Christ, our mother hen

The power of Christ is seen in a mother hen: warm, vulnerable, disarming. (Listen.)

Where is God? We see Russian troops invading Ukraine and desperate people trapped; we hear of Rohingya Muslims being persecuted and Burmese protestors mown down in the streets; we watch Israeli settlers seizing more and more Palestinian land by force; we read of military atrocities and police brutality and institutional violence; we know the reality of domestic abuse; and through it all we wonder: Where is God? Why isn’t God protecting the innocent? When will God punish the violent and keep vulnerable people safe? Continue reading “Christ, our mother hen”

6 | I wouldn’t pull the trigger #Lent2022

Jesus says, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” (Luke 6:27-28)

When I was younger, I remember waking up early with dad to play one of my favourite games at the time, Battlefront 2 on the X-Box. For context, Battlefront 2 is a shooter game set in the Star Wars universe, and my family are diehard Star Wars fans. But that isn’t the point, the point is when I was playing the game I stumbled across an interesting situation. I had crouched down in a bush with a teammate, and suddenly a storm trooper (the bad guys) had found our hiding spot. He crouched down and shot my teammate, and then aimed at me. Continue reading “6 | I wouldn’t pull the trigger #Lent2022”

If you are God’s child …

Jesus’ resistance to the devil is grounded in knowing himself beloved. (Listen.)

*If.* It’s a very small word with a very big weight, and I hear it all the time. If only I prayed hard enough … If I were a good enough Christian … If I read my Bible more … If I just tried harder … If I really trusted God … How many times have I heard some iteration of this, sometimes from the people I listen to, sometimes within my own head? Continue reading “If you are God’s child …”

Enemy-love, community, and the healing of the world

Alone, few of us can love an enemy, perpetrator or abuser; in community, we can do it. (Listen.)

“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also … Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” These words of Jesus are all very well if you are a six-foot male and built like a truck, or a burly fisherman, perhaps, with eleven brothers behind you. But too often these words are spoken to victims of violence in ways which cause terrible harm. Continue reading “Enemy-love, community, and the healing of the world”

25: Do good #Lent2021

Jesus said, ‘Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.’ (Luke 6:27-31)

There’s a story that I absolutely love about Thurman, that he tells about his grandmother — that his grandmother owned some land, and there was a white woman who was adjacent to the land and did not like the fact that this Black woman owned land. And so she decided he was gonna get back at Thurman’s grandmother and went to her chicken coop and got all the manure and dumped it on her land and upon her tomatoes and her greens and everything she was growing, to destroy it. But his grandmother, when she realized there was all this manure [that] just had destroyed everything, she would get up in the morning and take the manure and just mix it in with the soil as fertilizer. And so the woman would dump at night, and Thurman’s grandmother would get up in the morning and turn it over and mix it.

Continue reading “25: Do good #Lent2021”

Holy Spirit: Defence lawyer, healer, friend

A testimony to the work of the Holy Spirit in my own life, and a promise to all who have been judged and found wanting. (Listen.)

I grew up in a hypercritical atmosphere. I know my mother loved me deeply; nevertheless, I was told every day that nothing I did was good enough. I’d wipe the kitchen bench, and be screamed at for holding the sponge carelessly or for knocking a few crumbs on the floor. I’d sweep, and she’d shout that I was doing it all wrong; when I changed how I held the broom, things only got worse. Once, I dropped a drinking glass; amid sobs and shrieks I was accused of destroying something precious and irreplaceable. Of course, I became a timid, anxious, furtive kind of child; and a cripplingly self-conscious adolescent who was so defensive and so filled with rage that there were times when I could barely breathe. Continue reading “Holy Spirit: Defence lawyer, healer, friend”

#9: Love your enemy: #40ways40days

Jesus said, ‘‘But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.’ (Luke 6:27-28)

When I lived in Cambridge, I decided to try out this business of ‘loving your enemy’, and the enemy in question happened to be my neighbour. We lived in the centre of town, and parking was at a premium. In our street, which was a private lane owned by one of the colleges, we were the only house without a garage, and we used to park in front of three disused garages belonging to a neighbour who didn’t own a car. Then one day a man moved in next door and asked this neighbour to lend him all three garages, and then told us, bad luck, we could no longer park where we’d been parking for the last ten years because he needed access to all three of ‘his’ garages at all times. Continue reading “#9: Love your enemy: #40ways40days”

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