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Showing posts from 2015

Bible Misconceptions About the Christmas Story

A meditation inspired by the Bible Society's 'Bible Misconceptions' quiz.  This isthe time when we traditionally prepare ourselves to celebrate the birthday of Jesus. But when is the birthday of Jesus? A long time ago the Church decided to celebrate his birthday on 25 December because it was already an important holiday. But in the first of our Bible Misconception's pictures we see Jesus trying to fill in one of those annoying electronic forms on his tablet, and he’s stuck because he’s got to the bit where you have to fill in your date of birth, and he doesn’t know when he was born! Have you ever had that feeling where you’re not sure what day it is, and you have to look at your phone, or a calendar, to find out the answer? Well. often in the past people weren’t sure exactly what day it was, or even what month it was, so they didn’t necessarily know when they were born and no one knows the birthday of Jesus. All we do know is that it was God’s plan for Jesus to come, and t…

True Love

Mark 12:28-34 In 1981 Prince Charles was put on the spot during a television interview with Lady Diana Spencer, his new fiancee. The interviewer asked them if they were in love. Lady Diana’s instant response was , ‘Of course!,’ but Prince Charles replied, ‘Whatever “in love” means.’ Now in case you think Prince Charles is just a bit of a cold fish, on National Poetry Day 2015 he read a poem on Radio 4, ‘My love is like a red, red rose’ by Robbie Burns. I thought, ‘This is going to be a bit wooden,’ but I was wrong. He read the poem so movingly that Clarence House has made it available on YouTube and Twitter. Listening to him it was impossible to escape the conclusion that he now knows what being “in love” means. O my Love is like a red, red rose, That's newly sprung in June: O my Love is like the melody, That's sweetly played in tune. As fair art thou, my bonnie lass, So deep in love am I; And I will love thee still, my dear, Till a' the seas gang dry. But what does being “in …

Individual or Neighbour?

James 2.8-10, 14-17; Mark 7.24-30
Once, many years ago, I was sat in my parents’ house - where I’d lived for most of the previous seven or eight years - when a car crashed into a telephone pole on the opposite side of the road, tearing the facia board from our next-door neighbour’s house as it yanked the telephone line out of the wall. The driver sat there in shock for a moment, and then drove off. Almost immediately a man was knocking at the door. He’d seen me looking out of the window. ‘Did you manage to get the number of the car?’ he asked. ‘No,’ I replied. ‘But our neighbours across the road might have seen it because the car came to rest outside their house.’ ‘I am your neighbour from across the road!’ the man said. To my embarrassment I hadn’t recognised him. Well I was a teenager at the time, and teenagers live in their own little bubble, don’t they? But I think my lack of awareness indicates that we live in an age of individualism.

It hasn’t always been like so. Have you ever wo…

What does it mean to be happy? Part 2

Jeremiah 23.1-6, 2 Corinthians 12.2-10, Mark 6.30-34

The Christian approach to happiness finds it through engagement not detachment, through loving God and others as much as we love ourselves.

Like a Greek philosopher, Jeremiah sees the ideal leader as someone who should, above all, be wise and just, although he uses a very Biblical term to sum up what he’s looking for - righteousness. A righteous leader will not only be at peace within themselves, but they’ll make other people happy too. The opposite of being like this - being unwise, unjust and self obsessed - is evil. It doesn’t lead to happiness, it brings woe upon the leader. Woe is the very opposite of happiness, it’s unhappiness, and that’s what the bad leader is going to reap.

Of course, Jeremiah is thinking about kings, but his prophecy can be applied to any sort of relationship where people are called upon to to guide and inspire one another - marriage, parenthood, relationships between workers and their supervisors and manage…

What does it mean to be happy? Part 1

Ezekiel 2.1-7, 2 Corinthians 2.1-12, Mark 6.7-9


Here are some lyrics from a song that got several young people put in prison just for dancing along to it. See if you recognise what all the fuss was about. It might seem crazy what I'm about to say; Sunshine she's here, you can take a break, I'm a hot air balloon that could go to space With the air, like I don't care baby, by the way. Bring me down, I can't nothing, Bring me down, my level's too high, Bring me down, I said. Here come bad news, talking this and that, yeah, Well, give me all you got, and don't hold it back, yeah, Well, I should probably warn you I'll be just fine, yeah, No offence to you, don't waste your time. Here's why… Can anyone tell me how that sentence is supposed to end? Why is the singer feeling lighter than air, so that even bad news can’t bring him down to earth? Let’s play the song and see if that helps to joy your memories. And, while we’re about it, see if you can spot how many Mini…