The raising of Lazarus in John 11

This Sunday, Lent 5 in Year A, we come to the last of our for explorations of Jesus’ encounters with individuals that formed a catechumate in the early church. Next week, on Palm Sunday, we will return to our gospel of the year, Matthew, in the lead in to Holy Week, Good Friday and Easter … Continue Reading

What do Mary and Martha teach us about discipleship?

The short stories told by and about Jesus in the gospels are both attractive and challenging. They are attractive because they are easily memorable (and there is a basic neuroscientific connection between story and memory), because even in their compressed retelling they include compelling characters, and because we are drawn to Jesus’ pithy summaries of … Continue Reading

There’s something (humble?) about Mary

This week we celebrated the Annunciation, the announcement by Gabriel to Mary that she will become pregnant and give birth to Jesus recorded in Luke 1—and it reminds us that Christmas is coming! I know Christmas circular letters are not everyone’s cup of tea, but we enjoy writing ours as a review of the year, and catching up with what has been going on in the lives of others. For those who don’t like them, their distaste is summed up in that archetypal circular where everything is going wonderfully well—the demands of new jobs following promotions, the stresses of getting ready for exotic foreign holidays, and the difficulty of keeping up with so many achievements by the children. (Should you receive any like this, Lynne Truss offers a variety of ways of responding..)

The compassion of God in John 11

The new edition of Scripture Union’s Encounter with God has just been published, and this is the first part of my contribution reflection on John 11–13. Even to the casual reader, John’s gospel seems to be in two halves. In the first, we have a series of seven ‘signs’ performed by Jesus (including the water into … Continue Reading

There’s something (humble) about Mary

I know Christmas circular letters are not everyone’s cup of tea, but we enjoy writing ours as a review of the year, and catching up with what has been going on in the lives of others. For those who don’t like them, their distaste is summed up in that archetypal circular where everything is going wonderfully … Continue Reading

Faith, purity and the virgin birth

I really don’t know what goes through the mind of people who argue that they know much better than the gospel writers what Christianity is all about. Do they think the evangelists were stupid, ignorant, or just a little bit slow on the uptake—or perhaps all three? And how did Christian tradition make such egregious … Continue Reading