Water is Thicker than Blood

I’ve argued elsewhere that the Sunday gathering is for worship, but as the priests gather in the Temple they find that the Lord comes to them. The occasion is worship, but we encounter God as he comes to us. As one of the four ‘events’ when God meets us as we worship him, Baptism is… Continue reading Water is Thicker than Blood

Church is for the Lonely

Have you ever noticed how often secular advice on, for example, wellbeing coheres with what the church would say? It veers wildly away at points as well, but I don’t feel like we do a lot of noticing of when it’s the same. Not to pat ourselves on the back though—I see a bit of… Continue reading Church is for the Lonely

The Church’s Story

What’s the story of the church? How do we fit into God’s grand plan? It runs something like this: God created the world with the aim of making his name great by demonstrating the worth, glory and character of God the Son. It was his good pleasure to do so by making lesser beings and… Continue reading The Church’s Story

Renovating the Church

The Bible often compares churches to buildings (e.g. 1 Peter 2). Which can sometimes sound a little odd on ears brought up on the resounding cry that the “church is the people not the building.” I appreciate that we probably needed the refrain, I live in a country dotted with beautiful relics of ancient churches.… Continue reading Renovating the Church

Feasting at Christmastime

This is a time full of feasting. Everywhere you go it seems you’re offered a plate of mince pies or piece of stollen, perhaps with a glass of mulled wine. You can’t escape it—biscuits and coffee at church become wine and cake week after week. Or at least that’s normal in the UK, I’m told… Continue reading Feasting at Christmastime

Advent is coming

Advent starts on Sunday, which will confuse some of you because you’re expecting it to start next Wednesday. Others of you will be appalled at the idea of ‘doing Christmas’ in November—well we won’t be, we’ll be celebrating Advent. Advent is dark. Advent is bleak. Advent is about staring at the wretched core of the… Continue reading Advent is coming

Sing when you’re losing

The gathered church sings. That’s what we do. It’s not the only thing we do, but it is what we do. For millennia, since song joined sacrifices in Israel’s worship at the dedication of Jerusalem’s Temple in David and Solomon's liturgical reforms, the people of God have sung. In innumerable styles, with words sublimely profound… Continue reading Sing when you’re losing

Commercialising Church

This article in the New York Times describes two tools that Facebook are developing for churches. Firstly, a subscription service, “where users pay, for example, $9.99 per month and receive exclusive content, like messages from the bishop” and secondly a prayer service “where members of some Facebook groups can post prayer requests and others can… Continue reading Commercialising Church

One sows, another reaps

Our home has a beautiful garden—it’s a large part of why we bought the tumble-down shell we’ve lovingly formed into something beautiful. We live in a large city, so its 45-metre-long stretch is quite something. It brings my wife much joy. In the early days of living here, when we had one finished room, barely… Continue reading One sows, another reaps

Living in Time

Last week I wrote a rambling exposition of some of the features of Genesis chapter one, but to keep to a reasonable length I didn’t attempt any application. I thought I’d take some time to tease out these ideas in a little more depth what that means for our lives. I’ve written previously that rest… Continue reading Living in Time