Stillness, opportunity and the local church during the pandemic

Tim Murray writes: Like every other church, we (at Amblecote Christian Centre near Stourbridge) faced an unknown situation when the government started restricting large gatherings and it became clear that the pandemic was going to have a major impact on the shape of our lives. The unknown was not just ‘what we would do as a church’ but … Continue Reading

Can we find hope in apocalyptic times?

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’ and the third on ‘Mission’. This one, published in Preach Magazine issue 23 Chaos and Truth, explored the … Continue Reading

Looking to God for help in Psalm 121

Richard Bauckham writes: Psalm 121 is one of the psalms that seem especially appropriate for a time of pandemic, and so it may be helpful to explain and reflect on it a little. It is a quite well-known psalm, remembered especially for its distinctive opening line: “I will lift up my eyes to the hills.” … Continue Reading

Facing death with Easter hope

Richard Bauckham writes: “The message of Easter is hope, and hope is what we very much need in these times.” Something like that is what many church leaders interviewed in the media were saying around Eastertime. Unfortunately, to people who know nothing much at all about what Easter celebrates, it can come across as a rather … Continue Reading

What are people ‘really’ doing when celebrating Christmas?

Around this time of year, there comes a recurrent debate about what people are ‘really’ doing when they celebrate Christmas. A while ago, there was a programme on Radio 4 exploring the origins of the tunes of carols. For example, the tune for Good King Wenceslas was originally a spring carol celebrating the fertility of nature. It is … Continue Reading