On Being a Contemplative in Action

So a couple of weeks ago we had a radical break with tradition, and I (Alister) delivered a talk about the story of Jesus, Mary and Martha. It was based on a sermon I preached at Wesley Church in Melbourne on the 17th of July. We don't usually do that, but it made for an interesting change. Here's an excerpt

What Is The Gospel?

A week or so ago at vicar school we were asked to summarize the gospel in a sentence. I thought this was such an interesting exercise that I decided to inflict it on Cafechurch people.

It's hard to explain something as simple as soccer in a few minutes. How much harder to summarize the Gospel! In this presentation we watch a cool dude with a traditional message, and then think about the pros and cons of both his presentation, and the theology underlying it.

The Parable of the Prodigal Son

Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

The slides from a Cafechurch study on the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32). We talked about sin, grace, and forgiveness, looking at John Newton (composer of Amazing Grace) and Jung's concept of the shadow - once we can look compassionately on our sin, we are better able to stop projecting it on everyone else.

Uploaded 10/3/2016

Figtrees and Repentance (Luke 13: 1-9)

Luke 13:1-9

At that very time there were some present who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. He asked them, ‘Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them—do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.’

Humility and the Limitations of Success

Humility - it's a funny old concept in our culture. We juxtapose Jesus' purifying the temple with his suprising claim to be humble. What does that tell us about what humility really is, and what it means for success?

This was Alister's Cafechurch session on 10/3/2015

The Lessons of the Wilderness

Starting with Mark's version of the story of Jesus' temptation in the wilderness, we touch on the film 2015 Wild (starring Reese Witherspoon), and examine the links between wilderness, suffering, and the way Lent works as a sort of portable wilderness, teaching us the importance of travelling light.

View it below, or else download the pdf

The Cafechurch session from 24/2/15

Deep Desire

How do you get in touch with your desire for God? We pay lip service to the idea that God is the end of all our desiring, but how do we make that real in our life?

One way, a little surprisingly, involves both imagining yourself as a tree, and using fariy tales. What do the fairy tales you remember from your past tell you about your desire for God - and, indeed, about God's desire for you?

You may like to use the following exercise from the presentation:

Deep Desire

What Is Church For?

[In the New Testament, Church is] what happens when the news and presence of Jesus, raised from the dead, impact upon the human scene, drawing people together in a relationship that changes everyone involved, a relationship which means that each person involved with Jesus is now involved with all others who have answered his invitation, in ways that are painful and demanding but are also lifegiving and transforming beyond imagination.

Rowan Williams, quoted in Moynagh  "A Church For Every Context."

Desire Part One

Ignatian spirituality is very strongly a spirituality of desire. God inspires each of us with particular desires and those desires which are deepest in us are therefore the same desires that God has for us.

God Loves You

God's love for you is the first, primary, basic fact about you. Here are three ways in which we can try to process this, on the surface, uncontroversial idea

• Theologically
– What does it mean to say this as a Christian?
•Spiritually / Experientially
– How do I come to know this at increasingly deep levels of myself?
• Transformationally
– God’s love is transformational – the best evidence is the life transformed into Christlikeness
 
 
St John of the Cross

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