Beating our Swords into Ploughshares

‘They shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.’ These words from of the prophet Isaiah are also to be found outside the United Nations Building- alongside a powerful statue of a Blacksmith who is in the…

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Don’t Get Caught Out!

Today’s gospel reading, Matthew 25:14-30, is about being caught out – nobody likes being caught out! We usually concentrate, when we read this Parable of the Talents, on thinking about using our skills for God and/or the Church. But, coming as it does in these weeks before Advent, the focus shifts and we look at…

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Lazarus! Come out!

Years ago, I went to a performance of John’s Gospel at St Luke’s Church in Blackburn – just next to St Wilfrid’s School. I say ‘performance’ because it featured a solitary actor who proclaimed the whole of John’s Gospel from memory – not a BIble in sight. The audience all sat in the nave, in…

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We all have a job to do!

At the end of most communion services in the Church of England, we depart with the familiar dismissal ‘Go in peace to love and serve the Lord’ and we all respond ‘In the name of Christ, Amen!’ In many ways this is one of the most important aspects of our worship. We have gathered to…

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What are we wearing?

Gospel reading Matthew 22:1-14 A king throws a wedding banquet. The invited guests behave very badly – many send their excuses, others abuse and murder the messengers. In exasperation, the King sends his remaining slaves to gather in all kinds of people from the streets to the party. One of their number is not dressed…

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The very limit of what is possible

Gospel reading – Matthew 21:33-46 The German writer Herman Hesse wrote that we hate in others that which resides in us ourselves. What is not in us does not move us either to hatred or love. I suppose this is another way of saying what the psychologist Karl Jung said when he talked about projection…

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To empower those who have no power

Today’s Gospel reading is Matthew 21:23-32 Beware the sin of pride. Jesus spent a lot of time talking about it. To me it is self evident that, for example, if someone thinks they are a prime example of a godly person, like one of the chief priests, they’re not. Tripping Jesus up was what they…

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