Friday, April 22, 2011

The end is the beginning

Today it is Good Friday.

Jesus is crucified. Abandoned, forsaken, Jesus cries the words "it is finished'

For the disciples it must have seemed like the story had come to an end. The one whom they followed and put their trust in is executed like a criminal. Was this it? Was this the end?

We know as we read the Gospels and with the benefit of hindsight that rather this so called 'end' was just the beginning. This isn't the full stop, more like a comma, a pause, a breath in between sentences. Because the story doesn't end with the cross...that's just where it begins.

On Sunday we will celebrate the resurrection. But today we await with hope.

And as this lent blog draws to an end I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who has contributed and to everyone who has read this blog. This journey through Lent is coming to an end but for us as a church it is just a beginning as we continue to learn what it means to faithfully follow Jesus.

We would love to see you at our Easter celebrations this weekend.

Good Friday -7pm at church - reflective worship! (oh and hot cross buns mmmm)

Easter Sunday: We celebrate the resurrection! - 10am - Family worship gathering
- 7pm - Easter dinner (if you have given RSVP)

I want to leave you with this little quote from "Cross Shattered Christ" by Stanley Hauerwas:

"God has finished what only God could finish. Christ's sacrifice is a gift that exceeds every debt. Our sins have been consumed, making possible lives that glow with the beauty of God's Spirit. What wonderful news: "It is finished". But it is not over. It is not over because God made us, the church, the "not over". We are made witnesses to the world - a world with not time for a crucified God - may know we have all the time of God's kingdom to live in peace with one another."

-Stanley Hauerwas, Cross Shattered Christ (Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos, 2004), 90.

Isn't that beautiful:

It is finished, but it's not over...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Matthew 27:1-32


Guest post by Mike Wilson from Westside Church

This is a story I'm sure we've all heard before.

Judas finally understands where his actions have led and he kills himself. His grief at Jesus' arrest suggests that this wasn't his intention.

The soldiers vent years of frustration from policing Jewish uprisings onto this one man, Jesus.

Pilate tries to placate the crowd and protect the empire from further Jewish disturbances. He is exposed as a weak man.

Barabbas, a criminal, is released in the place of Jesus. Matthew paints a picture of what will soon happen on the cross and at the resurrection.

The crowd laughs and jeers.

Simon is forced to help Jesus carry his cross to Golgotha.

This story is familiar and terrifying all at once. As we lead up to the crucifixion tomorrow I encourage you to make the time to reread this story in full. Read it slowly. Read it as though it was your first time. Allow yourself to feel all the emotions of this journey to the cross.

Read it as though you are Judas - a man who has just realized that the friend he betrayed will certainly be killed and that nothin he can do can take back what he has done.

Read it as though you are one of the soldiers, or someone in the crowd shouting for Jesus to die.

Read it as though you are Simon or Pilate's wife. the only two characters who do not take pleasure in the thought of this man dying.

Read it as though you are Barabbas. You have been freed unexpectedly. What is it like to walk past the man who has bought your freedom?

May our prayer be this: Lord, save us from familiarity. Save us from status quo interpretations and comfortably quick readings. Shock us. In our realization that we identify closely with the people who shout for your death help us to mourn."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Matthew 26:57-75


I am reading through Tom Wright's "Lent for Everyone" and there is this section on this passage that I love.

Peter - impetuous, blundering Peter - provides the mirror image to Jesus. Jesus tells the truth, knowing it will condemn him. Peter tells a lie to save his skin. The stage is set. Jesus, the innocent one, will die in place of Peter, the guilty. And the rest of us, too.

-Tom Wright, Lent for Everyone (London: SPCK, 2011), 131.

Isn't that insightful? This passage in Scripture contains this amazing contrast. Throughout Scripture we can see the theme of God's faithfulness to His people. Over and over again the people seem to stuff it up.

This is especially obvious in the book of Judges which uses the constant refrain: "again, the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord". Reading Judges is like reading re-runs of the same episode of a show over and over. A good King rises up to lead, things go well for a few years and then they turn away from God and things fall apart. It is frustrating! But through this whole process God doesn't think "I have had enough of this, I'll give up" Rather it seems that God leans in, that he does something to call his people back to him.

In this passage in Matthew the faithfulness of Jesus over and against the unfaithfulness of Peter reduces him to tears. It ought to reduce us to tears as we also realize that like Peter we find it far more comfortable to follow Jesus at a distance. As we approach Easter may we realize the awesome faithfulness and love displayed in Jesus and gain the courage to follow.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Matthew 26:36-56


Post by Amy Whiting

We can’t stay awake. We know it is important, We know we should. But we can’t. Our eyes are too heavy and no matter how hard we try...sleep sings its sweet lullaby and we hum along.

The one time in my life when I asked them for something – and they can’t deliver. Betrayed, deserted...alone.

Something has happened – I don’t know what it was. What is going on?! Judas? What?

It hits me afresh as I read this passage again the very human suffering of Jesus – Gethsemane – the place where he faced the reality of his life’s mission. At that moment he chose a rock & two sons of thunder – three people who he hoped would offer comfort, strength and presence. But his experience of betrayal began well before Judas arrived.

As Isaiah prophesied, “He was despised and rejected by others, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.” (Is 53:3)

We see in the garden a God who knows rejection in its hardest form – rejection from those who he loved. Let’s not rush on – let’s take a moment to know that even in our darkest, loneliest, most painful moments – He actually knows and promises us the very thing He didn’t get...That He will never leave us or forsake us.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Matthew 26:14-35


Reading this passage is like being a fly on a wall at a very important occasion. The disciples gather to share a meal with Jesus. Why is this passover meal significant?

Here Jesus connects Israel’s past with his mission. He is the one who came to fulfill God’s plans for his world. So the meal that Jesus invites his followers to partake in is a meal that celebrates an ‘exodus’ of sorts (The passover meal celebrates God delivering his people from slavery in Egypt).This ‘exodus’ is a delivery from the slavery of sin and death that in Jesus’ death and resurrection is made possible. The meal that Jesus invites his disciples to take helps explain his death. Jesus breaks the bread saying “This is my body given for you”. Jesus takes the cup saying: “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” So this meal that Jesus had with his disciples was all about God’s gift of grace to a broken world.

We celebrate this meal in church when we take communion. When we do this we are reminded that following Jesus is not about mental assent to an abstract theory or belief. Rather we follow Jesus together as a community and this is intimately entwined in everything we do: as we do such a down to earth real thing as eating together we are reminded that we participate in God's grace.

Reflect on this insightful poem by Kim Fabricius:

"Let's have a meal, let's have a feast"

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Psalm 31: 9-16


Post by Jo de Vocht

This section of Psalm 31 is both a desperate cry for help and a brave statement of faith.

The first element in this passage to take note of is the author’s (David) obvious distress: “I am dying from grief; my years are shortened by sadness” (vs. 10). This Psalm is not talking about a bad day at the office or an everyday annoyance; this is about real adversity and grief, losing a family member, a business a job etc, something many people in our city can now relate to. It’s an expression to God of the absolute hopelessness and fear David feels in his current situation.

It’s honest.

This is perhaps the most important point, David is bringing before God the honest reality of his situation and asking for help. He says “have mercy on me Lord for I am in distress” (vs. 9).

As others around us go through the terrible consequences of this earthquake and we ourselves live with the after effects in our city and our life, the best hope of healing we have is bringing our hurt and reality before God. Pray for those who are in desperate need of a break in their situation, bring your own situation before God and ask for help.

As David enters the second half of the psalm and the end of this passage he beings praising God and declaring his trust in the Lord: “But I am trusting you, O Lord, saying, ”You are my God!” (vs 14). It is an ancient testament of faith; David knows that his situation is always redeemable through the Lord.

What we can take from this passage for our own lives is that no matter our circumstances or the circumstances of those around us, we can take them before the Lord and he can bring comfort and healing. Sometimes all you can do is be honest and ask for help.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Matthew 26:14-27:66


God saves us unexpectedly, and in doing so he shows us that his kingdom is one characterized by the way of the cross, not the way of human strength or wisdom.

As Jesus hangs on the cross he utters these words:

"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

In a powerful book called "Cross Shattered Christ" Stanley Hauerwas reflects on the last words of Jesus. This is what he has to say about it:

God is most revealed when he seems to us the most hidden...Here God in Christ refuses to let our sin determine our relation to him. God's love for us means he can hate only that which alienates his creatures from the love manifest in our creation. Cyril of Jerusalem observes that by calling on his Father "my God," Christ does so on our behalf and in our place. Hear these words, "My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?" and know that the Son of God has taken our place, become for us the abandonment our sin produces, so that we may live confident that the world has been redeemed by this cross.

-Stanley Hauerwas, Cross Shattered Christ: Meditations on the Seven Last Words (Grand Rapids:MI, Brazos, 2004), 65.

Our God enters into human suffering. As a city right now this is a powerful message. We remember this Easter that we follow a crucified God, a God that understands suffering and pain. He is not distant and aloof but intimately concerned with his good creation. He enters in to our brokenness to bring healing. This Lent may we experience the overwhelming love of this God who enters into our suffering.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Matthew 26:1-13


Once again we find Jesus in the company of those who are marginalized. He is in the house of a Leper

Then this strange thing happens. A woman pours expensive ointment on Jesus' head. Not Jean Paul-Gaultier or Gucci but nonetheless expensive it seems. This is not just a random thing to do. This is something you would do to a king. In the Old Testament this pattern of anointing kings is evident. So this woman anoints Jesus as king.

The disciples are outraged! What a waste of money. They are thinking like good accountants. Clearly this woman wasn't thinking about the CVP (Cost-Volume-Profit). But Jesus affirms this woman for she has anointed him in preparation for his death and burial. Her actions are fit for a king.

Stanley Hauerwas gives a brilliant discussion of this passage in relation to the poor:

Jesus' response to the disciples has sometimes been used to justify Christian wealth. Jesus' observation that we will always have the poor with us seems a counsel to justify the ways of life that assume there is nothing we can do to eliminate poverty. Yet Christianity is a faith of the poor. This woman poured precious ointment on a poor person. The poor that we will always have with us is Jesus. It is to the poor that all extravagance is to be given. The wealth of the church is the wealth of the poor...

Saint Lawrence was a deacon in the church of Rome in the middle of the third century...The prefect of the city has head that Christian priests offered sacrifices in the vessels of gold and silver cups and asked Lawrence to place before him the wealth of the church...Lawrence promised to bring forth all the 'precious possessions of Christ' if the prefect would give him three days to gather the church's wealth. The prefect gave Lawrence the three days, which Lawrence used to gather the sick and the poor:

The people he collected included a man with two eyeless sockets, a cripple with a broken knee, a one-legged man, a person with one leg shorter than the other, and others with grave infirmities. He writes down their names and lines them up at the entrance of the church. Only then does he seek out the prefect to bring him to the church. When the prefect enters the doors of the church, Lawrence points to the ragged company and says, "There are the church's riches, take them." Enraged at being mocked, the prefect orders Lawrence to be executed.

(Excerpt from Stanley Hauerwas, SCM Theological Commentary on the Bible: Matthew (London: SCM, 2006), 215.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Matthew 25:31-46


Post by John Cadigan

I have watched my kids play many seasons of sport, there’s the start of the competition, then the final game that seems to always come around to soon. Prize giving, where cups and awards are given for outstanding play, is the final act of the season.

Life is full of these scenarios; they seem to echo a greater reality. Things start and finish all around us. A runner crosses the line, a car, a bike, a yacht. A day begins and ends, a child is born, a life support system is switched off and a man breaths his last breath and dies.

Jesus, in response to questions raised by his disciples concerning the end of the age and the sign of his coming, shares some intriguing parables.

Sheep and goats, similar but not the same, a bit like tares [weeds that look like wheat] and wheat, hard to tell the difference between them, until both reach maturity. The full head of wheat humbly bows down when ready to harvest while the weed sticks proudly up.

The difference between the sheep and the goats is in the fact of what they did and did not do. I suspect that behind the acts of kindness, unselfish care and generosity, we have people who by their very nature are becoming more and more like the one they know, love and trust. In the end it’s not what you possess that counts for anything but what possesses you.

Lent.... Becoming by grace what God is by nature.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Matthew 25:14-30


Let's be clear: the last thing we want to do with this parable is turn it into a self help mantra which is so often what happens with this one. The word talents that is used is probably what turns us astray. This passage does not refer to your talents and gifts and how you should use them wisely: although it is true that you ought to you use what you have been given wisely.

This passage is about a theme that is woven through the tapestry of Scripture. This theme is faithfulness.

This parable that Jesus tells is a parable that speaks of the "in-between" time that exists between Jesus' life, death and resurrection and his second coming. As Jesus tells this parable he prepares his disciples for his departure. He reminds them that when he is gone they are called to be faithful with what he has given them: the message of the kingdom.

So never mind the self help talk, the theories about how we can have "our best life now". What Jesus calls his disciples to is faithfulness. Turn off doctor Phil and Oprah and read Matthew 25. Jesus calls us to be faithful witnesses to his kingdom.

This means that we do not 'achieve' this kingdom through any means of our own but rather to be faithful is to trust that God will will do what he says he will do...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Matthew 24:45-51


Post by Bevan Whiting

I am increasingly aware of the gravity Jesus places on community and concern for those around us. The subtly worded finale to these scriptures certainly points to this. All the subtlety of a Elton John outfit at a nuns convention.

Unfortunately, on re-reading it appears that concern for others is not the real challenge for me here.

I am concerned when I see third world images on TV, I am concerned when some kid in Mya’s class has parents that never seem to be around, I am concerned that friends have lost businesses in the recent quakes, I am particularly concerned that Don’s house is damaged and we have nowhere to watch the formula 1! We are all concerned. The real challenge lies in ‘giving food’ (vs 45).

Concern makes me feel better about my heart condition but achieves no more than a ‘sport’ label on the back of a Daihatsu Charade. To truly fulfil what Christ requires I must draw from the rich pool of resources that we have all been blessed with and feed those around me, always ready to see concern metamorphous into action. To discern the right ‘food’ to give, at the right time, to the right people.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Matthew 24:15-28


Guest Post by Michael Wilson

I work for an organisation that supports people with intellectual disabilities to lead a life of normality. The people I support have all grown up in an institutional environment and still carry some behavioural baggage.

For example, it pays to not mention upcoming events until the day they’re happening or, in some cases, until a few hours before. To release the information any sooner can often trigger some very long work days as you’re constantly asked, “are we going to the disco now?” when it’s not for another three days. Or, “my stereo is busted, so-and-so said they’d get me a new one!”. These questions are repeated at a rate of approximately one question every 15 minutes.

I’m not even kidding.

Some of my clients have no sense of time. They can’t understand the concept of “tomorrow” or “next week” and so, understandably, get agitated when they can’t have a thing immediately. But other times I think it’s simply because of a lack of trust.

A lifetime of promises not followed through will beat that trust out of you.

So what do you do? You remind the people who make the promises that you haven’t forgotten the promises.

What lies behind the questions the disciples asked Jesus in this passage?

“When will this happen?”

“What will be the sign?”

These are nondescript questions; seemingly standard and nonthreatening.

But, what drives them is this:

“We don’t trust what you’re doing. This can’t be it.”

“We have been promised a Messiah who rescues us from our oppression and pain! It doesn’t look like you’re doing much about that right now, but don’t think we’ve forgotten!”

This Lent may we learn to trust the God who has it all under control. May we know that he “is not slow as some understand slowness” (2 Peter 3.9). May we learn to see God working in the present and trust in him for the future.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Psalm 130


Guest Post by Trevor Grenon


Although this Psalm is often attributed to David, its author (if you exclude the inspiration of the Holy Spirit), and the occasion on which it was written are not known for certain…Cool by me, as both the depths of agony and soaring hopes expressed within this song are timeless; faced by anyone who has chosen to make God the Lord of their lives. There’s no pressing need to understand the culture or context of the day in order that this Psalm should resonate with our spirits.

It would be great though, to hear this sung as originally scored to further understand what was flowing from the author’s heart. I recommend at least, that you pray this out aloud…it helps to make concrete the truth that we need a cleansing that only comes from God, together with a solemn reminder that we don’t deserve it.

If I was more mature than I am, I would make this Psalmist’s opening verse my prayer; I would be sensitive the poison and pollution that really lurks within my thinking and actions, or in my choice to let self get on with the day, albeit with the intension of touching base with God later. In reality, I admit that the ‘depths of despair’ (verse 1) that cause me to ‘cry out to the Lord’, are all too often, circumstantial; having to live in a now ‘munted’ city; having a bad day in business; or finding the grace to cope with family tensions.

Just as well there is forgiveness! Just as well there is mercy and loving kindness! Just as well that God wants me to hang out with Him both ‘at His place’ and at mine. So, ‘Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace in our time of need’ (Heb4v16).

As the Psalmist alludes to, God’s forgiveness allows us to worship Him in His presence again. When He forgives, it’s as if our sins had never happened. Forgiveness re-establishes afresh, our relationship as sons and daughters on the right note again. Surely, this is why we pray “Your Kingdom Come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”. Our hope then, is about so much more than having our individual wrong-doings rubbed-out ‘line by line’.

Thank you Lord that you have redeemed me, that you have redeemed us, Your church. Thank you that You were prepared to pay the staggering cost of our redemption.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Matthew 23:29-39


Wow, this is a challenging passage.

Just before these verses Jesus says the Pharisees are like whitewashed tombs. Whitewashed tombs?!

Beautiful on the outside, full of decay and death on the inside.

Check out this clip and ask yourself the question: Does God have all of you? Or are you only willing to keep up appearances?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Matthew 22:1-14


RSVP. It seems to be a word of the past.

In fact trying to get people to RSVP to events can be like trying to get blood out of a stone. In this Parable, Jesus tells a story of a wedding feast. This is powerful imagery used throughout Scripture. God has put on a lavish feast!

Sometimes we miss the joy of this truth that we have a party to attend! God invites us to be part of this wedding feast. We are invited to the table…

In the Parable the king sends out an invite but people ignore it: no RSVP. Gutted.

Stanley Hauerwas says:

“This is a feast of God’s abundance. Yet many seem to think that they have all they need and refuse to take the time to attend the king’s banquet. They act as if they need no king, consumed, as they are by their daily lives. Some, insulted by the persistence of the king’s invitation, even kill his slaves. Jesus, just as he had in the parable of the wicked tenants, suggests that the way the king’s slaves were treated is the way that Israel had treated God’s prophets.”

Excerpt from Stanley Hauerwas, SCM Theological Commentary on the Bible: Matthew (London: SCM, 2006), 188.

I found this reflection by Hauerwas challenging. “Many seem to think that they have all they need and refuse to take the time to attend the king’s banquet”.

God’s invites us to a party, to a wedding feast. Will we RSVP? Or are we too busy?

And when we do so, we must remember to wear the right clothes. What does this mean? Once we accept the invite to this party, God will seek to transform us. We can’t carry on wearing our ratty clothes of selfishness, pride, immorality, envy, greed etc. God seeks to replace these by the power of his spirit with the clothes of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self- control.

As the Church this Lent, we fast and practice self-denial. But as we get to Easter we remember the lavish feast that God has put on for us. That is why on Easter Sunday we are sharing a meal together. We celebrate and party because of what God has done in Jesus’ death and resurrection!

I think we as the Church ought to learn how to party! After all our God is a God who gives us reason to celebrate.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Matthew 21:33-45


Post by Amy Whiting

“R. E. S. P. E. C. T., find out what it means to me.”

I dare you to go back and read this whole chapter again with the filter: how Jesus found the religious people operating – the people who were meant to be representing God to the world around them. You see a tale of people who abuse their power to put up barriers, alienate and profit themselves.

In this final story Jesus reminds them (the chief priests and Pharisees– see vs 45 – they knew it was aimed at them) but also us of the serious nature of our life calling – to be ones who work in his field. We work in it...but it is not is His field, His resources, His profit, His glory.

The haunting line – “Surely they will respect my son”

Respect (transitive verb) [respects, respecting, respected]

1. Esteem somebody or something
to feel or show admiration and deference towards somebody or something

2. Not go against or violate something
to pay due attention to and refrain from violating something

3. Be considerate towards somebody or something
to show consideration or thoughtfulness in relation to somebody or something

“Surely they will respect my Son.”

God resources and entrusts us with His field – with showing others what it means to love God in the way we live - we are His representation in the world and we will be held accountable for it. Are we living like that?

"This is the way it is with you. God's kingdom will be taken back from you and handed over to a people who will live out a kingdom life.”

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Matthew 21:1-17


Post by James Russell.

Do I know you Jesus?

It seems from the blogs I've followed that there is a theme of Jesus being someone quite different from who the people of his day thought he was going to be, and possibly who we think he is.

The question I want to wrestle with in this blog is if we truly know Jesus.

As a kid growing up in a Christian community, I always knew that Jesus was my saviour. I had kind of heard of him being my Lord, but didn't really know what a Lord was except it being another name for him. Instead of Mr Jesus, it was Lord Jesus.

Matt 21:1-17 is about Jesus asserting his authority over Jerusalem as their King. Jesus rides into the city on a donkey, and clears the temple of the commerce going on inside it. This seems quite tame until we look into it a bit more.

In Luke's account of the triumphal entry, Jesus weeps over the city as he is approaching it and pronounces judgement on it by prophesying its destruction (which commonly held was fulfilled in AD 70 in the Roman Siege of Jerusalem) saying it was "..because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you." Luke 19:41-44

This was not just a "symbolic spiritual" Judgement, this was the real deal. After 5 months of Siege, Jerusalem's walls were battered down by the Roman army. Over 1million Jews were slaughtered and 95,000 captives were taken as prisoners to Caesarea. From 70AD to 1948, Israel was wiped off the map.

Jesus was talking about the temple in Matt 24:2 and said.."I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; everyone will be thrown down".

How intense is that? Jesus pronounces judgement on Jerusalem and 1 million people die.

Now I am no theologian, this is what my study bible and a few bible helps say. But how radical is this when we look at who the bible teaches Jesus to be? Isn't the good news of the gospel that we have been saved from the righteous wrath of God, which was poured out on Jesus instead of us? That we are judged right before God because we receive Jesus' righteousness. And that He paid for us the penalty of death and eternal torment in hell that we all deserve.

I have been studying the attributes of God this year, and have discovered how low my view of God has been. I have realised that Jesus, as shown in Matt 21:1-17, is very much a King.

I do not want to be the angry judgement guy that completely neglects the fact that Jesus was weeping as he pronounced this judgement. He wept over the city and after pronouncing the 7 woes He says often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.." Matt 23:37

I do however want to ask this question: are we still wrestling to love all of Jesus?

After all he is a man of incredible diversity in his attributes and emotions.

Here are some attributes of his as an example.

· Infinite highness and infinite condescension.

· Infinite justice and infinite grace.

· Infinite glory and lowest humility.

When I ponder these qualities of my Lord Jesus, I begin to wonder how much I really know him. This lent may we come humbly before God acknowledging our lack. That we might by grace become what God is by nature.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Matthew 20:1-16

Post by Amy Whiting

William Shakespeare coined a phrase in 1610 that captures something we as humans seek and are outraged when we don’t experience – “fair play”. You only have to mention the bowling of a certain ball in a certain cricket match over 25 years ago to make most Kiwis jump up and down! I’ve observed that as early as 2 my kids have a strong sense of whether something is fair or not (I have never felt so observed as when cutting the last piece of chocolate cake)

And we have invented phrases that we as adults use to express this sentiment... It’s all “fair & square”, or the judges’ ruling was “fair & impartial” that is what we are fiercely committed to. And we live by those rules...until it suits us to just bend those rules a little bit and suddenly... “all’s fair in love and war” and then when we just want our own way we adopt “life’s not fair”.

It seems that maybe we are only committed to everything being fair when it suits us. And this is the heart of this story... do we want God to treat us fairly or generously? Generously of course! But what happens when He treats us fairly and others generously? Hmmm...what’s the phrase for that?