me I immediately shared his grand comparison of me and Chaucer, with the sharp bubble-burster of my home, my wife, who simply said, “Hmmm, yes, Chaucer. He was crude as well.” Typical. What does she know anyway?
Unfortunately we have upwardly diminished the power of the Bible in making it palace-worthy rather than pavement-worthy, making it a book for the studious instead of a book for the sidewalk. The common people heard Jesus gladly and I can guarantee you, He wasn’t received in the majestic language of the King James Version. The common people. They heard Him. They received Him. Gladly! I am not talking about dumbing down here either, but rather about tooling up with the words of the day.
We need to regain some street-credibility in the delivery of the Scriptures. Before that happens, however, we need to let loose the so long now muzzled, powerful jaws of the lion and allow it to roar once more. I wonder if the hidden and diluted Word of God which we are peddling from our pulpits now, which over the years we have also so tightly dressed up like a gay, and mincing, little white, and pink,padded-poodle-ette, is quite frankly too embarrassed to be taken outdoors? It is embarrassing, isn't it? For our misuse of the Bible in this way, and that is what the cultural diluting of the Word of God is, a gross misuse of the Bible, has robbed it of its awesome power and thoroughly embarrassed it. God help us, please! For this Word in its undiluted form is the very life-giving juice dripped from the leaves of the squeezed out tree of life! So, yes indeed, we need to let the juice loose even if it does cause so many letters to be written by ‘Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells, and Karens!’ I say again, Let the juice loose!
However, before we can let this juice loose once more, I wonder if we need to let loose most of the Christians who read the juicy book and especially those frightened little folk who we have sent to seminary-dentistry, where they have had their teeth removed and the rough and ready garments of the prophet replaced by smart and casual, Hawaiian-shirt, cool respectability. Lord God! (and that’s a calling prayer) Lord God! I hate respectability, and I hate it with a vengeance! You see, I reckon that nice speaking, polite little Christians, have done more damage to the Kingdom of God than the devil could ever do.
I have two things to leave with you tonight than:
First an equation, and frankly, maybe it’s just me, but I do find that in my life, that the more righteous I experientially and practically become, the less outwardly, pretentiously respectable I both appear and act. How’s your life adding then up in terms of middle-class, middle-England type respectability tonight? Are you above all things, nice? Or, are you above all things, holy?
Secondly, note that when a clawed, and sharp-beaked, sharp-eyed hawk even gently glides past the settled nests of the starling colonies, the little birds rise up and attack it. Prophet. Jesus street preacher. Watch out for the darling, little starlings for they are not as sweet as you might think, and I tell you, they do not want their nice little nest much ruffled, especially if their religion gets in a state. If you are not nice, like them, then they will peck you to death.
Even so, and, never the less, do remember to drink the Bible in its undiluted form, yes remember to simply let the juice loose and always preacher, I mean always, serve the Word like sushi. Raw!
Listen:- As they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: "What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. 1 For this is he
The Lamb Takes the Scroll
5 And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. 2 Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?" 3 And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it.
4 So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it. 5 But one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals."
6 And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.
Worthy Is the Lamb
8 Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying:
"You are worthy to take the scroll,And to open its seals;For You were slain,And have redeemed us to God by Your bloodOut of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10 And have made us kings and priests to our God;And we shall reign on the earth."
11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice:
"Worthy is the Lamb who was slainTo receive power and riches and wisdom,And strength and honor and glory and blessing!"
13 And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying:
"Blessing and honor and glory and powerBe to Him who sits on the throne,And to the Lamb, forever and ever!"
14 Then the four living creatures said, "Amen!" And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.
Dream Word – REAL
Philemon 8-9 Therefore, though I might be very bold in Christ to command you what is fitting, yet for love's sake I rather appeal to you — being such a one as Paul, the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ. NKJV
Following is my 'inter-between the lines'- version of Paul’s letter to Philemon. Please don’t get offended at this stab at the invisible words which I have perceived laying in between the lines of this great 'personal' letter to Philemon. I have, no doubt, possibly incorrectly ascribed to the great apostle, thoughts that never even entered his head...maybe?
In any event, I do hope it gives you some idea of the possible 'churchmanship' of the great Apostle to the Gentiles, and that it helps you find the humanness of this inspired letter a delight to read. It’s one of my favorite epistles in the New Testament and always makes me smile. OK Here we go!
“This Wee note is from Paul, (and by the way I’m in prison for serving Christ and others, the way I served you, yes you! A FREE, slave owner) and Timothy, (a faithful witness, who also, by the way, is proofreading this personal letter and knows its contents.)
To Philemon our beloved friend and fellow worker (and remember, you’re NOT a worker in prison my friend..you are FREE!)
2 to the beloved Apphia, Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house: (I want to make sure everyone at your end also has a read of this.)
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (You’re gonna need it, boyo, by the time I've finished writing this)
4 I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers,
5 hearing of your love and faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints, (including and especially, the one who handed you this letter. Yes I mean Onesimus!)
6 that the sharing of your faith may become effective (providing you don’t blow it by rejecting what I am about to say) by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.
7 For we have great joy and consolation in your love, (Yes love! Joy, consolation, compassion, ooh and remember, LOVE! You good old boy you! Do what a good guy would do!) because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother. (You’re a nice geezer, you're my bruva! You, me old mucker, are the refresher. MY refresher. P.S. Refresh me now, by sending back Onesimus.)
8 Therefore, though I might be very bold in Christ to command you what is fitting,(I am an apostle you know! But we're friends.)
9 yet for love's sake (You’re a lovely guy remember?) I rather appeal to you — (from well below my present built-up greatness of you, you old joy giver you. You old compassioante refresher!) being such a one as Paul, the aged, (aahaaah, good old Paul. Good old, pitiable Paul, and did I tell you I was in prison? No? ) and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ — (told you!)
10 I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, (yes that scoundrel that legged it from your service who is now as dear to me as a son, even as my own son, even as another Timothy! So watch what you say!) whom I have begotten while in my chains, (Did I tell you I was in prison?)
11 who once was unprofitable to you, but now is profitable to you and to me. (Don’t forget the last bit..AND TO ME.)
12 I am sending him back (we need to get this sorted) You, therefo
Vol 01 | Q2 | NW0145| Hearing the Unspeakable, Seeing The Unseeable