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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 [...]

Reflections of a Lay Pastor: July 29th 2018: More decisions!

Continuing the theme of decisions, I am prompted to think about decisions that I regret, because doing so might help me make better decisions in future.  Looking back, it seems that some decisions had unforeseen, unintended consequences, but that other decisions were just bad.  […]

Reflections of a Lay Pastor: July 8th 2018: Decisions, Decisions!

Life seems to be crowded with decisions, even those that we take when we think that we have no options and are just doing what we have to do.  Jesus took decisions too, judging by the Gospel stories, and he retired frequently to the hills to check out whether he was still on track and [...]

Reflections of a Lay Pastor: July 1st 2018: Life after Death

Those of us who attend funeral services with increasing frequency will be very familiar w St. Peter was not going to be the one to tell him. ith the doctrine of life after death in its many forms.  Some of my respondents to this blog believe that there is a difference in the [...]

Reflections of a Lay Pastor: June 17th 2018: Justice and Mercy

The Bible refers to Justice many times:  Amos 5:24;  Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!; Micah 6:8;  What does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Luke 18:7;  Will not God bring about justice for his chosen [...]