The Life Of Bread: Social Justice

 

Social Justice. A potentially emotionally and politically triggering phrase for many of us (not least if we’re feeling like we’re just keeping our own head above the water)… but there’s no denying that since he gives his people instruction, God’s way is a socially just one. Looking after the little guy. Speaking up not at equal volume but at increased volume for the needs of the downtrodden; The widows (poor and destitute women), the orphans (abandoned and hopeless), the sick, the outsiders, the forgotten and the foreigners, in a world that’s always put the strong man on top. It’s all there, right from the start of God’s relationship with his people. And pretty much everything Jesus says and does backs this up (not an ounce of aiming for the rich and powerful to gain impact in his manifesto!) So this can be a bit of a bitter pill to ponder (or even think about) for Angelenos today. But there is hope. So much hope. In the togetherness of church - the coming together of gifts and passions and ideas - around a culture that agrees ‘the last comes first.'

 

The Life Of Bread: Prayer

 

Jesus spent a lot of time praying. So, it seems clear - if we want to develop a devoted and dependent relationship on God, if we want to see the power of the Spirit bring forth signs and wonders similar to those we read about in Jesus’ ministry and in the ministry of the early church - we must also pray. But - prayer often feels a little more complex and mysterious than that, right? Prayer brings up a lot of questions - how do you do it? Does it actually change anything? What about unanswered prayer?

 

Psalms: Praising

 

We finish up this series on the Psalms with an absolute beaut: Psalm 103. This is the genre’s ‘How to praise when you don’t feel like praising’ at its best. Remember what it is that you are part of: love as high as the heavens, grace that knows no limit, a parent that holds you and fights for you, and a God who wants to hear all about how you really feel.

 

Psalms: Being Blessed

 

Psalm 146. Sometimes it feels as though God doesn’t care - but the Bible is full of encouragements that He isn’t just able to care for us, but it is His calling card. He wants us all to experience what the Bible calls being blessed. Being blessed isn’t to do with financial or social or career success, but rather about being close to God, in His presence and in step with His spirit.