Category Archives: REFLECTIONS ON THIS AND THAT

Can You Believe This? It’s a Mystery

Jesus repeatedly made the point that the entire OT came to fulfillment in Him. It’s foolishness to think He meant every verse and every event recorded in some immediate way has Him in view. It’s also foolishness to think that He meant we should look for a prediction here and there, put them like pearls on a necklace and we’d have Him. He at least means (as Stephen in Acts 7 and Paul in Acts 13 showed) that the self-revelation of God in keeping with His creation and redemptive purpose & in keeping with His promises remain constant and that they are to be seen in the narrative and words of Moses, Prophets & Psalms (Writings) That’s the claim of Jesus in John 5, Luke 24 (twice) and elsewhere.

“It all comes to fulfillment in Me,” Jesus claims and His witnesses agree. See texts like Romans 1:1-4; John 1:45; Acts 2 & 3; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, “according to the scriptures”; 2 Corinthians 1:2, passim.

We see Jesus mainly as a savior from sins and most of our speech is about His cross and His dying. We don’t teach/preach much on His resurrection and the little we hear about it has to do with what happens when He returns. Nothing much is said that relates it to God’s creative purpose to create a human family, glorious and immortal to be His companions in unending LIFE and adventure, righteousness, joy and peace with the incarnate Lord Jesus and even less about His indwelling the Church now by His Holy Spirit.
Our doctrine about Christ must include the deity and humanity of Jesus of Nazareth. Not only does He work our redemption and deliverance from all that is satanic, that is anti-God, anti-human and anti-life, He is Himself the complete embodiment of the triumph over the satanic forces. As a human, the human that God is being, Jesus of Nazareth conquered Sin by resisting all satanic temptation and deception, by refusing satanic promises of power, by totally rejecting self-sufficiency and relying completely on God to give Him life—In all that He triumphed over Sin (see the temptation narrative in Matthew 4:1-11). In rising from the dead never to die again He conquered Death.
And all He was and did He was and did as “the Seed of the woman.” Not as the seed of the man! Note the Genesis 3:15 text. God makes the woman to be the satanic figure’s enemy, God makes the woman’s children the enemies of the satanic figure’s children and God makes the woman’s particular child the crusher of Satan and it is the woman’s child that is bruised in accomplishing that triumph. (Note Romans 16:20 for her children’s victory.)
Paul reminds us in Galatians 4:4 that Jesus was “made of a woman.” Not that He was made of a man! The Greek text doesn’t say He was “born” of a woman but that He was “made” of a woman. I’m taking it that this is an echo of Genesis 2:22 where the woman was “made” (built) of a man.
In Jesus we have the perfect union of male and female, distinguishable (!!) yes, but not separable. Here in Jesus we have the new “image of God” (see Genesis 1:26-27; 5:2).
In His rising immortal, triumphant over Sin & Death humankind rises with Him. The image of God in the first phase of creation chose death without God (Genesis 1:26-27 and 3:1-13) and the new image of God chose LIFE in and with God (see Colossians 1:15; 2 Corinthians 4:4 and 3:18).
The old mortal image of God (Genesis 1:26-27; 5:2) dies in creaturely weakness and the new image of God ascends to immortality, power and glory. The old mortal image brought Sin and Death, the new image (last Adam) brings life and righteousness (Romans 5:12-21; 1 Corinthians 15:45ff, “life-bringing spirit). The one who is received up in glory is triumphant humankind, male and female, the glory and image of GOD, not separable though distinguishable (see 1 Corinthians 11:11)

“This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the Church.”

[Holy Father, deliver us from all that is satanic that sets women against men and men against woman and enable us to sense the great and wondrous mystery. This prayer in your Son who is the embodiment of yourself in union with man and woman.)

Acts: The Gospel of The Holy Spirit (Part 4)

Watch the latest video from McGuiggan Reflections.
For the next few months, we will be exploring the book of Acts in a series titled Acts: The Gospel of the Holy Spirit. We hope you enjoy and can benefit greatly from this study. To contact Jim, feel free to email him at holywoodjk@aol.com or visit his website at http://www.jimmcguiggan.com.
Watch on Youtube via IFTTT

Acts: the Gospel of the Holy Spirit (Part 2)

Watch the latest video from McGuiggan Reflections.
For the next few months, we will be exploring the book of Acts in a series titled Acts: The Gospel of the Holy Spirit. We hope you enjoy and can benefit greatly from this study. To contact Jim, feel free to email him at holywoodjk@aol.com or visit his website at http://www.jimmcguiggan.com.
Watch on Youtube via IFTTT

See Yon Wicker Gate?

For now we live in creaturely weakness and all the limits that go with that as we move toward old age and death.
When we’re young we feel immortal (though we don’t think of such matters)–that’s a good thing. The young should be allowed to be young. But as we age the world gets to be less and less a playground, the challenges we face and the decisions we must make have greater consequences and require more wisdom. If we’re fortunate we recognize our limits and if there are many options and each of them with pros and cons we become uncertain. Which? Where? How? When? What if? Ten thousand voices are whispering or shouting and confusion and uncertainty get married.

Life is too complex for any woman or man (or group of men and women) to know all the answers to even personal living much less to be able to micromanage a family, a nation or a world.
John Bunyan in the last half of the 17th century wrote an allegorical novel called Pilgrim’s Progress. Bless me, did you know that book has never been out of print though it was written well over 300 years ago? Its style makes it harder for us to read (some updated versions are on offer). Whatever its limitations it hasn’t been translated into something like 200 languages and dialects for nothing.

In the opening he falls asleep in a cave and dreams. In it the dream he sees a raggedly dressed man with a book in his hand and a great burden on his back. The man reads from the book and becomes extremely agitated and cries out, “What shall I do?” He has learned of a great catastrophe ahead for the city in which he lived and he wants to escape it but he doesn’t know how to do that. Later as he walks in the fields, still reading from the book and even more distressed the man meets one called The Evangelist who hears the man’s story of fear and the burden he carries and The Evangelist urges him to flee from the calamity to come. The distraught man responds, “But where should I flee to?”
The Evangelist points and says, Do you see yon wicker gate?” The confused man peers in that direction but confesses he can’t see it. “Well, do you see that light shining?” The man says he thinks he can see that. “Then keep you eye on the light and go straight at it and you will come to the wicker gate. Knock on it and it will be opened for you and you will be told what you are to do.”
I don’t know how many streams feed my confusion and the uncertainty that comes with it. In relation to many questions in life and living and on a regular basis I have to admit “I can’t see the wicker gate.” Nevertheless, I’m certain there’s a steady light in the distance that I can see and I’m keeping my eyes on that.

[So grateful Holy One, that your Word is a steady light way ahead of us to which we can look for direction and a lamp for our feet so we can see the killing swamps. Stay near, we pray, for we are so easily confused and we desperately need your clarity and grace to walk with assurance. This prayer in the name of the Lord Jesus, the Light of the world.]

“Something in Common.”

When we come face to face with serious and sustained trouble it’s not easy to believe that countless lovely things are happening in life. Your beloved one dies and you half-wonder why there are still people enjoying one another’s company? Why are aren’t the clocks stopped, how come birds still fly? Why aren’t all the deer standing still and silent as though they too are stunned by your grief? Why is it that cars continue to rush by and why are children still laughing as though they can’t stop? Life goes on and rationally we know it makes sense but emotionally we want to scream for noise to cease. He left you for another woman or the wife you adored said she wanted to be free—she didn’t know why, had no explanation, but she’s now gone and there’s nothing you can do about it. Financial ruin, a son and suicide, a parent and relentless disease, a daughter, drug-addicted, pregnant, marrying the drug-addicted father.
One day this will happen; you’ll be faced with something you can do nothing about. You’re not wise enough, equipped enough or emotionally strong enough—not to face this! Not This. Other things, many of them, and you made it through somehow, but this—this is different. So you slip off to some isolated place, a hill outside of town maybe, and there you begin to sob your heart out. When you’ve wept and can weep no more you hear someone else sobbing and moaning; you can’t help it, you must check and there, just beyond where the hill twists, not far from you, you see Him. Eyes streaming, chest heaving, bowed head, between his hands, sobs getting louder as you get nearer. He’s in too much pain and you just can’t let Him be like that alone. You put your arm around Him and gently ask Him if He would like to tell you about it and He tells you the awful thing that is going to happen and that He can do nothing about it—absolutely nothing. Then with his face wet with tears, He asks, “You too?” You tell him your heartbreaking story while He listens intently. He then puts His arm around you and whispers, “You and I have a lot in common.” He asks your name and you tell Him, “My name is, ‘Every One’.” You ask Him His name and He says My name is, “Me Too.”
Luke 19:41-44; Matthew 6:36-38.

Acts: The Gospel of The Holy Spirit

Watch the latest video from McGuiggan Reflections.
For the next few months, we will be exploring the book of Acts in a series titled Acts: The Gospel of the Holy Spirit. We hope you enjoy and can benefit greatly from this study. To contact Jim, feel free to email him at holywoodjk@aol.com or visit his website at http://www.jimmcguiggan.com.
Watch on Youtube via IFTTT