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Cities - New

I'm one of those people who wonder about the most unusual things or aspects of life, the whys and the hows. I like to ponder - for instance, I wonder how Jesus felt being resurrected from the dead. For that matter, "what" did he feel? Exhilaration I'm sure. When only a few days before He was being whipped and left dragging a heavy cross through a mob of antagonist people. Beyond that, what did it feel like to be in his skin, in the form that he was. A spirit? Light? Definitely no fleshy weight as He was able to appear and disappear at will. The resurrection story in my opinion is one of the most fascinating stories in the bible, illustrating the possibility of NEWNESS in one ultimate miracle.

The word new has such an amazing ring to it the moment it is spoken. We all love new things, a brand new house, a new pair of shoes, a new car, a new outfit, a new relationship, a new place to visit but we do not consciously seek to obtain a new mind as often as we seek new things. Sometimes we neglect to consciously seek a new heart as we might seek a new life. The story of Jesus illustrates we cannot get one without the other - no matter how little the desire might be for something new, there should be a change of mind or heart to sustain its birth.

The change happens in a posture of REST.

Despite what we think and know, a lot happens to the mind and body in the state of rest and that is why we sleep - overnight a restoration process is taking place, cells are renewed and regenerated, cells literally rewire themselves, breaking old connections and making new ones. When we are deprived of sleep we do not function very well. The rest I speak of though goes beyond a good night's sleep.

Jesus assumed the absolute resting position in order for transformation to take place in His body. He slept a final sleep, He descended and then ascended. So we find our restoration through Him and so does the collective body.

Jesus was on a mission to realise something new - it had never been done before. Almost like creating something out of rubble or from nothing at all. On his journey he was met with a lot of rejection and disappointment.

Awhile ago I had hope for something new in my life, long story short, I was disappointed. When I reflect on how I handled my disappointment I realized that was the gamechanger - the renewal of my thoughts, by rebuilding and restoring internally what I thought I had lost. The gift was always within, the disappointment never took it away because I would not let it take control of my mind - in that situation I actively assumed a posture of rest.

If we allow disappointment to overwhelm us we get worn out, heavy laden, insecure and all sorts of other toxic emotions mount up within us. In the middle of his rejection Jesus was forgiving, he dropped the weigh as quickly as it was mounted on by those who rejected him. He said things like, "forgive them for they do not know what they do", "today you will be with me in paradise"...these are all graciious and kind words that could not have come from a defiled heart. From the abundance of His graciousness He spoke. We need to see our minds almost like a garden where plants flourish. And the things we mediate on are the seed we cultivate. Disappointment can create a gigantic weed in the garden of our minds, stifling the opportunity for new growth.

Cities go through disappointment, like so many have in recent times and there has been propensity to breed the wrong things. Disappointment is not an emotion that we talk about enough or even process well personally or corporately which is a shame because I think it is the bridge ,the pathway between our healthy thoughts patterns, our joys and our bitterness or resentments. In other words, the bridge between love and hate. On one side of the scale there is light and on the other darkness. If we process disappointment as quickly and as often as it comes the propensity for us to be angry or bitter or feel resentful toward a situation or a person is significantly reduced because we enable a process of dealing adequately with the disappointment of them not living up to our expectations, we have opportunity to find acceptance with the situation not turning out the way we hoped it would turn out....

DISAPPOINTMENT has potential to break you...while RENEWAL has potential to make you....the result of that renewal process is RESTORATION. The in between can be daunting.

Lets be honest there are some disappointments that have broken us. I believe the breaking sometimes does more good than harm if we let it because you need to come face to face with your own limits and seek the strength of the one without limits.

So do we pretend we don't feel disappointment and ignore we have been hurt slightly or even deeply by the let down? Or do we admit it and if necessary communicate it allowing our vulnerabilities come to the surface, acknowledging it is completely valid? Do we go into a full fledge tantrum trying to find a way to get what we have lost back? Perhaps it was lost time or resource or perhaps a lost do we respond?

Our focus should be on who we are becoming not simply what we are attaining. Before his journey along that road to Calvary Jesus said something to the scribes in the temple - "Destroy this temple and I will build it back in three days". If Jesus had focused on the rejection and disappointment He must have felt toward the people surrounding him in his final hours trekking to Calvary, would He have done what He said, the NEW that had been spoken of long before He arrived? If he had focused on what looked like failure in the eyes of so many would there have been a resurrection miracle spoken of today? It does not matter the rubble you are faced with today - make a new confession.

Where there has been destruction, desolation, ruin, massive encroachments that has disillusioned us and fed us lies, distorted our image of who and whose we are, NEWNESS comes from that if we believe.

Disappointment has the ability to breed a disequilibrium with our vision and our peace if we let it but "with the entrance of His grace comes peace that surpasses human understanding". We access that peace by resting in Him and admitting we need Him. Some of us are so filled with pride and a sense of self sufficiency in our own ability the word rest is completely alien to us. What is that? Rest? In the world we live in, you must be kidding. No, I am not.

We cannot experience RESTORATION without REST. If we want to restore ourselves we must rest ourselves.

From a place of peace in our spirit we are able to recognize the right things to do. We compromise ourselves when we have an expectation in our minds to "make things right on our own terms" refusing grace, refusing rest. It is difficult to access peace in a climate of ignominy.

With the NEW comes many possibilities, exhilaration and fresh opportunities. In that state, we believe we can truly conquer anything, be anyone we wish to be, go anyway we want to go. Jesus came to bring that ultimate gift - new life. We cannot get this anyway else but through Him. Some of us want to start afresh, a new beginning, we have been down to the bottom and no place else to go but up...back into the light and the many possibilities. He offers newness to your city. A newness that is light and free.

The constitution of a city is our penultimate episode exploring a binding agent that enables restoration in the city of light no matter what it has been through. Join the conversation!

Be blessed!

Rom 6:4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

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