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Reflections of a Lay Pastor: March 3rd 2019: Paul vs Moses

There are two related readings today, presumably included in the lectionary deliberately by the church for our guidance, about the authority of the Old Testament laws.  On these laws the Pharisees had built an edifice of control and condemnation;  laws that were no doubt essential to bring wandering tribes from the mentality of slavery into some semblance [...]

Reflections of a Lay Pastor:February 24th 2019: Forgiveness and Growth

Today’s readings have two connected themes: forgiveness and the impossibly fantastic potential of people to change.  The story of Joseph in Genesis 45 tells how Joseph forgave his brothers for selling him into slavery;  that must have been hard for them to take and is surely Mandella-like in its magnanimity.   Paul’s explanation in I Corinthians [...]

Reflections of a Lay Pastor: February 17th 2019: Forgiveness

Today’s readings, in Ephesians (4:32) and Colossians (3:13) emphasize the link between being grateful for personal forgiveness and being able to forgive others. There is surely always a connection.  When I fail to acknowledge my need for forgiveness, when I try to bury the wrong I have done, when I conceal the mistake that I [...]

Reflections of a Lay Pastor: February 10th 2019: Trust

How do we know whom to trust?  More to the point, how do we make sure that our children find out quickly enough in their short teenage years whom to trust?  “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to no one”, is wise advice from Shakespeare; but the Bible was not written by people who [...]

Reflections of a Lay Pastor: January 27th 2019: Living Adventurously

Our fourth Christian Value is “Living Adventurously”.  You may not consider Christopher McCandless to be a very good role model for us;  he died of starvation in a remote part of Alaska just short of 30 years old having achieved little but adventure.   But we might find some of his thoughts to be helpful.  For [...]

Reflections of a Lay Pastor: January 20th 2019: Koinonia

The Greeks had a word for it and we haven’t.  Koinonia occurs about 20 times in the New Testament and it means something like fellowship, communion, a joint present or, sometimes, looking after one another.  Ever since we were told that there was no such thing as society (and perhaps this was not meant as [...]

Reflections of a Lay Pastor: January 13th 2019: Joy

Our church is studying Christian Values for the next six weeks; one value each week.  Last week it was Humility, this week;  Joy.  We asked people what values they would include in the series and chose seven.  We would still like to hear more contributions because we plan to continue the series next year, 2020. [...]

Reflections of a Lay Pastor: January 6th 2019 Epiphany

Epiphany is the twelfth day of Christmas, when we traditionally take down the decorations and start breaking our New Year Resolutions.  There must be more to it than that. When “Epiphany” is used in the field of research, it refers to that moment when, sorting through all the necessary trivia of data collection, the researcher [...]

Reflections of a Lay Pastor: December 30th 2018 Widening horizons for the New Year

Colossians 3:12-17 could have been written for New Year, it contains a string of instructions that might prepare us for a new start on New Year’s Day.  What will 2019 hold for us?  Fortunately we can’t know.  Nostradamus predicts that 2019 will be a year of Justice.  Well, I am hoping not.  I have escaped [...]

Reflections of a Lay Pastor: December 23rd 2018 Two pregnant women

In Luke’s first chapter he records the meeting of two pregnant women.  Elizabeth had been childless and “disgraced” for being so, for not being a “proper” woman.  She and her husband had longed for a child and she became joyfully pregnant in her old age.  Not all childless women who want children are so fortunate, [...]

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