For this Sunday’s teaching, we are not only going to continue talking about “Jesus, the Original Punk”, we’re going to be reading about him from the original punk gospel – Luke, specifically the Parable of the Feast (Luke 14:16b-23). Reading this parable confronts us with loads of questions:
Why are the guests invited twice?
Who is the host, and who are the invitees?
Why do only three of the invitees excuse themselves, but not one of the “many” invited show up?
What does it mean when the slave is sent by the host to invite those in the wider streets, squares, narrow streets, and alleys (Lk 14:21)?
And then those in the roads and country lanes or hedges as well?
The most important questions of all, how does this parable help us understand the Kingdom of God, and what does it mean for us today?
Come and join us on Sunday at Alpine to delve deeper into this feast and find out.
Last Sunday we kicked off our Lenten series, Jesus as the Original Punk.
Punk is/was a movement characterised by challenging the status quo, as Jesus did. Where the culture of the day drew lines in the sand, Jesus crossed them.
Jesus is not an easy character to digest, his teachings and his ways were fundamentally disruptive (You d not get crucified for being a nice guy).
Jesus challenged the status quo.
Jesus turned the world upside down.
Jesus broke the rules.
Jesus declared the outsiders in, and the insiders out.
Jesus was the original punk.
Series starts the first Sunday in March, and will be looking Jesus most challenging, mind bending, and disrupting parables. Come join us at Alpine, 6pm on Sundays.
When we first announced the series, artists in and around our community were volunteering images, poems and ideas. Here are two, the first a poem by Johan Ferreira, and the second a painting by Melanie Stapelberg. If you have an image, or poem, or spoken word, or song to share.. please bring it on Sundays and share your gift.
JESUS the original REBEL
"What would Jesus look like today?
I've been confronted with the fact that Jesus would look very different to me today. Knowing that he is returning to judge the earth one day, he would not be judgement alike I can be all too often. He would be kind when I am not and he would see the people I ignore. He would love more practically, pray more powerfully, do more radically, and live more abundantly. And the list goes on. Infinitely.
But while I'm writing I'm also reminded of Jesus's grace and his simple and profound love. For me and for his Church. He loves each one individually, even with their faults and failures and man-made labels. Jesus would surely have fun with cool hipster Christians – I think he'd have an affinity with their beards and love of fine craftsmanship. He'd enjoy hanging out with those whose heart for the poor and the hurting reminds me of him and blows my mind. I know he already loves spending time with some of the older and wiser Christians, whose love for him, scriptures and the lost, genuinely challenges me.
The more I reflect, I keep coming back to the paradox that Jesus would look entirely different, and yet at times look remarkably like some of the Christians I know today. I could be wrong, but I think it would be pretty hard to neatly categorise Jesus as a Christian today. I don't think our man-made labels would stick easily to him. Given the way he approached many questions put to him in the gospels, I'm not sure he would answer such a query on our terms.
Continuing the theme of Jesus's words, they were never ill-conceived, sinful, careless or misjudged. They were sometimes very offensive to the people around him, often misunderstood, always true. Always spoken with perfect justice and perfect love. He had the opportunity to teach systematic theology on the mountain top, but he talked of neighbours and anger, lust and the birds of the air. He could have expounded the theory of – well – everything, but he chose to tell stories about farmers and people who had lost coins. The deep spiritual truths about God and the good news of His kingdom was revealed in surprisingly down to earth language and encounters. I think Christians today are beginning to rediscover the power of their words under God's word, but I'm still pretty sure Jesus would sound different to the average Christian talking today.
We should also consider the Christian subculture. What would he make of Christian television channels and radio stations, the Christian worship industry, Christian book industry, the millions of Christian blogs, articles, and social media chatter? Maybe Jesus today would make good use of the press and the internet - maybe he would have his own YouTube channel to disciple his followers. Maybe he would lead a mega-congregation, a worship band or a Christian life-coaching consultancy. But I'm not so sure. While I've no doubt he approves, and celebrates many of these ways of spreading the good news, I wonder if he'd also have some 'table in the temple' moments." - Melanie Stapelberg