Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Vocation, Vocation, Vocation - Part 4 An alternative dialogue

Picture the scene, you are in the coolest bookstore in town, and you've just purchased the latest Emergent Bible translation called "The NIV: Nebulous Indefinite Version". You pop into the cafe area and start quaffing a skinny latte and tucking into some chocolate (oh, it's fair trade I should add). The candles are burning around you. Sigar Ros is playing over the sound system. As you relax, you turn to your new purchase and open it to John 21:15-19:

Jesus: Simon, do you love me?

Peter: Yes Lord, you know that I love you.

Jesus: Fight injustice, homophobia, racism, you name it. Simon Peter, do you love me?

Peter: You know all things Lord, you know that I love you.

Jesus: Fight poverty. Don't let anyone fool you when they say you'll always have the poor with you. You can make a difference Pete. Do you love me?

Peter: You know that I love you.

Jesus: Burn out my sheep for the glory of God. I'm telling you Peter, one day the world will love you for these things...


Les said...

Nick, I stumbled onto your blog via Heidelblog. Great stuff you are writing.

Thanks especially for this latest series on vocation.

Les Prouty

Nick Mackison said...

Thanks Les! I suppose I just write to clarify my thoughts. I'm so pleased that good folk like you are appreciating it.

God bless

Anonymous said...

I'd like to add my voice to the positive comments.

Keep up the good work.

Nick Mackison said...

Thanks Phil.

Steven Carr said...


I, too, found your via the Heidelblog. Your posts are great. I plan to share them in a class I am taking called "Jesus's Humanity Matters Every Day." No, no, you're wrong, it has nothing to do with the book of Hebrews. It's about how Jesus wants us to eco-friendly socialists. The class is taught by the daughter of Gordon Fee. Sadly, I'm the only one in class who thinks the course content is rubbish.

Stephen Ley said...

What?! Jesus didn't say "teach my sheep to feed themselves."

Good post.

Nick Mackison said...

Stephen and Steven, thanks for your encouragement!

Steven, I'm glad I won't be in your class to witness the carnage.

Tim said...

Found your blog through Todd Pruitt's blog. Love this stuff. The church needs more people like you in such a bad way.

Lar said...

So, interpret for us, what is Christ REALLY saying? Obviously "feed my sheep" can't literally mean give them food. So help all of us "social gospel" folk who take God's commands about helping the poor literally to see what is really going on behind those words.

Nick Mackison said...

So for "feed" read literal food Lar? I suppose "sheep" means literal ewes and rams?

Nick Mackison said...

BTW, you don't need a social moralistic gospel in order to care about the poor. Cocern for the poor is merely a consquence of right preaching of the Gospel.

Lar said...

Then you don't seem to be preaching the right gospel. What is your sarcastic statement "Fight poverty. Don't let anyone fool you when they say you'll always have the poor with you. You can make a difference Pete" supposed to mean? It seems to me that it means one shouldn't bother with poverty. That seems to be the gospel you are preaching. Which by your own admission is not the "right gospel" because it doesn't speak good news to the poor. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Nick Mackison said...

Lar, the point I'm making is that the gospel message is about Christ, dead buried and raised. It isn't an agenda for social change. The present evil age is passing away and the most we can do is chuck some salt on it to stop the rot.

An overflow from the gospel is generosity and care for the poor. My sarcastic comment was levelled at those who make the message of the church one of social change and not about Christ.

The job of the church is to feed its people with the crucified and risen Christ through word and sacrament. Or are we just another socialist cause? So feed my sheep, is feed with Christ. Look at how Christ talks about the real food from heaven throughout the Gospel of John.