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Showing posts from December, 2005

Carol service 2005

Carol service 2005

Tonight we join with countless others in churches throughout our land, as we hear again and celebrate again the birth of Jesus.

Tonight we glimpse another world. It is as if we have travelled through space and time, and we come to rest in orbit around this other world. You've seen those pictures of how earth looks from space. Well, imagine that: tonight we are looking down at the world of Mary, Joseph and Jesus

It is a very dark world: a world of occupying forces, in which people are treated as statistics (that is why Joseph and Mary had to go to Bethlehem to be counted), of immense gaps between rich and poor, where there is great poverty, homelessness and exclusion. It is a world that has its good rulers, but also paranoid ruthless rulers. It is a world where physical power reigns and there is much brutality: in the Christmas story itself, when Herod realises that the wise men are not coming back to tell him which child is the Christ, he orders the massacre of al…

Advent 2 Peter 3:8-15

Advent: 2 Peter 3:8-15a

It is very easy to dismiss the season of Advent as a flight from reality. In the season of Advent we have two foci: one is Bethlehem, 2000 years ago; and the other is the end of space and time as we know it. And both seem to be unreal.

We talk - at one end - about angels singing in the sky, of a virgin feeding her baby in a cattle trough, and - at the other - of a cataclysmic global barbeque at the end of time, and Jesus returning.

It all seems so very far from everyday life. It all seems so irrelevant.  


But 2 Peter 3 is a passage of utter realism

It is the reason why Christians have been on tiptoe for the last 2000 years, waiting for something to happen, waiting for God to intervene, waiting for the God who we know to be so real and to be so significant for our lives to break into this world: to make himself known, to wipe out that which is evil, and to establish his rule of peace and righteousness: where what is right conquers what is evil.

I remember one man in…