are engaged… a path is set toward the kingdoms of this world becoming the kingdom of our Lord and Christ.

Nothing perfect. But nothing static, and no ghetto please! Steps forward, and maybe steps back, maybe the pronouncement that you cannot buy and sell… but until then.

Putting an end to religious indoctrination

On Sunday 20th November I am co-hosting an international panel on the subject of ‘ending religious indoctrination’. It will be from 7:00pm – 9:00pm UK time. The panel, nor the wider event will be explicitly Christian and is part of the ‘Golden Doors Dialogue’. The event is recorded and can be watched by a limited number live, but then is available in a number of media forums later (all initiated by a remarkably gifted and well-connected person Tahira Amir Sultan Khan).

I can make available as a host a limited number of tickets that would give you access to the panel that I co-host and to any of the other panels. There is a form at the bottom of this page, just go and fill it in if you want a complimentary ticket:

https://www.goldendoorawards.com/GoldenDoorDialogues-SpeakerGuests

Here are the 10 panels over those days:

  • Creating a World-class Society
  • Freedom of Writing
  • Women Empowerment for a New Future
  • Achieving Equality through Time-Equity
  • Tyranny of Taboos
  • Putting an End to Religious Indoctrination
  • Post-Covid Future for Children
  • Decentralisation of Money & Finance & Eco-Societies
  • Creating Effective Global Tribal Councils
  • Power of Science & Spirituality, the Estranged Siblings

Changing Season and the Space Between

A post from Gaz Kishere:


I woke up today in a reflective mood and wondering if anyone else has a similar experience of space and change. Its taken probably around 18 months to think in terms of what others may experience, because at the time it feels like a deeply personal dive into self, accompanied buy an outrageous amount of self talk and internal sifting, along with those feelings to be found at our core, around our stomach area where the knots of guilt, imposter syndrome and shame make camp.

I include imposter syndrome because whilst this is normally experienced when in the context of a role, function and doing which comes as an accusation that ‘you should not be there – you fraud’, when you are trying to ‘hold space’, recognise and draw down that it was God who took you into the last season of purpose and he will do it again, the imposter voice is “mate, your just kidding yourself ”. Holding space becomes avoidance, resting becomes selfish indulgence, waiting for significance becomes rejecting normalcy and so on. Who would have thought that ‘not doing’ could bear some of the painful feelings of ‘over doing’ and burn out.

I took a friend to task a few years back who shared a post advocating that leaders should not retreat, they should press in and not give up, especially during the onset of the Covid years, where they are needed more than ever. I felt the need to highlight what I considered it to have loaded language, that stepping down or stepping back could be seen as failure, negative, giving up instead of strategic withdrawal or necessary recovery. Perhaps Christianity both attracts and creates people who’s primary measure of worth is in constant engagement and nothing is to be learned, gained or created in the space between.

An added process layer in these days where deconstruction is the life and faith process of some, is that a new season of role, position, task may not emerge at all, since one of the elements of said journey is that life, living, breathing and simple work must find their own sacred significance above and beyond the roles where this has been said to reside. Ask, Seek, Knock is certainly a methodology which can be utilised in the space along with active intrigue, the sniffing out of things which could resonate. Its somewhat like digging for gold I guess and I am mindful of not rejecting silver or casting aside opals of meaning as I reduce my options and limit my possible futures of hope with a shine. This, I feel, would be a terrible life limiting way of processing.

Its not that I am ass scratching, which is my father in-laws favourite phrase destined for those ‘not doing’. In fact I have been trying to grow a counselling service over the last three years, which is coming alongside those who are burning out in their support of the refugee community. I have even done some online diplomas to deepen my tool kit of therapist and even some writing courses, though it may not come to the fore in my ramblings here. Yet I still find myself, amidst this, practicing the principle of ‘holding space’ and attempting, as best I can, to partner with possibility, to align with opportunity and to be available to the as yet unknown. My fear and in part my experience is that this desired next thing, means that I do not give the attention and value to the things I am actually doing, attention and appreciation which they deserve. In truth, I find it difficult to feel content in that place where some good things are happening, whilst perhaps having been conditioned to keep reaching for that thing where I place significance and so all else becomes insufficient. To be honest, all of this just causes me to feel more than a little shitty. For sure, I am not at peace with myself and perhaps there is need of another layer of healing, re alignment and shifting paradigm which has yet to do its work. I hope so, though even that is in itself more that a little wearing as I experience the wave of divine release, tears and snot flowing… as I await the sunshine and warmth of his presence purging my entire being. I know that this is part of space for me, and yet when that wave comes it is not joy that accompanies it, but a few swear words of frustration as my inner voice says ‘oh bloody hell, not more old shit ‘. I guess such things are done, when they are done and finished.

One of the ways God deals with me are in holding me to account in the things my mouth speaks in the help of others. One such situation was with a client who had been in a prolonged period of recovery from burn out in a toxic work environment. The person had their own experience of stepping into space and away from function along with all the void of validation that no role and self sacrificing can give. After several months said person is having their own aversion to space and the need to push out in one direction or another has increasingly come to the for as perhaps we cannot fully remove worth and meaning from doing and actually should not seek such. We all need the dopamine reward and satisfaction of some form of accomplishment. The language we used in processing this was that of exploring, experiencing and perhaps a little risk. We did this by using the illustration of a figure of 8, somewhat on its side like the symbol for eternity to indicate a flow of life. In therapeutic work we recognise the one part on the left as being a place of withdrawal, safety, nurture, mother and womb. The other half of the 8 is viewed as experience, exploration and being in and through the world. In reality there is a need of both and an over extended period in life and experience can necessitate some time spent in mother, nurture, safety till we find flow and value in both. At times, the safe space circle becomes much bigger than the other, depending on the self-work, which is needed and the recovery time we need. In truth the safe space is something we always have a need to flow through as we find our balance and so our time in experience and world can be explored more deeply. The sacrificial nature of those working with refugees and those who have a doctrine of life laying down loving or faith, can frequently lead to a neglect of withdrawal, space and nurture as we place perhaps sacred significance on works.

This was a helpful frame as the person recognised that the place of recovery and nurture was doing its work, and so there was a capacity to allow imagination, hope and dreaming to re emerge around task and function, something which plays its part in how we view and enact purpose. On the other side of that coin, is the deep deep work of finding worth, self love and the acceptance of God aside from purpose… but man, its tough and so you find me, in part, between seasons, neither summer nor winter, spring time or harvest as the song goes. I am, in reality, in a place of tension with the paradigm that my past stories and works came as a result of Gods hand and I am indeed expressing that gratitude, but what if that was it, what if there is not to be another season like those I have experienced over the last 40 years again. What if challenging where I place meaning and worth in function ‘is’ the season and I will have to view life through very different and yet still Jesus tinted glasses moving forwards. I have in most respects felt that I am standing on the Axis of the 8 (great title for a book) where I am between on-going wellness and new life rhythm’s and perhaps instead of the great known, the venture out and towards, is, at this time, into the great and somewhat scary unknown.

Finally, back in the 90’s when we were doing night-club style church gatherings and trying to be culturally relevant, we had an outside speaker come to ‘rally’ the troops. We found ourselves in the basement of a theatre having outgrown other venues and feeling pretty good about where things were at. Said speaker talked about pioneering and new things and with great hilarity stated that we needed to put on an “apostolic condom”, because the last thing we needed was more dreams, visions and ideas to have to grow to adulthood. On the other side of the narrative was “you have indeed pioneered, but who said you could stop? Who said you could get off the bus”. It felt like a slap around the chops to some degree but what resonated with me as my inner voice pushed back was that pioneering was no longer a glamorous idea, the need to innovate and entrepreneur. We had pioneered, birthed, we had sought the new or wild with all our hearts but now, we know its cost and that makes it a very different animal.

To balance my own search for the significant, I also feel it is important to affirm anyone who wants to undo that way of thinking and as with my client who had been in the place of nurture, womb, recovery, moving towards exploring ‘out there in life’ again. Part of the power of the space, is also the power of the right to choose what is next and perhaps for our previously absent or more silent ‘no’ to find more volume. And lets not forget that whatever normalcy is for us, we are in a place of recovering just how wonderful that can be and that it is indeed sacred, unless you are still in a cult which says and models counter to this beautiful truth.



In / Out or Direction?

Been a little silent on here for the past few days as caught up with a bunch of other stuff, including right now with Gayle (and Andrew Chua) in Silicon Valley. Great connections for now and with potential for the future. Principles of participating in ‘city’ shift / transformation seem so transferable to corporate / global life. Two of the important hurdles to get over for those working within corporations are that they are not employed by the corporation – I guess that one should be pretty obvious, but when not acknowledged it is very difficult to outwork something of a kenarchic (kingdom) movement. It is also difficult with that approach to effectively disempower mammon.

The second aspect is that believers are not involved with the purpose of converting people (a side effect).

It is that barrier that is essential in the shift to ‘transformation’ / discipling nations. Maybe as a way in to it we can consider the two paradigms of in / out and that of direction. The in / out paradigm borrows heavily from the presentation of Jesus to a religious leader in Jerusalem where he needed a spiritual experience, so radical that it was akin to a birth-again; this would enable him to see the kingdom and to be like the wind – unpredictable in activity but consistent in character. However, I suggest that there is another paradigm that Jesus presented where the direction of a person was very important, and that he put a measurement along a spectrum:

And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions (Mark 12:34).

Proximity to the kingdom. Direction, headed toward seems to have value. Paul maybe is indicating the same thing in Romans when he talks about those whose behaviour is in line with kingdom values, where a judgement will be made on that great day according to their behaviour (Rom. 1:12-16).

Could it be that there are those ‘born again’ that are not very close to the kingdom, and those who are not ‘born again’ who are close to the kingdom?

Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper (Jer. 29:7).

The above Scripture is a challenge to the inward looking prayer (if it goes no further) of praying for the peace of Jerusalem. Prosperity of the city is not to be understood primarily as ‘economic’ and certainly not when it is tied to (defined by?) peace / shalom. A city that prospers (BABYLON!!) is one that is nearer the kingdom, it is one where there is a tangible measure of the kingdom having come, the will of God being done, the culture of heaven on earth. It is moving in a direction… ever closer to the kingdom.

And ‘you too will prosper’? Again not be thought of in terms of ‘economic’ prosperity (and this kicks back to who is the employer). Prosperity for the believer is that their life seeps out, that seed falls everywhere, including on good and honest soil.

The relationship is symbiotic. We need the corporation to be moving closer to the kingdom if we are to prosper. It is not ‘I am prospering (saved?) and I am calling for you as individuals to cross over and be in’, but ‘I am sowing, working, praying and immersing myself in a way that you will experience (corporately) shalom’ and as I do that ‘our / my life is overflowing (being saved) so that the Christ in me becomes visible’.

Early thoughts above… let them marinate.

Advance notice… (way ahead of time!)

Over the past months I have held (with Ro Lavender and Steve Lowton) a series of ‘open zooms’, zooms unrelated to the books I wrote. The next of the ‘open zoom’ evenings is now scheduled for Tuesday December 6th, 7.30pm UK time. (See ‘way ahead of time’.)

We have three planned, all with the idea that they will throw light on where we are at, and so we could call them (more or less) ‘Kingdom Economics’ (we might also call them, ‘some thoughts on how we respond in this season’, but that is far too long! We will follow on in February 7th. with Rosie helping us respond and then try to tie some of it up on March 7th.

In a Zoom like this a few months back Peter McKinney joined us and shared from his own setting insights that resonated, challenged and helped clarify sight. In the light of that we have asked him if he would come back and so he has agreed.

I am sure Peter will help us tune in to the season we are in and help us navigate the challenging times that we are entering. I think all three should be enlightening, challenging, creative and fun! Now that is a lot of enticing adjectives, so you really will need to be there!

And not to worry I will follow this up from time to time with little reminders – a kind of ‘ahead of time’ to a final one of ‘you really missed out and I have no idea now you will ever be able to catch up cos those webinars revealed everything about the here and now and the here and then and the then and here, and I have lost my train of thought’… Yes those kind of helpful posts.

See you in December!

OK… so why?

Now we have the right question. I remember going to Wales with a prayer team some 20+ years ago. We were hosted in a local hotel and as I walked through the door I said ‘this place is haunted’. A few wide eyes from some of the team with me, and we walked to reception, where there was a little note – our hotel is the home also of xxx who walks the corridors of this hotel…’

What should we do. My response was, ‘I am here to sleep, if there will be any disturbance it will be me disturbing this spirit.’ [Now some 20 years later and having dialogued with [Anglican] advisers to bishops on the para-normal I might have a few more ‘categories’ than I had back then. Back then, pentecostal boy, saw everything not of God as demons.]

I have been privileged to be asked into homes of those who are not ‘believers’ (but if invited in are they not at some level a ‘believer’?) to deal with doors banging randomly, apparitions manifesting etc.. I remember in Leatherhead my neighbour talked to me over the fence asking for some help. I went round and said – ok come with me, and together we will sort this out. At the end he crossed himself the way I do as he was from a Catholic background, she went the other way as she was from an Orthodox background – I didn’t, as back then I did not cross myself. Not sure if I would do it differently now – back then it was simple, this is a demon that is attached to the house due to the trauma left from a previous owner.

So back to yesterday’s post… Paul what did you do?

Three months later we set sail on a ship that had wintered at the island, an Alexandrian ship with the Twin Brothers as its figurehead (Acts 28:11).

Twin brothers – the gods / semi-gods Castor and Pollux. OK bring it up to date. We go buy a car, and the salesperson proudly says – you have a great vehicle here and we have dedicated this car, complete with naming ceremony to the god who oversees all travel. What would we do? Refuse to buy it? Cast out the demons? Take it to the local church and ask them to sprinkle it / submerge it fully? Although a little humorous I think such a car would create a few questions for us.

So Paul what did you do?

Wrong question.

He might have emabarked with a good old ‘shaba dabba’ and confronted the powers behind the image – after all he said images are nothing, but behind them lie demons. Or he might have simply cast them a sideways look, went to his bunk and slept, not even giving them the time of day.

The Bible doesn’t tell us cos it would be so detrimental – we would do what he did. Not a good idea. We need to do what we need to do, and as far as possible for the same reason as Paul did what ever he did.

I wrote to a group recently about a shift in a situation from ‘heavenly warfare’ to the entrance of the warfare on the earth – always a key transitional moment. I said for some it might mean intense prayer, for others a glass of wine.

Not… never what… always why.

What did you do (Paul)?

Wrong question

I was once in a gathering many moons ago when the speaker (Sharon Stone… no not the actress) asked ‘how many of you have walked around a building or a block seven times, claiming it for the Lord?’. In my element I was one who enthusiastically put up my hand. She paused for a moment and then said, ‘You did that because you did not hear from God, you read it somewhere.’

Her point was made. We copy. We want to find out what was done before, so we quickly look for some mud and spittle (any spit will do) and carry it with us waiting for the miracle to happen. Joshua did not have a ‘Bible’, he heard God and acted. Jesus did not have a manual to refer to.

We like to know and then treat the Bible like a rule book, a manual to tell us what to do. I think it is more like fuel in the tank for OUR journey that a detailed map or instruction manual.

I like the big missing pieces in Scripture. Was Paul opinionated and difficult to get along with? Not really too relevant (might be interesting but so what?). More relevant is what about Martin? (I hope not now using it as an instruction manual) but we read of what is required of leaders in some of the ‘pastoral letters’: two quite good principles there – what happens in the home, and what do the neighbours think? Public and private… mind the gap.

I was shaped by a movement that I am deeply grateful for but in those early days we had / were on the journey of discovering what the shape of biblical church was. I think now not so smart, or might only get us so far… after all let’s assume we get the answer we are looking for, we could well be in danger of getting a ‘new wineskin’ but wineskins do not produce wine.

Paul, what did you do when you got were inside that vehicle, and inside it for days, and was informed that it had been dedicated to two demonic powers? That I am really interested in. I need to know cos then I will know what to do. And the BIBLE? Wonderfully silent. It is the wrong question. We can do the what… march around 7 times; pray and fast and ‘deal’ with the principalities; determine what and how ekklesia should be. All wrong questions. ‘WHY?’ I think ‘why’ is the question that we need to engage with. (More tomorrow.)

One more time: end of monarchy

The Bible… Love it. So much empowerment comes through regular reading and meditating on the pages, and if I am not cautious, empowerment of my ideas. Just seems God has not put in our hands a book that is so clearly delineated that I am the one inside the ‘lines’ and I put others ‘outside’. Chosenness places us in the door, not in possession of the house. All ins in Scripture seem to be so that all can be in… Jews so that the whole earth, all the ethna are able to enter. That seems to be the ultimate manifestation of the ‘tabernacle of David’ (Acts 15:16, 17). It is not centred in on 24 hour worship (though we worship in Spirit and in truth and that is a flow from our lives), nor about the ‘throne’ of David in the sense of some Jewish restoration… though all of those aspects can perhaps serve along the journey.

Israel, so different. And the many diverse understandings of Israel / election led to the sects within the developing people – particularly post-Exile once they had lost the land – and probably also leads to so many viewpoints within Scripture. There is a strong ‘we must have a king’ angle to counter that of ‘every person doing what is right in their own eyes’. I like the double-meaning that I read in there, but clearly the editors are agreeing that ‘we need a king’ and the only legitimate king is the one that is descended from David, hence the disaster that had come on the Northern kingdoms. (Interestingly in the earlier books there is a lot of justification why David should be king and why Solomon should be king, but by the time of the Exile with Chronicles there is no justification for this at all. By then it was clear David and his lineage is the authorised one from heaven. Now that is a viewpoint!)

And the other stream… the one I like of course. Kingship is rejecting God. Saul does not cut it… that soon becomes clear, so God then looks for someone after ‘his own heart’. Soft, open, meditative, reflective, worshipping for sure. But that takes us so far. If kingship is a rejection (the statement is not ‘if they choose Saul they are rejecting me’, but ‘asking for a king is rejecting me’) then to be after God’s own heart is to empty kingship of all it consists of, it is to bring kingship to an end, so that with renewed hearts, sight changes (a big Pauline theme) leading to each person doing what is right in their own eyes.

I have prior to this blog pointed out that Solomon displays wisdom and foolishness seemingly in equal measure, his structure in the land is Egyptian (very impressive to a Queen of Sheba)… leading to the divided kingdom and one part choosing one who came up from Egypt as their king. And the other part, Judah, overtly not choosing such a person, but the die is already cast.

Jesus comes as the ‘son of David’. He represents humanity in all its forms, and as son of David there is an implicit understanding of him being ‘king’, and king he is, just as David was. The fruit of David’s kingship is mixed and there are despots as well as good kings released, for ‘power corrupts’… Then we look at the cross, there nailed to it, to be read is ‘king of the Jews’. Accidental? Or is kingship nailed to the cross?

Yes we can use the terms ‘king of kings’ for Jesus, and how ironic that was in the NT era where there was always one who claimed to be ‘king of kings’, the one based in Rome. The pathway though is so different. Jesus is not the victor over the (Roman) king of kings through out-kinging the emperor. Laying down his life, the principalities that lie behind kingship are drained of their power. Language is so challenging. We use the term ‘king of kings’ and probably go very quickly to that of power and enforcing a rule.

‘Not so among you’ are words that were explained in the act of foot-washing.

I don’t really know what Jesus as king really looks like. In his presence we rightly tremble, we fear… not because of impending wrath but because we simply do not comprehend love like that.

David was to totally re-calibrate kingship so that power does not shape the future. God as ‘king’ does not shape the future according to power. Love overcomes.

One more ask!!!

This is more or less a repeat of the post I put out enticing anyone who wishes to to part with some dosh to help get some Brazilians across to the UK in January to be exposed further to the work of Authentic Business / Lives. This is a next step for them so that AL & AB can be expanded in Brazil… (If you wish more details please drop me an email.)

Gayle is going to be part of the next Ignite training conference in January in Ashburnham Place. We (Gayle and I) want to help some Brazilians that she has been working with for a while to get across to the conference, and also to have some extra time to dialogue. They are people that we know / have known for years. They are not ‘monied’, Brazil’s economy is not similar to the UK, so money is a challenge. We would love for them (how many depends on how much dosh can be available – up to 4 people if possible) to be able to attend. Update: I think at present we will be able to get 2 people across… big thank you to those who have contributed… all monies will be used for this, and all contributions are welcomed.

We will be making a contribution so invite anyone else who would like to to join us. (You can also email me – martin@3generations.eu to get any other information you want about this.)

How to give?

We have arranged with David Erasmus and his charity ‘BroadPlace’ so that gifts (UK-wise) can be given into the charity with the additional bonus of Gift Aid being added to the contribution.

If you need to contact David directly: info@broadplace.org.uk or david.erasmus@broadplace.org.uk

So either email me directly or David to get details of the bank account and procedure. David will need your email to send you a GiftAid form and also a procedural Data record permission form.

The Ignite conference – hey think about coming. You will love it, and probably not over your head at all.

To register: https://bit.ly/ignitejan2023

Big days in the wilderness

Forty days in the wilderness. Those were a big 40 days… 40 days to undo 40 years of wandering, which in turn were 40 years of judgement for refusing to enter the land where the spies went into for 40 days. I know I have posted on the ‘temptation stories’ before, but they seem to carry such significance.

The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness (Mk. 1:12).

The Matthew and Lucan accounts are a little softer with ‘led’ being the verb, but in Mark the verb is ultra-strong. The same verb as is used consistently of ‘casting out’ demons! Two sides of the same coin. Being led to the wilderness usually feels like being ‘cast out’, ‘thrown’ into the wilderness. A dislocation is what is experienced, but behind it all is the gentle (!!) leading of the Spirit.

The wilderness, the abode of demons. The place where demons go to when cast out (‘dry and waterless place’) so that from there they can then go and find a home. They are always looking for a home among humans and within human activity. Jesus goes there, and from time to time we will find ourselves dislocated, vulnerable.

The big picture…

The first temptation is one the two Gospel writers agree on. Economic principles that are not based in creational order. The second two they change the order – religious and political power. The final two are of course what put Jesus on the cross; the compromised religious order ‘prophesying’ that it was better for one to die otherwise the Romans would come and take away their religious privileges, even taking away their Temple. Of course this is exactly what happened with the destruction of the Temple in AD70… (I think the current desire to move in this direction can only end with the same outcome.)

Some people suggest I am biased… I simply say I am writing from a perspective!!! So.

Dislocation. Into the wilderness, led there tenderly / cast out and landing there. The place where the word of the Lord comes (to John) and the place where he stayed. It is one thing to get the word of the Lord in the wilderness, but I think maybe too many have gone from the wilderness to the palace. John stayed there; Jesus went in there.

We have to (corporately, globally, and believers as first fruits of a new Creation) nail the ‘stones into bread’. Get rich schemes. Exploitation of creation, solely extracting and all that follows on from that. A confession: I never want to be without, I have insecurities about all kinds of provision… I am intimidated in the presence of those with resources / money / possessions (cannot call that wealth, as wealth and money are not the same), and one of the jokes the Lord has (divine jokes are normally at our expense, they come to reveal what is in us) is that from time to time I mix with those who are involved in global finance, who have downloads about the shifts taking place. I have pointed out to one of them that I am on a totally different page to them; the response has been ‘that is why I want you here’. That is grace, for truth does not lie in me, nor in ‘them’; truth is elusive and is in the space between us, and it will always remain just a little elusive (a lot elusive!).

Back in 2008 I began to see that there was coming an invention that would ‘recycle everything that cannot be currently recycled’. I have lost sight of that (and related aspects concerning climate crisis) over the past years and lost hope. I have been provoked in recent days to pick this up again, to believe that there will be ‘inventions’, ‘sight’ that will reverse the mess we have created… Maybe, but I think first the economic (‘money makes the world go round and round’) will have to change. Let me put it more strongly it has to change. We might all have a bias, but the simple extraction from creation as if it is ours to do that to has to go. Twenty years of challenge, into this.

If we are serious about the religious giving way to the true knowledge of God… for the boundaries are set so that people might seek after God (so there is something of God that can be found within all kinds of religion, including that of the religion that we have created with Christendom – political power compromised, as Judaism was in the days of Jesus in Jerusalem). ALLLLLL religion has to give way to the true knowledge of God – that only comes through Jesus. If we are serious about a genuine new world order, a city where there is no Temple present, or no Temple to be seen – that is so ironic, with the original Jerusalem Temple occupying something around 20% of the territory, it was what was seen!

Yes the wilderness is where it begins. There is also the top of the Temple and the high mountain that has to be visited. With the attendant temptations to be refused and a return to the wilderness, so that the scene can end with angels (heavens occupants) and wild beasts (the institutions hostile to heaven) all being present.

Wilderness is home for a while to come I guess. Yet provision will be there.

Perspectives