Bangladesh. Dhaka. Down town, early Sunday evening. A derelict factory in the middle of a five lane roundabout. It is the building where I am going to preach. I start making my way through the chaotic traffic. Continue reading
A parable is a story which points beyond itself. It is a story that holds a truth which it can only reveal to the curious. It may be fiction or fact. This parable is true; apart from the names of the participants.
A parable is story +. It is more than the sum of its parts. It holds truth within it and this truth must be sought out. The following parable began life years ago during a weekend in Bournemouth. It began as a reflection on parenthood and has morphed into a meditation on God.
A friend who works for the Baptist Union told me he was about to take a couple weeks of annual leave. His reference to ‘leave’ instead of ‘holiday’ hardly jarred but it gave me a jolt.
Why was he taking leave? Who said he could? Why this use of military language? And why does it unsettle me?
God of many names,never fully known;
Mystery of mysteries, Calling us your own.
The writer highlights the paradox of the Trinity. Many attempts have been made to explain the incomprehensibility of God and yet our experience tells us that we have sense of his intimate relationship with us that goes beyond words.
And that’s Trinity Sunday for you. It’s a day to keep Christians humble….and Continue reading
No rushing wind here in this part of England this Pentecost Day just gentle breezes and birdsong as the weather wonders whether to let it be spring or not.
So I took the opportunity to browse through John V Taylor’s The Go-Between God written in 1972 when the Charismatic Renewal was beginning to take off and I ponder its opening paragraph.
The chief actor in the historic mission of the Christian church is the Holy Spirit. He is the director of the whole enterprise. The mission’s first task is to focus on Jesus Christ.
He makes an important point. The Holy Spirit is not primarily about special gifts or unique healings. For those of us who remember those times and can reflect on what happened in many churches it is a reminder that the Holy Spirit was not given to change the way we worship but to lead us in Christ’s missionary work in the world. Continue reading
Post Living in the Ascension
Lord of infinity,
Stooping so tenderly,
Lifts our humanity
To the heights of his throne.
Amidst much material which is time-locked these are some of the most profoundly exciting words that have come from song-writer, Graham Kendrick. Continue reading
I am slowly getting used to not asking what actually happened on that first Easter Day.
It is a question which has burdened me from the early days of my theological formation and the incessant demands of secular thinking that will only believe in what can be backed by so-called scientific proof.
So I am gradually getting used to asking more productively; whatever did happen, what is the meaning of Christ’s resurrection?
Here is a brief and tantalising answer. Continue reading
The beautiful parish church of Great Bowden and a soft early spring evening where I attended Soul Space. It is a gentle end of the day gathering which invites me to sit and respond in quietness and modest faith. There are no demands that tell me how to feel or think; just a space offered for the possibility of prayer and worship.
As I arrive I am given a piece of paper and its first words are
CHRIST IS RISEN
WE ARE RISEN.
Really? Continue reading
There was a garden in that place and a new tomb in which no one had been laid
I first visited the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem in 1988. I returned there to study at St George’s College ten years later and one afternoon re-visited the site and this describes what I saw. Continue reading