How we get there is as important as that we get there

How you get there is as important as that you get there. This is a fundamental principle, above all which we see in the ministry of Jesus. Right at the very outset, tested in the wilderness, he rejected the temptation to take the easy path to fulfil his calling. This principle applies right across the board, both for the individual and for nations. If you choose violence, for example, then you can expect to be beaten up. So even as he is being arrested, Jesus urges Peter: “Put your sword back in its place, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.” (Matthew 26:52) Which leads us straight to Brexit. The real danger here is that the prime minister may achieve his immediate g

How Jesus changes the ambience

Taking the funeral of a good friend, to say the least, is a challenge but yesterday Paul’s family and friends were supportive of me as I sought to minister to them. Standing room only: no pressure! For such services the Gospel of Jesus is truly what it says on the can – Good News. Death does not have the last word and we can dare to hope because of the resurrection victory of Jesus. A funeral service is where the light of Christ may shine most vividly. Otherwise, the gloom could so easily overwhelm us. I’m not sure how many funeral services I have conducted over some 43 years of ordained ministry. A quick calculation gives an approximate figure of 1500. In the early days I would cond

A powerful love story of William and Kate

Bring me my bow of burning gold! Bring me my arrows of desire! Great words from England’s National Anthem, but what are we singing? Inspirational, of course – but how do the members of the Women’s Institute or socialists such as Billy Bragg interpret this powerful poem?  As ever the writer William Blake is elusive. It sounds nationalistic but Blake himself was a radical, dismissive of all institutions as repressive.  Again, it seems to be Christian but clearly Jesus never visited England and the ‘dark satanic mills’ probably refers to the Church of England.   We had an opportunity this week to enter the world of William Blake.  Tate Britain, sandwiched between MI5 and MI6, is showing

How to handle an existential crisis

A remarkable article appeared on Wednesday in the left-leaning political magazine New Statesman, not the place you would expect to give the Christian faith a positive spin: Why even atheists think like Christians written by Tom Holland. Sad to say Tom shares a name with Tom Holland, of Spiderman fame – which makes googling him, to say the least, a challenge. To complicate things there is even a Welsh biblical theologian of the same name – which keeps us all on our toes. In fact, for some time I have been tracking Tom Holland, historian and presenter of Radio 4’s Making history. A good historian gives us a perspective, standing back to see the present in the wider context, even over the


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