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The Possible World – on Earth as it is in Heaven?

September 4, 2014

My husband and I were at Greenbelt again this year, in its beautiful and rural new home. While it had its difficulties (the inevitable rain and mud!) it was inspiring and challenging; a wonderfully open space (geographically and theologically) where everyone is accepted and loved, whatever their beliefs or backgrounds.

This year’s theme was “Travelling Lightly” – which obviously resonates with us at Breathe. You can read a thought-provoking and motivating summary of some of the main talks on Tearfund’s Rhythms site. These sessions, often attended by thousands, were full of energy and passion. It was very encouraging to be surrounded by so many people grappling with the same big issues: climate change, poverty, forgiveness, marriage and singleness, to name a few.

There were also opportunities for much more intimate (but no less thought-provoking) conversations in some of the smaller venues. One series of these was particularly memorable for us. They were hosted by CMS, and introduced their new resource: The Possible World course.

the possible worldEach morning we gathered to hear from people living and working in a variety of contexts, who talked to one of the course’s themes. Throughout the course, you are encouraged to consider some of life’s big issues, and then apply your thinking to your local context. The themes covered are:

Jesus, a prophet. Me, a prophet?
Hospitality: All right for some?
Consumer culture: I want to live simply…but I like stuff
The environment: For God so loved the world
Human suffering: How can I show I care?
Injustice: So many issues, so few of us
Now what? Joining the prophetic and the practical

It is a practical, mission-focussed course that will help you, and those who you do the course with, to offer real and tangible hope to your community. You are dared to believe that another world is possible – one where God’s will is done, where strangers are welcomed, creation is valued, stuff is just stuff and justice is the norm.

The introduction to the course says,

“We are living at a time of immense global change, which presents great challenges for how we live as Christians. Here in the UK, our faith needs to engage actively with a culture that seems to be increasingly disconnected from the Church. People want to see a Christianity that works, that is authentic and actually makes a difference.”

My husband and I live in an urban, deprived area of South-East London. Our local church and our neighbourhood are full of people who have lost all hope in life, if they had any to start with. So many overlapping and overwhelming circumstances, often both in their past and in the present, some self-inflicted, many not, have conspired to rob them of hope. “To live without hope is to cease to live” (Fyodor Dostoevsky), but Jesus offers us life in all its fullness (John 10:10).

We were so inspired and encouraged by The Possible World conversations at Greenbelt, that we are going to run this course on our estate, starting next week. We are going to share a meal and fellowship, and together will dream of a new, possible world – where God’s kingdom comes, in Lewisham as in heaven. Together we’ll imagine a different way of living and will take steps to bring this new world to fruition. Please pray for us, and so many others, as we try to bring the faith, hope and love of God’s kingdom to the dark and suffering places of this world. With God, another world is possible (Matthew 19:26) – let’s join in with what He is already doing, today – in the confident hope that He will bring about the ultimate transformation of His world.

If you want to find out more about the course go to the CMS site where you will also find a link to purchase The Possible World resources.

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 4, 2014 7:46 pm

    Coincidence? I don’t think so, but I sat down this morning to write a piece for my blog (won’t be published until Monday though) on just such a topic. I read an article about how science fiction writers are being encouraged to write more optimistic pieces to inspire and challenge a new generation of scientists and engineers and then that lead me to thinking about how God has written a very inspiring piece in Revelations detailing how Heaven comes down to Earth and all is transformed. Now that should inspire us to think about how that could come about and the topics above neatly cover some of the aspects needed.

    This is the article http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-28974943

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