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Showing posts from December, 2013

Nelson Mandela

Isaiah 11.1-10, Romans 15.4-13. Matthew 11.2-11 Which famous politician had a pop song written about him which went to number nine in the UK charts, was performed to a worldwide television audience of more than 600 million people and is reckoned by the New Statesman magazine to be one of the top twenty political anthems of all time? No prizes for guessing the answer if I tell you that the song's title was ‘Nelson Mandela’. It was written and first performed by The Specials in 1984, when the hero of the song was still being branded as a terrorist by the UK government. At his second trial in 1964, Nelson Mandela famously said, ‘I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.’ Mandela wasn’t speakin…

Not one stone will be left upon another

Luke 21.5-19 ‘The days will come when  not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.’ Jesus’ words remind us that even apparently solid and dependable things are not permanent. They are subject to the vagaries of fortune. In the Philippines we see whole towns and cities which have been demolished by the wind and the rain. Most of the buildings were of what one expert called ‘light construction’ but even substantial buildings like town halls have been destroyed. One computer animation showed what can happen if a window blows in during a storm; even an apparently solid building made of bricks can be compromised. The wise man built his house upon the rock, but the winds came and the rains came and even that house could not stand! ‘When you hear of wars and insurrections,’ said Jesus, ‘Do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.’ If we’re not thinking about the Philippines then it’s Syria which currently preoccupie…