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Reflections of a Lay Pastor: March 6th 2016 Mothering Sunday

Don’t you just hate mothers with perfect children? Psalm 32 is ideal for Mothering Sunday, in the Message version it begins: “Count yourself lucky, how happy you must be/ you get a fresh start,/ your slate’s wiped clean”. The psalm promises freedom from guilt, forgiveness for sin and for proxy sin. You don’t have to [...]

Reflections of a Lay Pastor: February 28st 2016: Lent

Today, the lectionary guides us to read Psalm 63. David is credited with writing it: shepherd boy, giant killer, loyal friend, flouter of marriage laws, pre-meditated murderer, weak father, great forgiver of others, reflective and self-censoring sinner; what a man! David started life lowly and rose to become a man of unimagined riches and power, [...]

Reflections of a Lay Pastor: February 21st 2016: Lent

Today’s lectionary includes Genesis 15, in which Abraham laments his childless status and worries about who will inherit his considerable wealth. This is a story from the ancient past, classified by Jewish scholars as legend, written down perhaps 2500 years ago; but how immediate! People who suffer (and rejoice in) the lifelong responsibilities of parenthood [...]

Reflections of a Lay Pastor: February 14th 2016: Lent

The lectionary this week for the beginning of Lent in Deuteronomy 26 is all about how the wandering tribes of Israel should be grateful for their land. Of course they obtained it by slaughter, by dispossessing those already there, much as modern Israel behaves in settling the occupied territories, but they were instructed to remember [...]

Reflections of a Lay Pastor: January 10th 2016: Parables for Baildon 1

Jesus told stories to describe what the world would be like when ruled by God’s Spirit: not by the spirit of greed; not by quotes from ancient texts; not by leaders hungry for power; but by the power of love. He called this “The Kingdom of God”. We have lessons to learn from the parables [...]

Reflections of a Lay Pastor: December 20th 2015 Candle light

Tonight we hold our candlelight carol service. We shall each hold a lighted candle whilst we sing Silent Night and reflect on the wonder of Christmas. The candles are lit only for the very last part of the evening because of the potential for disaster as 200 flames convert paraffin wax into carbon dioxide at [...]

Broadway, Bradford

The Church's in the Bradford North Methodist Circuit have been invited to be a part of the provision of a Christian presence to offer prayer in Bradford’s new £260 million shopping centre.  A feature of the new centre will be a ‘Contemplation Room’. Volunteers are being invited from all denominations to staff around 150 two or three hour [...]

Reflections of a Lay Pastor: October 3rd 2015

My granddaughter had a bad night, not as bad as her mother’, but bad enough.  When I took her to nursery, which she loves, she hung about outside, refusing, in the gentlest possible way, to go in.  She sucked her thumb and invented little games for us to play outside the door.  She explained that she really [...]

Reflections of a Lay Pastor: September 20th 2015

People sometimes just need to be on their own.  “I am just going to the garage/shed/out for a walk”.  Amongst the stresses of life are the times when we can’t get that time to wander, or to potter.  Mothers of young children suffer from this;  children with unfettered access to TV suffer from this.  We [...]

Reflection for December 14th 2014

In the first chapter of John’s Gospel, messengers from “the Pharisees” arrive to question John-the-Baptist.  Their questions really boil down to: Who do you think you are? and:  By what right do you baptise people? I remember once walking into our local City Hall by the wrong entrance, only to be stopped by a uniformed [...]