The Hard-Edged Psalms

The Psalms have sharp edges. They cut the unwary and cut the bonds of the broken. I’ve just prayed my way through them, at roughly one a day. I’m starting again at the moment. I knew they were raw but have often been surprised by how raw. Which I really shouldn’t be, but my church… Continue reading The Hard-Edged Psalms

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

The Privilege of Pain

We all struggle. We all suffer. We all know pain. At the same time, we’re acutely aware that we don’t have access to each other’s struggles except as they are related to us. There is nothing more humanising than suffering—this is the human condition—and there is nothing more isolating. When Christians suffer, when we experience… Continue reading The Privilege of Pain

Taking the Long View

“What’s the worst that could happen?” Dr Pepper asked us repeatedly—since I don’t like it, I always assumed that drinking it was punishment enough. They also printed this under the ingredients which is wonderfully self-aware marketing, if a little dark. Though, I read that this was not their slogan outside of the UK, so perhaps… Continue reading Taking the Long View

Burial is Hopeful

A couple of weeks ago we were at a wedding. We were invited to the evening but not the reception, so we’d brought a few sausage rolls and a pack of crisps for lunch and went looking for somewhere to eat it before we went on to the afternoon activities we’d planned—exploring the Cotswolds in… Continue reading Burial is Hopeful

Reframing stories

David Foster Wallace starts his famous speech This is Water by describing two young fish. They’re happily swimming along and meet an older fish coming the other way, who nods in greeting and says: “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them… Continue reading Reframing stories

Reunited Kingdom

After Solomon’s folly the kingdom of wisdom and peace he had ruled over—the closest to the design of the restful ruler the earth had yet seen—was torn into two by Rehoboam and Jeroboam. And, as far as I knew the story, so it continued until the Northern Kingdom, Israel, was carried off to Assyria, and… Continue reading Reunited Kingdom

After death, life

There is one truth in the glorious panoply that is the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3) that is particularly special to me. One that stands out as a shining beacon on the darkest of days, one that daily speaks to my heart and revives me in the truth.… Continue reading After death, life

Learning from the hours

Have you ever noticed that in Genesis chapter one, the days are the wrong way around? When I say the wrong way around, I mean backwards to what we expect, and before you rush off to compare the order of creation and question whether it means anything meaningful that the sun and moon come so… Continue reading Learning from the hours