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acitywhereCan you imagine a city where...?
by Corina Ash
Can you imagine a city where you aren’t valued according to what job you have, the degree you study, where you live, or what amount of money you make? Can you imagine a city where everyone has a place to contribute, dream, work, build, and care for one another? Where each person is able to get glimpses of God in a tangible way through their lived experience? 

A few young adults came together last week to do just that: to dream and re-imagine what our beloved mother city, in all of her potential, could look like. We spent the evening with The Warehouse as we participated in a Contextual Bible Study, where we engaged with Scripture and spent time exploring the contextual history found within Luke 19:28-46 and Matthew 21:1-17. The majority of the evening was spent asking questions and being asked questions, interacting with Scripture and listening to one another for the purpose of trying to get a better understanding of what Jesus teaches us in these passages. 

This specific study was focused on looking at what Scripture says about land, space, and the theology of place. 

To summarize the Contextual Bible study as much as possible, we looked at the various characters in play in both Matthew 21:1-17 and Luke 19:28-46 and spent time learning about Matthew, Luke and the city that Jesus often found Himself in, Jerusalem. These characters often reflected the current socio-economic and political dynamics within the Roman empire during that time. 

The characters at play were those of the poor, marginalized, and outcast within society, which happened to be on the outskirts of the city of Jerusalem. We identified that the temple was in the centre of the city, which meant that the religious leaders, rich, elite and powerful were the predominant ones with access to the temple. On top of that, the temple had become a marketplace in which buying and selling happened. These accounts portray Jesus’s response to the temple being turned into a marketplace, and He disrupted that space in a way that created a place for the “blind, lame and children” to dwell. We then explored what the apartheid system did to create specific spaces within Cape Town and how those spaces have been upheld within our current society. We were asked to engage with our imagination and think of what the city looks like now, and how Jesus might have disrupted space in our city. 

To end off we reflected on both Luke 19:41-44 and Matthew 23:37 and what Jesus said concerning Jerusalem as he wept over the city. Caroline posed us with two questions as we finished. The first, "What would bring peace in our city” and lastly, “If you were able to have an hour with Rob and Annie and they asked you about what you think needs to change at CCK, what would you say?” 

Those last two questions were jam-packed and the YAs took the opportunity to engage with both of them, asking some serious questions, dreaming in big ways, and prayerfully asking God that He would lead us. 

The young adults jotted down notes and ideas: what if we built relationships across cultures? What if our church had no walls, no gates to keep people out? What if we became friends with people who are the ‘lame, blind and children', in our city and made space for them in our church, our pulpit, our buildings, our homes, our spare rooms, our gardens… What would truly make for peace? Peace is a fruit of the Spirit, and as we are filled with the Holy Spirit He enables us to move into a life of faith, righteousness and just living. He is our peace and without Him we will know no peace, but with Him we can be His peace-makers, developing genuine community and caring for those on the outskirts of our society. 

Moving forward the Warehouse and CCK are looking to develop a Contextual Bible Study journey that the wider CCK community will be invited to, so keep your eyes peeled and prepare to get your imagination going!

 

Taryn Galloway, 20/09/2017

 
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Christ Church Kenilworth  |  Cnr Summerley & Richmond Road  |  Tel: +27 (021) 797 6332  | E-mail: reception@cck.org.za
Service Times: Sunday Worship  8.00am, 10.00am & 6.30pm  |  Wednesday Service: 10am   | Thursday Quiet Service: 6.30pm (fortnightly)

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