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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 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: 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, [...]

Reflections of a Lay Pastor: October 21st Priesthood of All Believers

The book of Hebrews, maybe the only book in the Bible written by a woman, talks about priests in chapter 5 and their role in being the means by which people can have access to God.  The author was thinking of the way in which Jesus was a high priest, intervening on behalf of humans [...]

Reflections of a Lay Pastor: September 23rd 2018: Consider the children

Mark’s gospel, the first to be written, ends with the mysterious empty tomb rather than the later resurrection stories.  It is short, punchy, and in many ways shocking.  In chapter 9, Jesus is trying to talk seriously to the disciples about the future and all they can do is to argue amongst themselves about how [...]

Reflections of a Lay Pastor: September 16th 2018: Save my Soul

Mark ends chapter 8 with one of several futile attempts by Jesus to convince his disciples about his mission on Earth and how it will end.  They just don’t get it.  So, as usual, he changes tack and talks about the here and now.  Beth Neilson-Chapman in her incomparable song “Happiness” sings: The past is [...]

Reflections of a Lay Pastor: September 9th 2018: keeping up with change

Towards the end of Mark chapter 7 the writer tells the story of Jesus meeting the Greek woman whose daughter lived with mental illness.  It represents a very significant event in Jesus’ ministry as he changed his ideas and plans.  It seems that originally he took on a mission only to Jewish people, after this [...]

Reflections of a Lay Pastor: August 26th 2018: Church membership

In the first book of Kings, chapter 8, there is an account of how Solomon sought to unite his people under a common belief, a shared story.  This story was that God would punish his people if they ceased to worship him and forgive and restore them when they renewed worship.  He also included strangers, [...]

Reflections of a Lay Pastor: August 12th 2018: Being different

The Bible is full of stories about people who were different.  Almost every character in there stands out as being unlike those around.  Think about Ruth, the two-times refugee;  about Joseph who honoured Mary’s pregnancy and brought her child up as his own;  about Mary Magdalene, and St Paul;  and especially about Jesus.  Most of [...]