The place of healing in the biblical story

I write a column for Preach magazine, in which I explore a significant word or phrase in the Bible and the ideas that it expresses. The first one was on the phrase ‘Word of God’, and second on ‘Justice’, the third on ‘Mission’ and the fourth on ‘Apocalypse‘.  This one, published in Preach Magazine issue 24 Towards … Continue Reading

The heart of forgiveness in Matt 18

The lectionary gospel reading for Trinity 14 in Year A is Matt 18.21–35. It continues Matthew’s collection of Jesus’ teaching about life in the ekklesia—not the ‘church’ as we would understand it now, but within the community of God, gathered around obedience to Jesus himself.  We might, when reading this in the context of the … Continue Reading

Has Christmas been hijacked?

Whilst we are in the Christmas season liturgically, the main busyness of Christmas is over. Presents have been bought and given; Christmas cards and letters have been written and read; and services have been planned and executed. But in terms of Christian ministry, I have been struck this year once again by the oddness of … Continue Reading

Does Jesus treat us as good-for-nothing slaves?

This Sunday’s lectionary reading from Luke offers some serious challenges to our understanding and practice. The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. “Suppose … Continue Reading

Why did Jesus come?

Thousands of sermons and talks up and down the land will have attempted to answer this question in the last week. Why did Jesus come, and what are we celebrating at Christmas? Justin Welby’s sermon in Canterbury on Christmas Day focussed on the theme of freedom or liberation: In the manger is something completely different … Continue Reading