Inclusion and exclusion in Luke 13

Sunday’s lectionary reading from the gospels is Luke 13.31–35, and once again the lectionary does us something of a disservice by cutting this short passage off from its surrounding narrative. That is not such a problem in relation to what follows, since Luke begins chapter 14 with a clear narrative break, ‘And it happened, he … Continue Reading

What is worship?

When I became an Anglican, I was at first quite puzzled by the choice of Scripture passages that Anglican (that is, Church of England) services kept coming back to—the Benedictus (Luke 1.68–79) in Morning Prayer, the Magnificat (Luke 1.46–55) in Evening Prayer, and the Nunc Dimittis (Luke 2.29–32) at night. For one thing, all these … Continue Reading

Does Jesus call us to ‘repent’?

The idea of ‘repenting of sin’ causes us a bit of a problem nowadays. It causes us a problem in relation to those outside the Church as well as those inside the Church and faith. For those outside, there is a sense that Christians are ‘holier than thou’, and are telling them that they are … Continue Reading

Should Lent and Advent swap?

Evangelicals have not usually been strong on the liturgical year, possibly because of Paul’s language about ‘observing special days and months and seasons and years’ in Gal 4.10. But, like many evangelical Anglicans, I have come to appreciate the sense of rhythm and shape that calendar gives to the year; after all, even in our … Continue Reading