Why is the raising of Tabitha in Acts 9 significant?

The lectionary readings for Easter 4 in Year C include three substantial readings: Acts 9.36-43, Revelation 7.9-17 and John 10.22-30. There is a note which says: ‘The reading from Acts must be used as either the first or second reading’, which suggests that this reading is thought to be particularly important—and this is characteristic of the Easter season. … Continue Reading

How big should churches be?

Two years ago, one of the fringe meetings at July’s session of the General Synod focussed on the needs of ‘mid-sized churches’, in this case defined as worshipping communities of 20 to 60. The reason for this was a question that William Nye, Secretary General of Synod and the Archbishops’ Council, had raised: Without meaning … Continue Reading

The risen Jesus with the Eleven in Luke 24

The gospel lectionary reading for the Third Sunday of Easter in Year B is Luke 24.36b–48, the episode where Jesus meets the disciples after the encounter on the Emmaus Road and before the Ascension. (The lectionary readings for the Third Sunday in Easter ignore the particular gospel for the year, and instead cycle round Luke … Continue Reading

What is happening in current study of the Gospels and Acts?

The introductory textbooks Exploring the New Testament are a fantastic one-stop guide to engaging with the gospels and Acts (volume 1) and the letters and Revelation (volume 2). Published by SPCK, volume 1 has just been issued in a third, substantially revised, edition. (The third edition of volume 2, to which I have contributed, will be … Continue Reading

The kingdom of God in Acts 1

We are beginning a sermon series looking at the kingdom of God, and I started by consider the opening three verses of Acts 1 and what they say about the kingdom. There are a number of striking statements that Luke makes in this short passage. First, his reference to Theophilus reminds us of the opening of … Continue Reading