Friday, April 16, 2010

The Number Of The Beast is 2.50

It's official, the number of the beast is 2.50 - for Swansea folk anyway.

Our friends at the Uplands Diner, in the Uplands area of the City strangely enough, are very generously donating, to the work at Zac's Place, £2.50 for every completed plate clearing of their famous all day breakfast 'The Beast' - Pop in and give it a go!!

Our thanks and appreciation to the staff and customers who also generously donate via the tins on the counter and supply food for the Thursday night soup kitchen.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

"A Hell Of A Weekend" - Easter Thoughts - Part 4

Imagine how different it would have been when the girls rocked up at the tomb, where Jesus' body lay, to discover it wasn't empty. And also to discover that neither was it closed up, with a couple of bouncers at the entrance. There's a third option; I sometimes wonder what the reaction would have been if they'd showed up, saw the stone rolled away and as they peered in; saw Jesus sat on a stone bench. Maybe he would be picking his scabs and making mention of having had 'a hell of a weekend' and could they 'nip down the Seven Eleven to get some paracetamol'. Fully alive, but still sat in the tomb, not daring to venture back out into the world.

As bizarre as this thought may be, the reality is that for many Jesus followers, the tomb, is as far as we dare to live out our faith, naval gazing and scab picking. For many and varied reasons it becomes all too easy to live in a Christian ghetto where life becomes stifled, beige, bland and disconnected with reality. The resurrected Christ walked out of the tomb, back into a kaleidoscope of colours, contradictions and questions - back in the company of his mates and their 'warts and all' world - not just watching it walk past his narrow window on the outside. Just as well really.

Got a life? Get walking.

Cheers and God bless ya this Easter time!

Luke 24:1-12 
(From The Message Translation of the Bible)

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Don't Forget To Pull The Curtains and Put The Lights Out - Easter Thoughts - Part 3

In the recorded stories of Christ's crucifixion the ripping from top to bottom of the 60 foot curtain veil in the heart of the temple is more than a bit of a gust blowing through. This massive curtain was only to be ventured behind by the most devout and on very few select occasions - access was seriously restricted, and denied to 99.9% of people, but it was all part of Israel getting it's house in order with God and the limited access was understood and respected.

When Jesus breathed his last all kinds of wierd stuff happened - including this curtain tearing in two. The way was now blown wide open as a result of Christ's sacrificial death. Access into the presence of God was no longer for a select few on a particular date and time in a designated holy place. Intimacy with God - the seeking and granting of his gifts of forgiveness, grace, mercy, hope, justice, peace - came out of the confines of the temple and into a wounded world for real.

The story of Easter - of Jesus the Nazarene - is not just for a religious few that have got it all together - it's the stuff of revolution as the 'temple courts' are filled with the most unlikely. Bob Dylan picked up on a similar vein:

"Tolling for the aching ones whose wounds cannot be nursed For the countless confused, accused, misused, strung-out ones an worse An for every hung-up person in the whole wide universe An we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing."
Bob Dylan - Chimes of Freedom, 1964

Freedom had a price. Freedom is a gift.

Luke 23:44-46

Friday, April 02, 2010

What Jesus Never Said - Easter Thoughts - Part 2

What Jesus Never Said ... whilst hanging up, butt naked before a mocking world ...

"That's right you lot, bugger off and leave me here to die, you bunch of wasters"

.. I think we find what he actually said ran more along the lines of, "Father forgive them, they don't know what they're doing".