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Showing posts from November, 2013

The Big Daddy of Them All

Genesis 32.22-31, Luke 18.1-8, 2 Timothy 3.14 - 4.5 This has been a red letter year for wrestling. After first being dropped, wrestling was then quickly reinstated as an Olympic Sport this year and wrestlers will after all take part in the 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games. However, wrestling remains on probation after wrestling bouts were accused of being boring and hard to understand. My memories of wrestling go back to the days when there were only three television channels and Saturday afternoons meant watching horse racing and Rugby League on the BBC or wrestling on ITV. On wet and windy Saturdays in winter my brother and I would watch the wrestlers for a while until my father intervened and turned the television off, admonishing us to find something more constructive to do. There was always a strong whiff of pantomime about those wrestling bouts. One of the competitors was always the goody. He would enter the ring to cheers and applause. The other was usually the baddy. He would enter to…

Great Speeches

Jeremiah 2.9-13, Hebrews 13.7-8 &; 15-16 This reading from Hebrews says, ‘Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you.’ How appropriate then, that last week saw the fiftieth anniversary of one of the most famous speeches of modern times, Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech. Alongside Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address it is one of the speeches which shaped modern America, just as Twentieth Century British consciousness was shaped by the wartime speeches of Winston Churchill. But of course there were striking differences between the ‘I have a dream’ speech and the speeches of Churchill and Lincoln. Their speeches were borne out of conflict, Luther King’s speech was borne out of a vision for peace. Lincoln and Churchill were urging people to violent resistance, whereas Luther King was an advocate of non-violence. Churchill’s most famous speech, ‘We shall fight on the beaches’, was a stirring call to arms, but it was a backs to the wall call to defend the st…