Welcome, we acknowledge that we gather on the land of which the people of the Kulin Nations have been custodians since time immemorial.

This is our second in a series called The Art of Discipleship where we showcase the material of different books and engage with their material creatively.


The activity this week is taken from:

Christi-Anarchy: Discovering a Radical Spirituality of Compassion and you can read a little more about it here from the first time I read it if you’re interested.

This book by Dave Andrews goes into the fact that Jesus Christ preached a gospel of love and peace with justice but the history of the Christian religion is littered with every kind of evil – What went wrong?

Mediation:  Dave Andrews poem speaks to Jesus’ compassion, his hunger for justice,  and desire to work with marginal groups for real transformation in our world – inviting us to live this way too through the eyes of the disciple Peter.

The prologue of Christi-Anarchy: Discovering A Radical Spirituality Of Compassion retells Dave’s unfortunate history of being kicked out of YWAM many years ago.  This lays the foundation for the rest of the book – a grave injustice done in the name of Christ. At micro and macro levels…

The very first chapter of Dave Andrews book is called:

A History of Christianity: A History of Cruelty

And it’s broken down into 4 areas:

-Councils, Creeds & Coercian: ca. AD 100-500
-Emperors, Popes & Power: ca. AD 500-1000
-Crusades, Inquisitions & Control: ca. AD 1000-1500
-Worldwide Evangelism, Witch Hunts & Genocide: ca. 1500-2000

So you can see how this is not an easy read – to really ‘look’ at the history of the church (our church) and to try and grapple with how this relates to our own understanding of who Jesus was and the way that he lived.

What I’m hoping to create tonight is a bit of a meditation space reflecting on Dave Andrews words speaking to Jesus’ compassion, and his hunger for justice, his desire to work with marginal groups for real transformation in our world and inviting us to live this way too through the eyes of the disciple Peter – speaking into the disillusionment or cynicism we might sometimes feel towards our own church/discipleship movement.

To give you a bit of an overview about where this is going – you will want to make yourselves comfortable because I’m basically going to try and read this like a play/well… a monologue… and it’s going to take about 20 minutes – I’m going to make the room dark because I want you to try and  visualise the scene  and put yourself in  Peter’s shoes.  I’ll leave things dark and quiet for a few minutes while people reflect and then bring us back together for sharing/prayer…


So, from the macro to the micro for Peter to set the scene and condense the bible into a paragraph… we know from the oral history passed down and recorded that the people of God were slaves under Pharoah, led across the Red Sea to freedom, wanderers in the desert and led across the River Jordan into the Promised Land – Jerusalem, they finally have their own sovereignty: a line of Kings: Joshua, Saul, David, and Solomon … who turns from God’s ways and the city is destroyed in Chronicles, rebuilt in Ezra,  and restored in Isaiah then a series of prophets come… the day is coming when Israel will be judged for its sins, prophesies of the birth of one to come… after Babylonion captivity, they are under the domination of Persia…IMG_5065

We fast forward 400 years between the
Old Testament and the new – and Rome is now the dominant power… Herod the “great” is slaughtering male children, under a star somewhere in Bethlehem a child is born, in a dark and troubled place…

Jesus is born – the next great political leader, descending of Kings, fulfilling the prophecies –  who would lead the uprising to free the people from Roman oppression and win back the independence of the Jews!!  Jesus says “Truly, this very night, before the rooster crows you will deny me 3 times” and Peter responds, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You.” And all the disciples agreed.

Except that Jesus didn’t really behave the way people expected… didn’t lead the way we expected, fight the way we expected… died when we didn’t expect it

Arrested, disgraced and denied three times… Peter broke down and wept.

(here follows the reading of the poem, n.b. not complete in these images)





Reflection questions:

  • what thoughts/feelings are arising?
  • …since I read this on the internet it must be true: Palestine is the most fought-over country in the world, and Jerusalem is the most captured city in all history. It has been pillaged, ravished, burned and destroyed more than 27 times in its history… paradox of peace and conflict in this area…
  • What is Andrews’ Jesus role modelling here around community conflict? (e.g. promises we make and can’t keep) what pathways back to wholeness are role modelled here? (e.g. be honest with one another, share meals, communicate openly…)  What can you honestly and openly offer? What are our experiences of where this has worked/not worked well?

Time of prayer for ourselves and others.