Thursday, January 28, 2010

what's in your hand?

Moses answered, "What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, 'The LORD did not appear to you'?"
Then the LORD said to him, "What is that in your hand?"
"A staff," he replied.
Exodus 4:1-2

When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida, but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.
Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, "Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here."

He replied, "You give them something to eat."

They answered, "We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all this crowd."(About five thousand men were there.)

But he said to his disciples, "Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each." The disciples did so, and everybody sat down. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to set before the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
- Luke 9:10-17

Happy New Year, as you can see I haven't blogged as much as I'd hoped last year. But here we go for 2010.

I've been challenged recently as I've read the book 'The Monkey and the Fish: Liquid Leadership for a Third-Culture Church', by Dave Gibbons (2009).

I'm church planting a student focused church in Auckland New Zealand and I have found myself saying things like 'Only if we had some more musicians and a killer (slang not to be taken as literal) worship band" If we had more people, If I had this gift or this talent, If we had a cooler venue, if I had a bigger budget, If I was younger. IF... IF...IF... Then we'd be away and growing and doing all this cool stuff.

One of the things that Gibbon's has challenged me about is the simple question God asked Moses when he encountered him at the Burning Bush, (a good passage for God to speak to a Presbyterian through as Church Logo is the Burning Bush) "What's in your hand?" Of course Moses replies honestly "A staff" and God uses what Moses has to encourage him and also to start showing the Egyptians God's awesome power.

Likewise in Luke's account of the feeding of the five thousand he asks the disciples what do you have, you feed them? Then he takes the fish and bread they have, or as another gospel narrative says can get for a young boy in the crowd and Jesus feeds the multitude.

You know I should know this stuff, but this year as I have started off rather flat spiritually and emotionally, here is God again speaking and asking well Howard what have you got in your hands? Not what you pie in the sky dream, not your wish list, but what have you got and you know with God that is a start and enough for what we are called to do.

Blessings for 2010.