Displaying posts tagged with

“union with Christ”


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 […]

Dearly beloved

Imagine two scenarios. Scenario 1: We are on a ship.  It springs a leak and starts to sink.  While we’re fleeing to the life-rafts, you manage to grab a bag.  Unbeknownst to the rest of us, your bag contains a bottle of water and some canned meat – tuna, spam, etc. We all huddle together […]

East of Eden

This one is very much out of order.  But Christmas is upon me and life is a little crazy.  Nonetheless, here is an all new entry for this phrase from Genesis 4:16… Humanity is homesick.  We feel restless, estranged, ‘out of place.’  But this is very odd!  Where else should we be?  Where else have […]

A man reaps what he sows

The saying is instantly recognisable as religious.  Even if few people know where it comes from, most will assume it’s biblical.  And they’ll assume that they know what it means. It’s about cause and effect right?  It’s saying: ‘What goes around, comes around.’  ‘If you play with fire, you’re going to get burned.’  ‘Everyone gets […]

The Spirit is willing, the flesh is weak

My teenage years were haunted by Gethsemane.  For a serious-minded 14 year old, this was the ultimate display of godly devotion.  Here was Christ leading the way in the school of prayer – showing us how to “give it all up for God.”  In desperation He prostrates Himself before the Father, He pours out His […]

What therefore God hath joined together let not man put asunder

Two friends of mine were getting married.  They had just made their vows and the minister held their hands aloft to present them, united, to the congregation.  He was about to read these words from Matthew 19 as the prayer book stipulates: “What therefore God hath joined together let not man put asunder.”  (Matthew 19:6) […]

Lost sheep

Kevin’s mother might complain to her friend: “I’m afraid since his girlfriend left him, Kevin’s been completely direction-less.  A bit of a lost sheep really.” But it’s not just Kevin.  The Bible puts that label on a much broader constituency.  Often the people of God are called “sheep without a shepherd” (e.g. Numbers 27:17; 1 […]

Cross to bear

A stammer.  An irritating workmate.  An infirm parent.  A complaining parishioner.  An unpleasant duty.  A chronic illness.  We might be tempted to call these things “my cross to bear.”  But we shouldn’t.  Jesus means something very different by the phrase. But it’s not just the world-weary grumblers who get it wrong.  The zealous do-gooders can […]

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil

It is often said that the “Lord’s Prayer” is poorly named since its petitions are not those that the Lord Himself would make.  Jesus would certainly pray “Father” – “Abba” even.  He would certainly hallow the name of God and seek His kingdom.  And He is the One who supremely did the will of the […]

Our Father which art in heaven

What does true prayer look like?  Luke chapter 11 gives us the ultimate picture: “It came to pass, that… Jesus was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray…”  (Luke 11:1-2) And from there, Jesus teaches them the Lord’s Prayer.  This is where […]