Curiouser and Curiouser

Posted: July 16, 2020 in Uncategorized
Curioser and Curioser: John Tennial, Alice at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, illustration for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 1865, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvellous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day.” – Albert Einstein. 

Curiosity leads to all sorts of things, and it was curiosity that prompted me to meet with a range of church leaders to discover what they may have learned during the isolation period that was graciously impressed upon us by COVID-19. If you haven’t already seen the results of that check out my video here. 

Curiosity has also prompted me to look further afield in the quest to discover how the church may become more nimble in its ability to change and adapt, more simple in its outlook and more directly focussed on Jesus. This week I am involved with two webinars, one from the US and one from the UK that are discussing those things and reflecting on the church of the future.

The fascinating thing is that both webinars from different parts of the world are following the same theme and I have a sense from my own conversations, that God is creating a heart for change around the world. There is a recognition that we need to look beyond traditional methods, but to engage in this search with a heart for Jesus. We are not seeking to discard the inherited church but to see how fresh expressions of church can emerge from both within the church and within the wider community.

There is a need for us to be value the lessons of the inherited church, to be inspired again by the New Testament and the words of Jesus, to be challenged by our ever-changing context, then to discover what it means to be the authentic church in our age. 

The trouble with curiosity is that it sometimes leads to places that Alice (that’s Alice in Wonderland) said are curiouser and curiouser. In this morning’s webinar we were reminded that 85% of the universe is made up of dark matter. There is a vast unknowing and while scientists are always trying to know more there’s still more unknown than known.

While those of us in “churchland” have been taught in never-ending workshops and training sessions how to do ministry more effectively and how to be more proficient at management and control of circumstances, it’s good to be reminded that most of what we do is made up of “dark matter”. There is a vast unknowing and as we venture into this unknowing without trying to control, we discover that God is in fact in control.

It reminds me of the words of the apostle Paul: And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19.

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If you live in Perth, Western Australia there’s an opportunity to discover how some people have already started that journey in curiosity. The Neighbourhood Hub is holding a free information day, which will include an expo of some cutting edge ministries, at John McGrath Hall, 97 Hensman Street, South Perth from 12 noon till 2pm, on Saturday July 25. I’d love to see you there. 

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