Skip to main content


Showing posts from July, 2020

Mary Magdalene

Today in the Church calendar we remember Mary Magdalene.  From 1995-2005, I was vicar of a St Mary Magdalene Church in Holloway, London, so she is someone who was special to us. We had a significant and quite public struggle with our secular local authority, who wanted to rename our St Mary Magdalene primary school with some secular name when it became an all-through academy, but we prevailed!  Mary, seemingly named after the town from which she came from, has been misrepresented. There is no justification from the biblical evidence for saying that she was a prostitute. Far from it. She is only mentioned by name twice: in Luke 8.1-3 and in all the gospel accounts of the resurrection of Jesus. There is no reason to identify her with the 'sinful' woman who anoints Jesus with her tears and wipes his feet with her hair ( Luke 7.36-50 ), and even less so with Mary, the sister of Martha, who anoints Jesus with a precious perfume ( John 12.1-8 ). The fact that she is included in Luke

The separation of good from evil: Matthew 13.24-30,36-43

Matthew 13.24-30,36-43 We look this morning at a parable Jesus told about the Kingdom on God (Matthew talks of Kingdom of heaven but others speak of it as the Kingdom of God) 1. In this world, good and evil grow together. ‘The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; 38the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, 39and the enemy who sowed them is the devil’ (v37) The Son of Man (Jesus) sows the good seed. In the first story that Jesus tells in Matthew, the seed is the Word of God, and different kinds of people are like the different soils which receive the seed. Here the illustration changes a bit, and we become the seed. There is good seed and there is weed, evil, seed. This story is not explaining why there is evil. It is simply telling us that there is evil and that it was sown by the enemy of God. And it tells us that there is good and there is bad. There are people who have their face turned towards

The precious Word of God. Psalm 119.105-112

Psalm 119.105-112   Psalm 119 is the giant among the Psalms. It has 176 verses. It is also the longest chapter in the Bible. It is very personal. It doesn’t claim to be a Psalm of David, but the Psalmist gives praise to God for his word v118: ‘Accept my offerings of praise, O Lord, and teach me your ordinances’ It has a unique structure. It is divided into 22 sections, and every verse in each section begins with the same letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Today, we are looking at verses 105-112, and each verse here begins with the Hebrew letter nun   1. The Psalmist speaks of his delight in the Word of God v105: ‘Your word is lamp to my feet and a light to my path’. What is he saying? When he speaks of the Word of God, he is speaking primarily of what we know as the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. The Jews know these books as Torah, God’s law   For many the idea of law is negative, restrictive. But for the psa