Challenging Christmas myths on shepherds, swaddling, and support for the holy family

Christmas is a time for celebration, for feasting and for relationships. But it is also a time for a mild engagement in iconoclasm, as we peel back the layers of accreted tradition and recover the origins of the Christmas gospel—something which needs to happen every year, it seems. In that spirit (and Spirit) I offer … Continue Reading

What does Scripture say about disability?

I write a quarterly column for Preach magazine, in which I explore a significant word or phrase in the Bible and the ideas that it expresses. I have written for them on: the phrase ‘Word of God’ the theme of ‘Mission’ the meaning of ‘Apocalypse‘ the ministry of ‘Healing’, the question of ‘Welcome’, the biblical understanding … Continue Reading

Were Joseph and Mary ‘poor’?

One of the repeated themes of short Christmas expositions is that, in the nativity story, we see God coming to the ‘poor’, and as a result the main message of Christmas is that we should pay particular attention to the ‘poor’. I put the term in inverted commas, because in both these contexts the term … Continue Reading

Three surprises for Christmas

Every year at Christmas, we are once again reminded that the shepherds to whom the angels appeared were poor outcasts, that the holy family was abandoned and alone, and perhaps that the swaddling of Jesus was not something ordinary but a sign of spiritual significance. Christmas is a time for celebration, for feasting and for … Continue Reading

Is God disabled?

I am disabled—in fact I suffer from multiple disabilities.  I am very short sighted (my prescription is -5 diopters) and I also suffer from astigmatism (inherited from my father—it prevented him continuing his career as a pilot in the RAF after WW2) which means I cannot function easily in everyday life without medical intervention in … Continue Reading