“Journal Notes” submitted by home groups from Study Eight: The New Creation at the Margins
submitted September 7:
The hope is that the situation for the poor is temporary in light of eternity.
Paul and Silas were seen as troublemakers and as people who were turning the world upside down. They were seen as people who were defying reason.
A new thing is always difficult for anyone to accept and for Jewish people, the new way would mean going against their leaders. Very scary.
The higher moral law as opposed to the church’s law, may have attracted.
Uncomfortable to believe that Jesus was the Messiah, because they killed Him.
New Creation and Acceptance of Status Quo
The country needs more jobs for people – too many unemployed and without purpose in life.
Govt policies mean statistics get shuffled between those on the dole and those on sickness benefits not a true picture of how many people actually out of work. Fact is, there are not enough jobs in NZ for people. People are disempowered by govt. policies. Creating jobs not really the answer Govt has a policy of permanent 5% unemployed. It is a known fact that economy grows when there is a percentage unemployed. The stronger people will get the jobs. Is it a choice to be unemployed or is it out of our control? Circumstances make people.
We are the church we are called to do what God places in front of us.
We have to believe that there is significance in what we do to help others.
We have to believe that what we do makes a difference despite appearances to the contrary sometimes.
We need to treat people the way we would want to be treated.
How do you think the church should respond?
Concern expressed at the amount of money churches have tied up in buildings and invested for building purposes only. The money cannot be used for outreach or scholarships/ endowments etc for work at the margins
Do you think poverty and marginalisation is inevitable?
Yes … reason? because of our fallen broken natures – at every level ,
rich and poor, sinful attitudes, ambitions, deviousness in abusing and
working the system for own ends – all evident and we talked of several
examples. A reminder that the Kingdom of God is both here but not yet!
We found the following helpful …
In the movie “Babe” the duck has a good doctrine of the Fall and the horse
does not! The horse thinks the way things are is ok and we should accept
it. The duck says No, the way things are stinks and we are going to fight
against it, one way or another. we are not to accept the way things are
because they are no longer the way God intended them to be. (from Cafe
Theology by Michael Lloyd)
And from the same source …
We (the church) are to be a therapeutic community,which heals by its
acceptance, its welcome, its support, its mutual forgiveness, by not writing people off, by not being shocked when people say something we do not agree with or consider heretical, by paying people the respect of being listened to and taken seriously… like the duck we do not accept the status quo.
In the final prayer we particularly appreciated the statement: “We cannot do everything and there is a sense of liberation in realising that.”
submitted May 20:
To be challenged the situations some people have to live with, the conditions that stretch one’s patience that we rarely face today.
To be challenged to be involved by having someone in need for a meal, rather than just leave food for the foodbank to disperse.
To go as Jesus commisioned us, to tell the “good news” and help where we can.
One’s heart is challenged to take action to help in some way.