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What is Matthew 24 all about?

Matthew 24 is the reading set for the fourth Sunday before Advent (i.e. in the countdown to Advent at the ordinary season comes to a close) and its parallel Mark 13 is the reading for the first Sunday of Advent. There is much confusion about both these passages (and the parallel in Luke 21), and […]

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Liturgical year

Should Lent and Advent swap?

Evangelicals have not usually been strong on the liturgical year, possibly because of Paul’s language about ‘observing special days and months and seasons and years’ in Gal 4.10. But, like many evangelical Anglicans, I have come to appreciate the sense of rhythm and shape that calendar gives to the year; after all, even in our […]

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John the B

From text to (all-age) talk

Last Sunday I was speaking at St Ann’s with Emmanuel, an inner-urban church in Nottingham, using the lectionary gospel reading of Mark 1.1–8. I trace here the move from the text itself to the all-age talk and activity, and include details of the PowerPoint presentation I used. Features of the text The most striking thing […]

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Preaching on Advent 1

Here are some thoughts on making sense of the lectionary readings for Advent 1: Is 64.1–9; Mark 13.24–37 ‘Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!’ Isaiah’s cry of desperation resonates with the cry of many today. If only God would make everything clear! If only he would remove uncertainty, and bring clarity! […]

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Making sense of Matthew 24

As it is still Advent, it is still worth reflecting on how we make sense Matt 24 (the reading for the First Sunday of Advent). There appear to be two main ways it is read. 1. Both two main sections, Matt 24.1–35 and Matt 24.36–51 are about Jesus’ second coming at the end of the […]

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