#27: Healing walk

Now when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. He left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the lake, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
‘Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali, on the road by the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.’ From that time Jesus began to proclaim, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’ As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the lake—for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed him. (Matthew 4:12-20) Continue reading “#27: Healing walk”

#25: Love in truth

Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him. (1 John 3:18-22) Continue reading “#25: Love in truth”

#16: All things reconciled

He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross. (Colossians 1:17-20) Continue reading “#16: All things reconciled”

#13: Follow the children

People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them (Mark 10:13-16). Continue reading “#13: Follow the children”

Healing: Being reconciled with all creation

As Western consumer capitalists, it is difficult for us to feel intimately connected with each other, let alone the wider creation. Ancient schools of philosophy have taught us to think of ourselves as separate beings distinct from the created order; and dominant agricultural and economic models distance us from the rest of the natural world. Thus our industries tend towards extracting, reducing and damaging, rather than sustaining and improving, the atmosphere, the biosphere and the hydrosphere. Continue reading “Healing: Being reconciled with all creation”

This 26 January, pray for an invasion of light

Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali, land of the Eastern Maar nation: Jesus comes to bring light and healing to occupied territories and colonised people. (Listen.)

Once upon a time, the land was fertile and good. Sparkling rivers threaded through it; lakes teeming with birds dotted it; and on its edge the sea thundered, shimmering with fish. The people of the land tended it for millennia, creating intricate patchworks of forest and field. They enriched the soil and made it friable; they selected plants for abundance and ease. The people caught fish; they hunted and traded; they tended their crops. They built houses and raised children; they passed on law through story and song. Continue reading “This 26 January, pray for an invasion of light”

Gettin’ down and dirty with Jesus

If you want an earthy faith which embraces all our materiality and mess, look to Jesus Christ. For he is Emmanuel, God-with-us: and he points us to the human. (Listen.)

I’ve been browsing the app store lately, and it is simply marvellous how many apps there are to help me with my spirituality. There are apps for meditation and prayer. There are apps for devouring the whole Bible in a year, or for memorising passages, or for reading one verse very slowly. Continue reading “Gettin’ down and dirty with Jesus”

Conflict in the church

It’s true: Christians fight. Sometimes (and this is embarrassing) they squabble over money or furniture or music or the flowers; other times (and perhaps this is more understandable) they argue over who is welcome at the communion table, what age is appropriate for baptism, or whether to eat meat sacrificed to idols. Often, they have simple personality clashes. The truth is, conflict has been part of church life since the earliest days, and what marks a church is not the absence of conflict, but how it is handled. Continue reading “Conflict in the church”

Sheepish goats and the scandal of grace

As long as we judge others, and preach that one criminal goes to heaven and the other to hell, we will not know God’s culture. (Listen.)

As is the way of things, whenever I meet middle class people, they ask me what I do for a living. When I say I’m a pastor, they almost invariably reply, “Oh, I don’t go to church—but I’m a good person!” And I think to myself, “Good on ya!” Because the older I get, the more certain I become that every single one of us has an incredible capacity for good—and an incredible capacity for evil. Continue reading “Sheepish goats and the scandal of grace”

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