September 2014

Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust. Isaiah 40:15. NIV



The news at present has been wall to wall on the Scottish referendum, as the date has come closer you suddenly get the impression everyone is waking up to the real implications of this vote. Meanwhile President Putin rather than encouraging nation states seems set on returning to a greater Russian empire. These two extremes tribal nationhood and empire still reveal something of our thirst for control and power over others. 

Don't misunderstand me, pride in ones national identity is generally a good thing, it gives us roots and a sense of belonging, however, Christians believe there is an identity bigger than all of this, and that there is a need to get a bigger perspective on our world. Jesus often spoke of the ' Kingdom of God', or the 'Kingdom of heaven' and in the parables and the sermon on the mount, in his life and actions he demonstrated its values. In his life, death and Resurrection he inaugurated its Government and as a result our faith and allegiance to Jesus makes us citizens of our very different sort of Kingdom. Membership is free to all, and whilst our ongoing subscription can be costly, it brings a new identity that will last forever. Importantly this is not just 'pie in the sky' for the future, His Kingdom and it's values are to be lived out now freeing us from the desire to have power and control over others.

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,  for all of you who were baptised into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26-28 NIV

Perhaps by the time you read this the result of the referendum will be known, however, when it comes to the Kingdom of God you can vote Yes and No. Yes to Jesus who offers a new identity not limited by geographical border, language, or culture.There is also a No vote, against narrow tribalism or empire. 

To the woman whose sins he had just forgiven Jesus said "Go in peace", this is a lesson many of us have yet to learn.


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