Feasting & Fasting

The Church Calendar is textured by periods of fasting followed by periods of feasting. For most 21st century Christians both seem pretty weird. Though my guess would be that you think you know your way around feasting—we are a culture of conspicuous consumption, after all—but fasting is anathema to the world we live in. Why… Continue reading Feasting & Fasting

Reformation Day

Today is Reformation Day! We celebrate that a monk with a mallet (and a desire to stoke debate among local academics) changed the world. There’s something there for the pedants amongst us, you never know what your gentle corrections might cause. Which considering the Reformation tore Europe into a generation of ‘religious war’ should give… Continue reading Reformation Day

Our Church Calendars

Israel had a cycle of a weekly Sabbath, seven feasts a year, a sabbatical year every seventh year, and a Jubliee year every seventh sabbatical year. Their days were patterned for them, and it was wisdom to follow them. They function how the Church calendar was designed by our Christian forbears to function for us—now… Continue reading Our Church Calendars

Longing, Lament, and Joy

We live in the Between, this now and not yet time stretched by our waiting for the Kingdom to come on the one hand and by its grand arrival in the ascension of Christ on the other. Our eschatology is firmed realised, present and not yet present. The Kingdom is here, the Kingdom is not… Continue reading Longing, Lament, and Joy

The Gift of Dissatisfaction

There is a gift from God that we do not want. If we’re honest with ourselves, I suspect there are many gifts from God that we don’t want. We enjoy both sin and comfort too much to value all of God’s gifts; we are indicted by our lacklustre enthusiasm for the things of God. The… Continue reading The Gift of Dissatisfaction

When Pain is a Problem

The American opioid epidemic started because pharmaceutical companies wanted to eliminate pain. Whatever their motives, though we can be sure they were not altruistic, they manufactured situations where if someone told a hospital they were in pain they would be given an opioid painkiller. Pain was a problem to be eliminated. We can all roll… Continue reading When Pain is a Problem

The Plod of God

Sometimes the Christian life feels incredibly difficult. We wonder, perhaps, what the point of it all is. We wonder whether our attempts, faltering through they may be, at day-by-day faithfulness will every bear any fruit. We wonder whether our wanderings are leading us up the mountain of God or if we’re meandering around the foothills,… Continue reading The Plod of God

Learning wisdom

We should desire wisdom. “Get wisdom!” Solomon tells us (Proverbs 4). We see that eating from wisdom’s tree (Genesis 3) was Adam’s mistake but also the destiny he was supposed to bear. We also see that one of the ways we learn wisdom is by suffering. Let’s not get this backwards, suffering is not our… Continue reading Learning wisdom

Time and the Table

We think of time in a very distinctive way, which many of our forebears did not. We think it’s linear, we think it’s homogenous—progressing in ordered sections we call days or years or hours—and we think it’s largely ‘empty,’ a container that is indifferent to what we fill it with. I’ve been reading Charles Taylor’s… Continue reading Time and the Table

Bring Your Bible to Church

If you’ll do me the favour of indulging me—and if you’re a regular reader then you often do so and I’m grateful for it, or if you’re a supporter then I’m thankful for your help to keep my site advert free—I’d like to tell you about a personal bugbear. Though the title may have given… Continue reading Bring Your Bible to Church