We can’t meet as ecclesias at the moment, so perhaps this is a perfect opportunity to reflect on what true religion is all about separate from what we normally do on Sunday mornings or midweek class. It’s something the Galatian ecclesias had to think about because they were in danger of losing the Truth altogether. Paul was the perfect person to deal with what was going on with the Galatians. Having become brothers and sisters in Christ they were going back to what they had previously left behind – the Law of Moses and rites like circumcision, along with many Jewish traditions. (more…)
If I told you a couple of months ago half the world would be in lock down mode along with everything else that’s happened, you probably wouldn’t have believed a time could be possible. Things like this are a once in a generation experience. I read one article which said the world hasn’t been in such turmoil since the Second World War – 75 years ago. We’re just not used to this sort of thing and we’ve had to experience it to believe it.
What about a once in the history of the world experience? (more…)
You would think Pilate, as the representative of the Roman Empire in Judea, held a lot of power. But when faced with the Jewish crowds crying “Crucify, crucify him!” (Luke 23:21) he gave in, despite the fact he acknowledged the innocence of Jesus. Notice what it says in verse 23 – “their voices prevailed”. The voices of the Jews or, as some versions bring out, especially the voices of the chief priests, were more powerful than Pilate at this point in time. And for a short while Jesus came under the combined power of the enemy – the Jewish and Roman authorities. (more…)
I’m the sort of person who feels uneasy if I am not in control of a situation. I think that’s why I suffer from aerophobia. If I was at the controls of the airplane, then I would probably feel safer. Although since I have no flight training, I wouldn’t recommend getting on the plane with me.
One of the things that is unsettling about our current situation is how out of control the virus seems to be in places like Italy and New York. We can do our little bit to bring control in our lives, by quarantining and social distancing, but there’s still the uneasy thought that our invisible enemy could strike at any moment.
Our thought for the day today is just a little excerpt from the exhortation I gave this morning from Luke 21. Our Lord speaks of two periods of time, one the end of the Jewish world in AD 70, and the other the end of our world. Both times are scary, with anxiety and foreboding about things coming on the world. But Jesus put a positive spin on things despite what would appear, from worldly point of view, to be doom and gloom.
It’s wonderful how our Lord Jesus Christ teaches. Very often he says something very puzzling, rather than just spoon feeding us information. He wants us to think, mull over his words and figure out what principles are behind his message. We have an example of that in today’s reading from Luke 20. Having just quoted Psalm 118 – “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone” (v.17) he goes on to say, “Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.” (v.18). What did Jesus mean by that? (more…)
It’s very easy to think that what we’re experiencing with the pandemic is the beginning of the end of the world as we know it. I had the same feeling in 1991 when Saddam Hussein started sending scud missiles into Israel. I remember exactly where I was and what I was thinking – Jesus is going to come back any moment. It’s now almost 30 years later though and we still await our Lord’s return. All of which brings us to our reading in Luke 19. (more…)
If you had access to one of the greatest powers in the universe, and could legitimately use it any time you wanted, 24/7, and it had the power to bring you peace of mind, what would you do? Well as a matter of fact we have such a power but for some reason we human beings struggle to use it. The power I am talking about is prayer and is the topic of Jesus’ words in the first half of our New Testament chapter for the day, Luke 18. (more…)
The readings today made it really difficult to decide which one to talk about. We have the priestly blessing in Number 6, one of my favorite Bible passages in Proverbs 3, and Jesus’ words in Luke 17 which fit perfectly with our current situation. Being the sort of person who is terrible at making decisions like this I am going to have to do two thoughts today. (more…)
As we settle into our new reality it’s useful to try to put a positive spin on what we’re experiencing. God has given us time inside our homes, with our families, time that we didn’t have before. And time is one of the most precious resources of life. What are we doing with that resource – and our other resources for that matter – not just now, but how have we spent it before? During this time of reflection let’s think about the lessons from the parables from yesterday’s reading in Luke 15 and today’s in chapter 16. (more…)