What Jesus DIDN’T say

  • Golden AppleBlessed are the rich and prosperous, for they already have their reward.
  • Blessed are those who seek a trouble-free life, for they will be comforted.
  • Blessed are the strong, for they think they can rule the world.
  • Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after fame, but they will not be satisfied.
  • Blessed are they that look after number one, for noone else will do that for them.
  • Blessed are they that make up their own rules, for they will be seen as successful.
  • Blessed are the warmongers, Continue reading “What Jesus DIDN’T say”

Paul and Slavery

Painting entitled "Le marché aux esclaves...
The Slave Market (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The apostle Paul has been accused of discrimination against women, and of being supportive of slavery, amongst other things. But the fact is that he made some revolutionary statements considering the accepted wisdom and culture of his day, striking at the heart of discrimination. Let’s explore the matter further.

Throughout human history slavery has been an accepted feature of society. It has been in existence for thousands of years. All of the ancient civilisations such as the Egyptians, Ancient Greeks, Aztecs, Assyrians, Persians, Babylonians and Romans were economically dependent on the institution of slavery. Continue reading “Paul and Slavery”

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,100 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 9 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

 

O Holy Night

Celine Dion performing "Taking Chances&qu...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This Christmas carol is a favourite of mine and is unsurpassed in terms of melody and lyrics.Versions have been sung by Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Sara Groves, David Archuleta, Nat King Cole and many others (not forgetting the choir that Christine and I are a part of). Words vary a lot and verses are often omitted, but here is one version of the lyrics, along with my comments.

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
‘Til He appear’d and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine. Continue reading “O Holy Night”

It came upon a midnight clear

Sunset in Devon by George Dowdell

When I was in my teens, several things influenced and shaped my life. This carol was one of them. The angels were announcing the beginning of a new era which would affect every man, woman and child. The world would never be the same again!

It came upon a midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold:
“Peace on the earth, goodwill to men
From heaven’s all-gracious King.”
The world in solemn stillness lay,
To hear the angels sing.

The language is somewhat poetic but speaks of an event so significant that the angels just had to announce the birth of Jesus, the son of God. But the priests in the temple didn’t hear the angels. Herod in his palace didn’t hear them.  Only some simple shepherds heard the news, and heard the angels praising God that this event would have such a momentous effect which would eventually result in a peaceful world. Continue reading “It came upon a midnight clear”

‘Tis the season for Giving

Flour distribution in Kenya

Christine and I have recently joined a local choir and have been preparing hard for a Christmas concert. The choir is a secular choir but many of the pieces we sing are ‘Christian’ in nature. One such song starts as follows:

‘Tis the season for giving,
‘Tis the season for joy,
‘Tis the season to celebrate life,
To stop and remember love. Continue reading “‘Tis the season for Giving”

Greater Works

Polio drops
Polio Drops

As he came near to the end of his time on earth, Jesus told his disciples that they would do what he did and “greater works” than him. This is quite an amazing statement. What are the “greater works’ for us to do. Signs and Miracles are an obvious contender, but are there other things for us to do which qualify? What about the abolition of slavery? What about fighting against injustice? What about feeding the hungry?  Do these things qualify?

In this article I do not intend to negate a more conventional interpretation, but to add to it. Continue reading “Greater Works”

God’s chosen fast

English: Homeless woman in Toronto.
Homeless woman in Toronto. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How do we please God? Do we please God by religious observances or is God more interested in how we treat our fellow human beings? This is not a rhetorical question. God loves each man, woman and child on the earth – and he wants us to do the same.

The Bible makes it very plain that unless our actions match up to our words, we can deny ourselves, beat ourselves, and starve ourselves to no avail. The way we treat our neighbours, our communities and people throughout the world is vitally important. Unless we stand up for justice, treat our workers correctly and feed the hungry we cannot hope to please my creator, God. Unless we show compassion to, and love those around us, who we can see, we cannot claim to love God. Continue reading “God’s chosen fast”

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