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Showing posts from December, 2008

Christmas Carol service 2008

At the heart of Christmas is a story.
It is a story that has an astonishing power.
It is the story of how the Son of God, the one who is bigger than the universe, beyond the universe, became a tiny speck within his universe; the one who created time, came into time. The Son of God, because he loved us – because he loved you - became a human baby born in a cowshed in Bethlehem 2000 years ago.

It is the story of how God in his love, reaches down to us.
We often think that we are closest to God when we are most god-like; when we are in control, confident, victorious. There is a great scene in one of the James Bond films (from the days when James Bond films were James Bond films). The villain's computer whizz kid assistant has just managed, amidst total chaos, to override Bond's override – and global destruction is imminent: and he stands up and raises his arms into the air and declares, 'I am invincible'. We think we are most god-like when we have those 'invincible&#…

The Four Last Things: Death, Judgement, Hell, Heaven

2 Peter 2:4-10
This passage from 2 Peter talks of hell, punishment, judgement and destruction. Interestingly it talks about them in that order. Hell. In this case, hell is the 'waiting room' for judgement. It ties in with the pit of Revelation, in which the beast, the devil, is chained – released at the end of time – and then destroyed with its followers. (Ties in with Revelation 20) The verses talk of the punishment and judgement of the ungodly, the lawless, the unrighteous: v9: "the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trial, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment" And the verses tell us what happened to people at the time of Noah's flood and of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. They are an example of what will happen to the ungodly, the unrighteous. And the verses talk of final destruction:
2 Peter 2:12 (NRSV) talks of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and who despise authority: "These people, howeve…