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Showing posts from October, 2010

Los Treinta y Tres (The 33 Chilean Miners)

Genesis 32.22-31
This Gospel passage is about the importance of talking to God and doing all that we can to get on his wavelength. We shouldn’t worry too much about the details of the story, except to say that it pits a powerful person, a judge, against a powerless person, a widow. Women didn’t have many rights in Jesus’ day and if there were no sons or brothers to speak up for them it was easy for people like the lazy judge to ignore them. So Jesus’ listeners would have been expecting the widow to come off worst from the encounter. Yet she doesn’t give up. She’s determined to fight her corner and, by sheer perseverance, she persuades the good-for-nothing judge to do the right thing.

Jesus concludes his story by saying, if a bad person can be convinced to help someone in need, how much easier it must be to get God on our side. He wants to help us and, if we let him, he will hurry to our aid.

Which brings me to the week’s big story - the rescue of the thirty-three Chilean miners…

What the World Eats

Isaiah 25.6-9
This Bible reading is a vision of how God intends to bring all the peoples and nations of the world together, to live in peace and harmony. The Prophet imagines a wonderful banquet spread out in God’s Temple where representatives of all the countries and peoples on earth will sit down to share food with one another - a sort of United Nations’ Assembly, but in Jerusalem rather than New York and where the ambassadors eat instead of talking. In the vision they are given nothing but the best - the richest food and the finest wine - because this is meant to be a wonderful celebration, a party to end all parties.

It will mark an incredible change in our fortunes. The cloud of sorrow that has long been hanging over the world - caused by famine, and disease, war and injustice, global warming and exploitation of all the natural resources of the earth - will be suddenly removed. It will be like the sun breaking through on a foggy day. There will be no more trouble. All the tears wh…

Facing Up To Challenge

Psalm 129
This psalm reminds me of the saying that just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you! Life often seems like one long series of little assaults, doesn’t it? Tax bills, speeding tickets perhaps, petty demands from officious people to show them ID that you’ve left in the drawer at home. So I could go on. Helen remarked the other day that problems at work seem to be stored up for the afternoon before her day off so that she either comes home very late or ends up working in her own time. ‘Often have they attacked me from my youth,’ or so it sometimes seems anyway.

But the Psalmist makes it clear that here it is the nation of Israel which is speaking, not a harassed individual. Often has she been attacked since her youth - by desert raiders, by the Egyptians of course, by the Philistines, the Syrians, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, and so I could go on - right up until the time of the Nazi Holocaust. ‘Often they have attacked me, yet they have not prevailed…