Friday, April 13, 2018
Have you noticed these yellow bicycles all over the place in Norwich (and, I believe, in other cities in the UK)? This one has been at the entrance to the chapel most of the week:
Friday, April 6, 2018
Another Great Forty Days
A surprise visit while going to Emmaus
Friday, March 30, 2018
When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.
When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women,
Friday, March 23, 2018
We all know this story so well that we might be tempted to think "what new thing can I possibly learn from this text?"
Well, maybe there's nothing new to learn, but Jesus is a teacher who likes revision work ... He likes it a lot, because we are so forgetful, especially of the things we don't always want to hear, or don't like to hear.
Saturday, March 10, 2018
There is no doubt that some interpret Scripture as presenting women as in some way second class citizens or subservient to men ... and if one wants to have such a picture of the role of women, you will find the necessary Scriptures to support such a view. This Mothers' Day (in the UK Mothers' Day is the fourth Sunday in Lent) I want to lay before you a view that women are in no way subservient or inferior, and will find the Scriptures to support such a view. My starting point will be the proverbial wife of noble character.
If we look at these last verses of Proverbs, we see some of the roles that the wife played in the household:
Friday, March 2, 2018
“Come now, let us settle the matter,”
says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.”
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
I answered, “Sir, you know.”
And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
There are things that Jesus said that we often wish He hadn’t said.....…things like forgive one another....or, love your enemy,...or, when someone hits you, turn the other cheek.....or, be perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect......or open your homes to strangers.....or, if you call your brother a fool you are a murderer..................Things we wish He hadn’t said.
Friday, February 23, 2018
This is one of those more difficult stories of the humble Jesus isn't it. In Mark's gospel it comes immediately after another strange act of humility on the part of Jesus:
Monday, February 19, 2018
Friday, February 16, 2018
Over the last 2 months since Christmas we have looked at some of the milestones of Jesus’ life......His birth.....His presentation in the Temple when He realized in some unique way that God was His father.......Then His Baptism, when He heard the voice of God saying – ‘My Son’, and at the same time receiving the Holy Spirit.
I would hope that we’ve all had similar milestones:
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Wilderness: Renounce, Reject, Repent
At the start of Lent 2018, this is a question worth reflecting on: Can a Human Being Resist Temptation? This short reading from Mark's gospel has Jesus experiencing what must have been one of the spiritual highlights of His life, His baptism in water, followed by His baptism in the Holy Spirit, followed by His hearing the very voice of God ... it really doesn't get much better than that, does it? But the first thing this Spirit does in Him, is compel Him to go alone into the dangerous Judean wilderness for forty days. Mark implies that when Jesus came out of the
Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
image sourced here
The cross, O the wonderful cross
What Glory, what victory, I've found
I'll come to the wonderful cross
And my whole life I lay down
These words from The Wonder of the Cross by Robin Mark (listen to it here) are a wonderful reminder of one of the reasons for the season of Lent: Over a period of 40 days, starting on Ash Wednesday, we undertake a spiritual journey deep into ourselves but with our eyes focussed on the Cross, and hopefully rediscover or perhaps even discover for the first time, the glory and the victory which are ours because of what Jesus did and then lay our whole lives down for Him again….or, perhaps, for the first time. I really hope that is what Lent 2018 will be for us all.
Saturday, February 10, 2018
In the first 5 weeks of this year you have journeyed through the highlights of Jesus' ministry: In the first week of the new year we looked at the baptism of our Lord, perhaps were reminded of our own baptism in obedience to the Scriptures which repeatedly command that believers be baptised; then we saw Jesus calling the first disciples and were reminded of our call to obedient discipleship; then we looked at the beginning of Jesus' teaching ministry and His description of the life of discipleship in the Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount; last week we continued through the Sermon on the Mount and heard Jesus reminding us that we are salt and light; this week, the week before the season of Lent begins, we find ourselves on the Mount of Transfiguration, where Matthew records:
Saturday, February 3, 2018
In the context of Jesus teaching that we are the light of the world, I love the line at the end of this video "And you were made to love (God's glory) and to reflect His glory"
Chris and I came across this sign on an electricity pylon in Tiberias in Israel a few years ago: Danger of Death. We live in a world where so much more seems to be dangerous than ever before; there are danger warnings on so many things: the sun is dangerous
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
17 Jan 1763. I rode to Lewisham, and wrote my sermon to be preached before the Society for Reformation of Manners. Sunday 23. In order to check if not stop a growing evil, I preached on ‘Judge not, that ye be not judged.’ But it had just the contrary effect on many, who construed it into a satire upon G. Bell, one of whose friends said, ‘If the devil himself had been in the pulpit he would not have preached such a sermon.’