In Between Two Trees

Adam and Eve lived in a garden in the centre of the land of Eden. In the middle were two trees, perhaps forming the apex of this Temple—for it was a Temple. This was the most holy place (Genesis 2). They had one simple rule, which we are largely familiar with: eat whatever you like,… Continue reading In Between Two Trees

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

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

Instagram is the devil

An inflammatory title! That’s bound to get the punters in. A friend of mine said this line to me a few weeks back. It was a few days before her wedding, and I wouldn’t want to speak to her emotional state but, well, she told me that Instagram was the devil. Except I think we… Continue reading Instagram is the devil

The O Antiphons

In the western liturgical traditions the last seven days of advent include singing these seven chants—they would be largely unknown to churches like mine whose hymnody owes more to Hillsong than ancient Latin verse. Except, I bet you recognise them. They’re the content of the only advent hymn most of us know, O Come O… Continue reading The O Antiphons

Advent begins in the dark

Advent started yesterday, on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. Most of us, if we observe advent at all will start on Wednesday with the opening of our calendars on the first of December. We consider it our three and a half week countdown to Christmas. Which is all well and good, preparing for feasts makes… Continue reading Advent begins in the dark

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

Spit & Mud

In John chapter nine, Jesus heals a blind man and declares himself to be the Light of the World. John wants us to see Jesus as the light that brings sight to dead eyes, physically and spiritually. To compare the arrogant Pharisees who condemn Jesus for healing on the Sabbath to the blind man who… Continue reading Spit & Mud

The edge of the sea

The music swells, the symphony approaches its glorious end. You’re swept up in the majestic writing and the promise of what is to come. You’re noticing the intricate detail and the way the rest of the story is being recapitulated here at the eventual end. There is a new heaven. Wonder of wonders. There is… Continue reading The edge of the sea