The annunciation to Mary in Luke 1

The lectionary gospel reading for the Fourth Sunday in Advent is Luke 1.26–38; though this year’s gospel is Mark, there is (of course) no annunciation in Mark, so we plunder part of Luke’s narrative to fill the gap. I have previously posted on the annunciation in more general terms, noting that the account is rooted … Continue Reading

Who is welcome in the people of God?

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’, the fourth on ‘Apocalypse‘, and the fifth on healing. This one, to … Continue Reading

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

What does Joseph add to the story of Jesus’ origins in Matthew 1?

This Sunday’s lectionary reading for Advent 4 in Year A is Matt 1.18–25. It is a short reading, but laden with significance as Matthew gives his distinctive account of Jesus’ origins. One of the presenting issues in engaging in the two narratives of Jesus’ birth in Luke and Matthew is their very distinctive perspectives, leading … Continue Reading

Is Jerusalem important?

Donald Trump made the headlines last week by announcing that he was ordering the US Embassy in Israel to relocate from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Anything involving an announcement by Trump is bound to be incoherent, and the situation in the near east is immensely complex, so you can guarantee that there was going to … Continue Reading