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O death where is thy sting

When Monty Python’s Life of Brian came out 30 years ago it caused a tremendous stir. Now there are definitely reasons to object to the film.  But we should not object simply because the film makes fun of religious people.  Jesus made fun of religious people.  Constantly. (e.g. The Mote and the Beam or Straining at […]

In Him we live and move and have our being

How do we proclaim the gospel to a world that thinks so differently? “Contextualisation” is a buzz word in some Christian circles to describe the way our message needs to be fitted to our surroundings.  Today’s phrase is often used as a prime example of how Paul drew on the truths already present in the […]

The fruit of his loins

If this phrase is used today it’s usually as a playful archaism. —  “That’s my boy,” says the teasing father, “the fruit of my loins.” —  “Dad!!!” But actually it’s a great compliment.  There’s only one person in the Bible who is specifically referred to as ‘loin-fruit’:  Jesus.  Well of course – the One who […]

Doubting Thomas

“If God came down right now, I’d believe.  If He showed up in all His Godness and proved Himself to me, I’d bow down and worship.  I won’t believe if I can’t see, hear and touch Him – but if He appears, I’ll believe.” Have you ever said that? Or thought it?  Well, that’s Thomas’s […]

He is not here, he is risen

Woody Allen is famously fearful of death (of course he maintains he’s not afraid, he just doesn’t want to be there when it happens).  He was once asked, ‘Aren’t you pleased to know you’ll live on in the hearts and minds of those you’ve touched?’  Woody said ‘I don’t want to live on in hearts […]

Jesus wept

How do you handle death? Broadly speaking, people either deny it or they befriend it. Denial is the majority option.  “Life is for the living” we say and we put death out of our minds.  As best we can.  But it will come out in other ways.  Hebrews 2 says we are “subject to bondage” […]

He that findeth his life shall lose it…

“He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matthew 10:39) We can think of many examples of it… —  The musician lost in her music yet, at the same time, most fully herself. —  The athlete pushed beyond his ‘limits’ but finding new […]

In the twinkling of an eye

[Apologies for this post out of sequence] What have been the decisive moments in your life?  Can you pinpoint certain choices or “chance encounters” that have shaped your destiny?  One single piece of news, good or bad, can change everything.  Sometimes our whole world can turn “in the twinkling of an eye.” When the Apostle […]

A new heavens and a new earth

Isaiah could be called a tale of two cities.  Yet both cities are Jerusalem. There’s an old Jerusalem – the Jerusalem in which Isaiah’s listeners live.  They face a terrifying judgement that is first threatened by Assyria and then effected by Babylon.  The city is sacked, the house of God (the temple) is destroyed, the […]

Rise and shine

When morning comes the phrase trips off our tongues.  Yet we rarely think of its strangeness.  To say “Rise and shine” is odd.  We’re not simply exhorting the slumberer to notice the sun or respond to the sun.  We’re telling them to be the sun – or at least, like the sun. The sun rises.  […]