Friday, April 26, 2013


In the last month I’ve found myself supporting three different friends in different challenging and painful circumstances.  I seem to be surrounded by broken and hurting people.

Although I’m “okay” at the moment, my own brokenness is not so far below the surface.

If we are all honest, we are all broken people in at least part of ourselves.

I can support my friends because I know what it is to feel pain, even if it was from different situations.  But I don’t know what their pain is exactly like, I’m not living though their circumstances.

I’ve been reflecting on how much we all need the Cross.  Even those of us who have been Christians for a long time still need to come back again and be reminded of this.


The Christian message is more than just about forgiveness of sins, it’s also about restoration of brokenness.  His body was broken for us, his blood was shed for us. 

Isaiah 53:4-5
New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

I’m not a theologian, so I won’t even attempt to try to understand how, but here’s how I see it.  In some supernatural mystical way, at the moment Jesus died, he somehow took onto himself all our burdens, pain, failings, weakness and guilt.  Those things then died with Him.  It doesn’t mean we don’t experience hurt and grief and sorrow, but because Jesus has carried our pain for us, he is then able to carry us through our suffering and out the other side.  Even when I couldn’t “feel” anything of God, even in my darkest times I had hope in the knowledge that He was with me.

The cross doesn’t make sense.  It’s not logical.  The Son of God crucified?  It’s beyond human comprehension.

1 Corinthians 1:18-25
New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:

‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’

Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

If you’re someone who struggles to get your head around this, then that's okay, sometimes it boggles my brain as well.  But this is the foundation of my faith, and it’s at the core of my soul.  Many churches offer a program called Alpha.  It’s a relaxed, no pressure way to explore spiritual concepts and understand how Christians make their faith real to their everyday life.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

He Tangata

I don’t usually have a reason to come into this part of the city.  Every time I do the landscape has changed.

I still don’t like how many empty spaces there are where there used to be a bustling city.  I’m still not immune to the crunch and rattle of demolition machinery.


How do I find the words to explain I feel to visiting bloggers?  I struggle to even find words to describe how I feel to myself.


Yet the spirit of Christchurch is not the buildings, or lack thereof.  As the proverb says:

He aha te mea nui o te ao?
He tangata! He tangata! He tangata!

What is the most important thing in the world?
It is people! It is people! It is people!

This is what the Inaugural National Bloggers Conference highlighted for me.  It wasn’t a corporate style conference held in an expensive hotel.  It was a community gathering, hosted at a local library and in various cafes around the city.

Image: Sophie Slim

I enjoyed learning some new techy stuff thanks to Talia and Meghan. (You can expect a gradual spring-clean down the side bar in the near future).  But the most important part of the gathering was getting to know some wonderful people.

Ka Pai to Miriam, Juliet, Treena and all the team.  You were great.

P.S. – check out what else everyone got up to over the weekend here.