If you want to get really depressed, read 2 Kings, the book in the Old Testament which covers the final years of the kingdoms of Israel (in the north) and Judah, where Jerusalem is situated. Spoiler alert – both kingdoms fail.
At first sight it seems a fairly straight-forward, even lacklustre narrative of how each of these kingdoms are governed by their respective kings, who are assessed as either good in that they pleased God or bad when they didn’t. Most were bad.
It either happened, or it didn’t. There is simply no middle ground. To quote the American novelist, John Updike, “Let us not mock God with metaphor.”
We’re talking, of course, about the resurrection of Jesus, his defeat of death. As an historical event it has no equal – whether we accept it or not. For those early Christians its historicity was non-negotiable, in real time and space, just outside the walls of Roman-occupied Jerusalem in the early 30’s.
Very simply the C
Did Jesus die in despair?
Moments before his last breath the dying Jesus summons up his rapidly-ebbing strength to shout “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” That is “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34)
These are shocking words which we can so easily pass over in our reach for his resurrection victory. True, he was quoting from one of the Psalms, Psalm 22 which concludes with an assertion of victory, but even so it begins with a cry of anguish:
“Why are you
I know the procedure well. Mobile phones, power pack, kindle and contigo insulated mugs with fresh coffee; this time, just in case, wheelchair.
Over the years I have had innumerable trips to various A&E departments. For several years, in fact, Jacqui and I were directly responsible for five elderly relatives. Hardly a month went by when one of them needed to be taken to A&E. In fact, over Christmas 2006 we had three of them in Aintree University Hospital at the same ti
It should have been an early start today, but alas not. I was due to walk the final leg of the Gritstone Trail but sadly Alan, our leader, yesterday tested positive for Covid. So instead it's the concluding section of the other long distance walk in Cheshire, the Sandstone Trial with Bella the dog. It's blue skies but very chilly: perfect. As I set off, I wonder how the people of the Bible would have thought of the Sandstone Trail, just walking for the sake of walking. Afte