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What makes for a happy ending? Let me suggest four factors:  The good guys win.  The bad guys get their just deserts.  There’s a wedding.  And you finish on a song. There’s something immensely uplifting about a story that wraps up with this kind of victory.  But the bible claims that history is headed towards […]

In my Father's house are many mansions

What lies beyond death? The Hindu might claim reincarnation.  The Muslim seeks a paradise, with Allah conspicuous by his absence.  The atheist asserts there is nothing.  What is the Christian hope? In words that are read out at funerals the world over, Jesus says this: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, […]

The sheep and the goats

The gospel according to Jesus is a little different to the gospel according to me. The gospel according to me tells of a God who is, generally, far off but when he does involve himself it mainly concerns me, my loved ones and the success of Australian sports teams.  Therefore when Christ announces His news […]

Many are called but few are chosen

…So the handsome prince married his beautiful bride and they all lived happily ever after.  Do you believe in fairytales?  I say “fairytales” – it’s a bit deeper than that.  It runs in our cultural bloodstream. It courses through our literature, our music, our films, our deepest values in life.  We have this belief that […]


The new birth is absolutely critical.  That was Jesus’ teaching in John 3 – “Ye must be born again!” But often, when we think of the new birth, we imagine that it is only individuals who need regeneration.  But in Matthew 19, Jesus had something much bigger in mind: 27 Then answered Peter and said […]

Camel through the eye of a needle

Jesus was always using comic imagery to make His points. If you know the Lord and don’t speak of Him, it’s like using a bucket as a lampshade. If you’re a hypocrite, you’re like a tutting eye doctor blinded by a plank of four by two. If you’re trying to be good but not born […]

Dives and Lazarus

This story is often studied to discover the “what” of judgement.  Yet it seems most in keeping with the context and content to read it as a parable.  And, though we will learn much about the nature of judgement, undoubtedly it was the “who” of judgement that would have shocked Jesus’ hearers: “19 There was […]

Highways and hedges

Personality tests split the world into introverts and extroverts.  The diagnostic is usually something about energy levels – do you energize on your own or with others?  If you re-charge by yourself you’re an introvert.  If you come alive around people, you’re an extrovert. I’m not sure it’s helpful to label people so definitively.  Such […]

Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven

What is God up to in the world? Here’s a word to drop into conversation: God is ouranifying the earth. Ouranos is the Greek word for heaven – it’s where we get the name for the planet “Uranus”.  And here Jesus tells us that God’s desire is to ouranify the earth.  You might say – […]

Wilderness Years

The journey from slavery to the promised land should have been straightforward.  If they’d kept the Mediterranean on their left they could have arrived within a fortnight. The LORD took them a different route – through the Red Sea.  The LORD gained great glory by saving them through adversity.  This was some of the reason […]