Ichthus

Ichthus

The first Gospel to be written opens with this announcement: The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God …ἀρχὴ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ υἱοῦ θεοῦ … (Mark 1:1) And in Matthew’s Gospel we are told why he was named Jesus (which means “he saves”): … you are to give…

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The Twelve Days of Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Reflecting on Chris Marchand’s talk about Celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas on the tenttheology.com podcast The earliest Christians appear only to have celebrated Christ’s Resurrection (at Passover in the Spring) and his Epiphany (on 6 January). When the 25 December was designated as a celebration of Christ’s birth (presumably to “Christianise” the existing Sol…

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Hunting down love

Hunting down love

In The Message, Eugene Peterson paraphrased the start of 1 Corinthians 14 as: “Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it — because it does.” As I read that this morning, I could not remember ever reading any English translation of 1 Cor 14:1 that said my life depends on…

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Rejoice, pray, thank

Rejoice, pray, thank

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”1 Thess 5:16-18 John Stott pointed out that the word translated “give thanks” here also gives us the word “eucharist.” The “eucharist” is not about our understanding or our mood but rather our conscious decision to commune with Jesus.…

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Hunting Magic Eels

Hunting Magic Eels

A summary of Hunting Magic Eels: Recovering an Enchanted Faith in a Skeptical Age by Richard Beck. We long for enchantment, like hunting for magic eels in a medieval well. We ache for it, and the pain is making us sick. It is not a matter of belief so much as perception; of understanding so…

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Waterfall

Waterfall

I have a beautiful picture this morning of God’s goodness pouring down over all people like a waterfall. All we need to do is hold up our cup to receive it. Some people are laughing and dancing and whooping together as their cups fill. Others are facing up serenely with their eyes closed and savouring…

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A Call to Worship

A Call to Worship

For many of us as Christians, we don’t have a knowledge problem; we have an impact problem.  So when we get together, it should be less to learn and more to enable what we have learned to make a real difference.  I can learn online; but I can’t worship online, so that is one thing…

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Beauty will save the world

Beauty will save the world

Fyodor Dostoevsky’s enigmatic declaration in The Idiot that “Beauty will save the world” is the title of a book by Pastor Brian Zahnd in which he asks: “Where is the beauty that we know we cannot really live without?”  Western society has technology, convenience, security, and a measure of prosperity; the Christian Church claims to know truth and goodness. …

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Joy

Joy

Happiness depends on what happens to us; joy depends on what we choose to do. Of course the two are not unrelated, but the first has more to do with things that are largely beyond our control; the second is more in our hands. We can actively enjoy or rejoice, but we can’t enhappy or…

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Belitung Wreck

Belitung Wreck

At the Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore there is a permanent exhibition of the cargo recovered in 1998 from a Persian ship that was wrecked around AD830 in the Java sea on its way back from China. It gives a fascinating insight into how little has changed in 1100 years. The main cargo was 60,000…

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