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Showing posts from June, 2011

A talk on the occasion of the wedding of Philip Taylor and Maaike Schoute

A talk on the occasion of the wedding of Philip Taylor and Maaike Schoute
Based on Psalm 84
Many congratulations
Today is a day of great joy. We delight in your love for each other and in your delight in each other.
Psalm 84 speaks of a journey
Today marks the beginning of another journey. I say ‘beginning’, even though you have been together and been committed to each other for some time, and God has blessed you with Noa. But it is a new beginning.
A new beginning with a new identity: Maaike literally has a new name; but it is a shared name. People will see you in a different way; literally as part of each other. A new beginning with a new role in society: up to now your love has been about a personal commitment that you made to each other. Now you’ve gone public. It is something that is bigger than either of you or both of you – and it will make you bigger people.
Today God crowns your relationship. People often speak of marriage as being ‘proper’. It is what is meant to be. And that is …

Save yourself from this corrupt generation

Acts 2:37-47
Peter, in Acts 2:40, urges the people who listen to him: ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation’
How could he say that? How can you call any generation corrupt?
It is very simple. Peter is speaking to a generation which has crucified the Son of God.
Some people here may be landlords. I don’t know whether you ever have any problems getting rent. If you do, God knows what it is like!
Jesus tells a story about a vineyard. The owner gave it to some people. He said to them, ‘Look after it for me. Care for it, enjoy it. All I ask is that you remember that it belongs to me, that it is my gift to you, and give me what is mine when I send my messengers to you for the rent. The owner goes away. Some time later he sends a messenger. The tenants beat up the messenger and send him away with nothing. The owner sends another messenger. The tenants do the same thing to him. Finally the owner says, ‘I will send my own son. He will come with my full authority. They will respect him’. Bu…

The Gospel and social justice

Luke 4:18-19

I long for us to be a community of people who preach the gospel, the good news of Jesus, and who are committed to social justice.
There does not need to be any separation
The logic of the gospel demands social justice
We were lost. We were cut off from God.
We were created by God to live in a relationship of love and trust with him. We were created by God to love others as we love ourselves.
But we do not. We chose and we choose to reject his love. We choose to rebel against him, and to live for ourselves by ourselves.
In the beginning it was not our human nature which made us turn against God and to live for ourselves. It was our own wilful decision. Genesis tells us of Eve, as she looked at the fruit which God had expressly commanded her not to eat: ‘When she saw that it was good for food, and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom .. she took and ate it’. And that event is repeated moment by moment in each of our own lives, by our own decision: we…