Thursday, January 31, 2013

“In Search of a Unified Field Theory. A Look at Ecclesiastes”

Workshop by Pierre Gilbert

Written to the someone who believes that life under God is useless and meaningless.  The writer is a super-cynic, who shows that "life under the sun" (life without God) is meaningless.

We have two options:

  1. "Life under the Sun" = incoherence, meaningless and absurd
  2. "Life under God" = life and meaning

Interesting point of interest Ecclesiastes is a commentary on the curse (Genesis 3)

Some take away points:

  • Don't be paralyzed by fear (11:1-6)
  • Be joyful (11:7-10)
  • Be faithful to God (12:1-7)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Song of Solomon

Pierre Gilbert - workshop
(Here are some highlights - I know I am missing some things that Pierre taught us)

Song of Solomon is a love poem - it is not a metaphor for Jesus and the church

Written to combat the predominate understanding of sexuality found within that culture

The surronding cultures' understanding of sexuality

  • manipulation of the gods
    • It was a way to induce the gods to bring fertility to the earth
  • exploits women
    • Women only true value is having children
What the Song teaches us
  • Sexuality is a wonderful gift from God
  • Sex is always within the context of loyalty (marriage)
  • It is to be done with kindness and respect
    • Women are not sex objects but are people to be treated with respect and dignity
Other points:
Sex has the power to do great good and great harm.  People's lives have been destroyed because of sex.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Choosing Wisdom

Sunday sermon by Pierre Gilbert

Basic things about wisdom (and the wisdom books in bible - Job, Proverbs, Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes):

There are four levels of wisdom:

  • A trade
  • Intelligence, insight and/or shrewdness
  • Common sense
  • The understanding of the fundamental questions of life
The fourth level is the highest level.  And through out the bible it is linked to trusting/loving/seeking/following God. 
This is something that cannot be given or bought or stolen it can only be chosen.  

Wisdom is not simply for old people it is for everyone.  In fact the wisdom books target the youth.  They invite youth to choose wisdom (to choose God) which is really a choice for life instead of death.  

Monday, January 07, 2013


January 6 was Epiphany.  This is a day when we celebrate the coming of the wise men to worship Jesus and present their gifts to him (Matthew 2).
Ryan on Sunday called us to worship Jesus by bringing our gifts to him, like the wise men.  Ryan stated that we are all gifted, gifted in different ways, and that we should use these gifts to serve Jesus.

How will I use the gifts that God has given me to worship Jesus and serve others in this next year?

Friday, January 04, 2013

The rift-raft

On Sunday there was baptism in my church.  It was a beautiful thing.  It always is.  
But this time what stood out was the rift-raft.  Standing among all the people who were there on Sunday it was just so clear that we are all a bunch of rift-raft.  None of us has it together.  We come from different backgrounds, from the traditional Mennonites to the tattooed rebels.  The testimonies told stories about failure and messing up.  And how God reaches down and saves.
This is our story.  I am mess, but Jesus has reached out and rescued me.
Looking around the sanctuary I was convinced there is a God.  Because the transformed lives of the people getting baptized are not because of our greatness, in fact it seems to actually be in spite of us.  Jesus is doing something amazing.