Less than two weeks ago the final post in our advent series of guest blogs launched into the blogosphere and subsequently we welcomed in the first day of Christmas, yet it seems much longer. I awoke recently to the radio and heard a discussion about whether the 5th or 6th January marks the 12th Day … Continue reading Changing Seasons
As a family we do enjoy a visit to a farm. My daughter’s favourite animals are the pigs and, at our local farm, the owls. I’m a fan of pygmy goats, they are bouncy and fun with a lower risk of harm than full sized goats. It’s always particularly enjoyable to visit a farm in … Continue reading My Sheep Hear My Voice
Four Way Faith Part Four - Out: Our Obligations to Our Neighbours. When someone cries out “I can’t breathe” we are called to listen, to learn and to be the ones who play our part in bringing freedom and life where there is suffocation and death. This applies across race, gender, age, sex, disability, martial or civil partnership status, sexual orientation, religion or belief, pregnancy and maternity. We must stand alongside those whose voice gets shut out and until justice rolls down like water and righteousness life an ever-flowing stream (Amos 5:24) we must not stay silent because there can be no peace where there is no justice.
Four Way Faith Part Three - Out: God's Gift of Neighbours. We must follow Jesus’ example with Zacchaeus to accept the hospitality of those who different from ourselves, who others look down upon and speak ill of, even those who cause harm to others. Through accepting the gift of others we break down barriers and our lives, others lives and the kingdom of God benefit. When new people move into the houses, streets and towns around us (even our churches) it can be tempting to complain about change, to reflect on the way things used to be, or the people we used to see. Our challenge as Christian’s is to have the view of seeing the outsiders, the others, our neighbours as gifts, welcoming and accepting the gift they are and the gifts they bring.
As Christ is revealed in us and so we revealed as the children of God for whom creation awaits with eager longing. As Christians, as followers and believers in Jesus and his Way, filled with God’s Spirit and seeking to glorify the Father we must have a mindset such as that described by Stan Rushworth, thinking about “obligations to serve past, present, and future generations, and the planet herself.” In serving the planet we serve ourselves, our neighbours and our God for all are interconnected.
A dissertation submitted to The University of Manchester for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Theology in the Faculty of Humanities (Spurgeon's College: 2017) Abstract There is a common call from Christian preachers to imagine Jesus Christ conducting his earthly ministry (as described in the Gospel accounts) in the present day, and within the … Continue reading What are the implications of transposing the Gospel narrative from a first century Middle Eastern context to that of twenty-first century Britain?
The church is dead, long live the church! It is possible you have heard the phrase “The king is dead, long live the king.” It is a pronouncement made upon the death of a monarch where the succession of the new monarch is automatic. I suppose at some point we will hear the words “The … Continue reading The Church is Dead, Long Live the Church
When it comes to sin and suffering there is a significant amount if debate, even amongst Christians - mostly because we can't actually know for sure and so how we read and understand the Bible determines our line of thinking. There are questions about the so-called original sin - did Adam and Eve bring sin … Continue reading Blessed Suffering
“I’m not sure what I believe.” There was a pause and I assured her that this was okay. She went on, “I mean, we have been taught about God in church but we have been taught all this other stuff in school that makes sense too. Evolution makes sense. So, I don’t know if I believe in God or not.” I could tell she was nervous saying this and other faces suggested they were interested to see and hear my response. Again, I assured her that this was alright. I appreciated her honesty and I think it’s better that we are honest about what we believe than to pretend. One after another the group all backtracked on their previous answers. It was liberating.
After Jesus’ resurrection there are surprisingly few stories in scripture telling us what he did, who he met and the witness that he was to the world. Matthew gives a couple paragraphs (Matthew 28), there is some debate about where the Gospel of Mark ends, but even the longest version only provides two or three … Continue reading Come and have Breakfast