Posts

Showing posts from March, 2014

When life gets tough

Image
Exodus 17:1-7

listen to ‘When life gets tough’ on Audioboo The wilderness is a place of barrenness. It is the place abandonment, loneliness, hunger and thirst. It is a scary place because it is about coming face to face with forces that are far bigger than us, which threaten to overwhelm us.  Few voluntarily go into the wilderness.

But the wilderness has also been, in Christian thought and experience, the place of meeting with God.
Jesus, at the beginning of his ministry went into the wilderness for 40 days, in order to meet with God and to face the demons and devil.
And the people of Israel had been a slave people in Egypt. They had cried out to God and God had rescued them. And through the leadership of Moses he brought them out of slavery and promised them a new land. But to get from Egypt to the promised land they had to go through the wilderness.
And in our story, we meet them in the wilderness. They have no water, and they are thirsty. It was serious. And they begin to grumble. They…

Jesus Christ, the most cursed man in history

Image
Noel Edmunds tells the story of the time when he was racing, had a crash and was thrown from his car. As he lay on the ground, he exclaimed, 'Jesus Christ'. To which the person running to help him said, 'No, No. Not him. Just one of his faithful followers!'
Jesus' name is possibly the name that is most used by people in this country when they swear. He has certainly surplanted Gordon Bennett. And Gordon Bennett probably never existed: linguists say that the name developed out of a softening of 'My Gawd'. 
But as the article I was reading about Gordon Bennett stated, 'It's not an epitaph one would wish for - to become the physical embodiment of a swear word'.
Several years ago, if people said 'Jesus Christ', they would have been saying the words consciously knowing that it was blasphemy: either because the wanted to look big, or they wanted to shock, or they really did hate Jesus (and maybe the church). You certainly couldn't say them on…

The nature, cause and consequence of evil.

Image
Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7
listen to ‘The nature, cause and consequence of evil’ on Audioboo
This is a passage which is helpful as we come to the first Sunday in Lent. It forces us to examine ourselves. It tells us about the nature of evil, the cause of evil and the consequence of evil.
1. The nature of evil.
We like to think of evil as something that is out there that happens to relatively good people like me. Evilis in those uncontrolled forces: natural disasters (floods), sickness, death. It is in those few people who do really appalling things – the Hitlers, Ceaucescus, Fred Wests of this world.
But the stark reality is that evil is not out there. It is in here.
I was struck by an illustration that I read. A man called Key Warren visited Rwanda after the 1994 genocide. He writes,
“The first time I visited Rwanda, I went looking for monsters, albeit a different category of monster—the kind that isn't relegated to B movies. I had heard about the 1994 genocide that had left one million peop…