The risen Jesus with the Eleven in Luke 24

The gospel lectionary reading for the Third Sunday of Easter in Year B is Luke 24.36b–48, the episode where Jesus meets the disciples after the encounter on the Emmaus Road and before the Ascension. (The lectionary readings for the Third Sunday in Easter ignore the particular gospel for the year, and instead cycle round Luke … Continue Reading

The testimony of John the Baptist in John 1

The lectionary gospel reading for Advent 3 is John 1.6–8 and 19–28, which picks out parts of John the Baptist’s testimony from the first chapter of the Fourth Gospel. Despite being highly selective from this remarkable opening chapter, it nevertheless contains key words and ideas that are carried through the whole gospel. Perhaps the most … Continue Reading

The healing of the man born blind in John 9

The lectionary used by the Church of England has done something slightly unusual in the last few weeks. Although we are supposed to be reading from Matthew’s gospel, and the RCL used ecumenically has continued to do so, the lectionary in Common Worship offers us a sequence of four encounters between Jesus and individuals from … Continue Reading

The manifestation of Jesus in John 1

One of my favourite films at the moment is Arrival. It begins with a prologue which appears to be quite distinct from the rest of the narrative, but it is only once you have seen the whole film that you understand what the prologue was actually telling you. The phrases, ideas and narrative in the … Continue Reading

How should we treat Old Testament law?

Should Old Testament law be of value to Christians, and if so, in what sense? Dr Carmen Imes is Associate Professor of Old Testament at Prairie College in Alberta, Canada, and did her doctoral research on the understanding of the third Commandment ‘You shall not take the Lord’s name in vain’, published as a monograph … Continue Reading

Is it time to rethink the ‘testimony’?

At the Second Festival of Theology, Mike Starkey (who teaches at the Church Army centre in Sheffield) suggested that we need to rethink the traditional ‘testimony’: It is a truth universally acknowledged that Christians invited to talk about their faith look terrified. Most people simply don’t know where to start. And that’s before you introduce … Continue Reading

The meaning of martyrdom

Whenever I travel on the train, I have to think carefully about whether I wear my clerical collar, or whether I travel in ‘mufti’. It partly depends on what kind of meeting or event I am travelling to, but it also depends on whether I want to work quietly on the train, or am happy … Continue Reading

Kenji Goto: faithful witness

I like ideas, and (as you might have gathered if you have read this blog at all) find them fascinating and motivating. But the most significant changes in my life have usually come not because of ideas, but because of the examples of others. When I find a notion concretely expressed in the life and … Continue Reading