Showing posts from May, 2012

Who is Jesus?

There is no question that Jesus was born a Jew but did he live as a Jew? Jesus came to fulfil the Law so he had to be the perfect Jew, better than the Pharisees or any Jew before him. The question we then need to ask is, did he dispense with his Jewishness once he had completed his ministry and, in a sense, he did because he broke down the dividing wall between Jew and Gentile. Paul says, in Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile. The important thing is that He made peace between the two.Crucially, Paul says that the Jews own the legacy and only when they are brought into the fold will the Gentiles have the full measure of the truth. Rediscovering the Jewish Jesus clearly gives us a fuller picture of who the historical Jesus was and what he meant by what he taught.It seems to me that Paul translated the Gospel into 'Christian' beautifully as did the other letter writers but Jesus, in the Gospels, was speaking to Jews as a rabbi, not to Christians as a pastor.Much of Christian…

Love and Pray

For DanielSoftly comes the evening chill
When sun's warm glow is gone
The day is done, its hours are spent
Yet time still trundles onThe day that was gives way to night
But had it not been born
The evening would be colder still
We never would get warmAnd though sun's heat and light are quenched
The moment it retires
The trees have been both warmed and fed
To build and fuel our firesThe moon can but reflect the sun
The night yearns for the day
But when dusk calls and all is done
We can but love and pray

Too Much Rubble

In the 4th chapter of Nehemiah the Jews are mocked as they attempt to rebuild the wall of their devastated city. If being faced with a home city in tatters is not enough their neighbours mock their efforts to rebuild then, to add injury to insult, they threaten physical violence. And it doesn't end there. While their strength is giving out they are faced, not only with rebuilding an entire city wall, but clearing masses of rubble. "There is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall", they say. How do you motivate yourself to face a task that you don't believe you can accomplish when everyone is betting on you failing anyway?Nehemiah first establishes a plan of action. He positions people at the weakest points with bows, spears and swords. Then he gives them a reason to fight. "Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes," he tells them. I've seen nature programmes…

God Doesn't Care

photo © Sarah Klockars-Clauser for
CC:Attribution-ShareAlike I hear people say, "God won't let you down." But we know from experience that he does. He will stand you up at the street corner. He will ignore your prayer, allow you to screw up and to completely embarrass yourself. Jesus explicitly said that we would experience trouble in the world, that we would be ill treated and killed for being his friend. 11 of the 12 Apostles were murdered for honouring Jesus - counting Paul as an Apostle that makes 12 out of 12. If you're counting on life going smoothly, don't look to God.If you watch bank adverts with a critical eye you will realize that they all offer you the same thing, precisely nothing, wrapped up with fancy ribbons. They have no vested interest in your happiness. They only need to lure you into the net so they can use and abuse you and spit you out when you're no more use to them. You will find individuals and branches more or less helpfu…