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Showing posts from June, 2016

A prayer for referendum day

Father God, who gives us the gift of freedom and choice, we pray for all who today will be exercising their right to vote. We pray for your wisdom and understanding. We ask that whatever the result, you would give us hearts that are not only motivated by self-interest, but by a vision of what is good for our neighbour. And as we bow before you, the one from whom sovereignty comes and who is sovereign over all, we place the future of Europe, of our nation and of ourselves into your hands. We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, who is King of kings and Lord of lords. Amen.

How can we change the world?

Matthew 5.1-16


How can we change the world? It is an important question. It is also part of our Diocesan vision: ‘To grow in influence’
How can we be salt? How can we influence society – bring healing where things are going bad, preserve what is good, and add flavour to what has gone flat? How can we be light? How can we show people the way to Jesus, and to the good life, in a world that can be very dark and in which so many have lost their way?

Perhaps we need a new Constantine? Constantine lived 272-337AD, and our history books tell us that he was probably one of the most significant people in the history of Europe. It was because of his decision, that Christianity became the religion of the empire, and subsequently the dominant political and cultural force for almost 2000 years. It is because of him that so many of our laws are rooted in the bible. And surely, if we wish to grow in influence, we should be praying for significant godly leaders, politicians, academics, broadcasters…

BREXIT: what are the issues for a Christian?

Summary: There are three principles which should lie behind any Godly governance. Does it bring prosperity? Does it enable us to live quiet and peaceable lives? And does it lead to justice? I will look at three issues: solidarity, subsidiarity and migration/free movement and see whether the bible has anything to say about them. And we need to ask ourselves whether the EU is able to deliver some form of godly governance.  Finally, I will argue that each of us has to make up our minds not on the basis of what is best for Britain, but what is good for those who are our neighbours.
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INTRODUCTION
Christians are exiles who live in a foreign land (1 Peter 2.11-12). As such, they have lived under many different types of government: empires, nation states, city states, unions.
If you were a Christian born in Belgrade in 1917 you would have lived in 7 different countries. Think of the rather arbitrary division of Africa by the colonial powers into different…

Why should we share?

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Acts 4.32-35
[Invite a pre-prepared older child to arm wrestle with a younger smaller child. Tell them that the prize is a large box of chocolates. Usually the older will want to allow the younger to win, but you need to persuade them before the service that they must win]
Is that fair? Unfortunately that is the way that the world works. The strong get the stuff and the weaker usually get nothing. 
Perhaps N [who has the sweets] should share them. But why should they share? I'm sure that they could make a very strong case for keeping what they have. After all they won it in a fair fight!
And why should I share what I have?
1. We share because we are told to: They tell us to share at school. And the government tell us to share. That is what taxes are. But usually when we share because we have been told to share, we try to get out of it. We try to avoid paying taxes.  In the OT people were told to share: they were told to tithe. But because they really didn't want to share, they found…