I’m sad to say that nothing new is likely to be posted on this blog for the foreseeable future, but just to let you know that Voices Through Holy Week and Easter is now available. This is a collection of work I’ve produced over the years, now available in this booklet form.
It is an ideal resource for Easter, covering bible passage from Palm Sunday to The Resurrection from all four gospels. In each passage we hear the voice of the character questioning, exploring, finding the truth – in themselves and Jesus, ultimately leading to the question ‘What about me?’
Available from Moorleys or contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org. Price £4.50 + postage
Thank you again to everyone for your support – for this blog and for these two booklets which seem to have rounded off the work of the blog over the years.
Pot hole patching has become a topic of much discussion. Recent harsh winters have done their damage to the roads and created pot holes, which have become dangerous and in need of repair. The problem with patching in anything though is that usually a different material is used, which has different properties of expansion, stretch and wearability. Eventually, you can only patch up so many potholes, before the whole street needs resurfacing.
The same, Jesus says is true of lives. You can do so much patching up, but eventually you have to consider a new start:
18The followers of John the Baptist and the Pharisees often went without eating. Some people came and asked Jesus, “Why do the followers of John and those of the Pharisees often go without eating, while your disciples never do?”
The friends of a bridegroom don’t go without eating while he is still with them. 20But the time will come when he will be taken from them. Then they will go without eating.
21No one patches old clothes by sewing on a piece of new cloth. The new piece would shrink and tear a bigger hole.
22No one pours new wine into old wineskins. The wine would swell and burst the old skins. Then the wine would be lost, and the skins would be ruined. New wine must be put into new wineskins.
The Pharisees are again watching Jesus. Everyone else is fasting (Tom explains why on p 18-19), but Jesus and his disciples are not. They have something to celebrate. The sadness of the past, the reason for the fast has gone, because God, in Jesus, is here and is making new what had gone wrong before.
But what gets me is the Pharisees constant fascination with what Jesus and his disciples are or aren’t doing. They are again MISSING THE POINT. They are so bothered about what Jesus is doing that they never really hear or understand what he is saying.
In concentrating on their concerns for the behaviour of other people, they are missing the opportunity to look at their own lives. To consider if they are new wine skins or old -whether they are ready to be filled with the new wine God is pouring out.
God is doing a new thing – are we ready to be part of it – or too busy judging whether others are?
Lent continues to give us the opportunity to look at ourselves and consider. Will we take it?
Forgive me Lord,
those times when I look around at what others are doing
and not into my own heart and life;
when I judge the actions of others
without thinking of my actions.
As we journey through Lent,
my I concentrate on myself
and my relationship with you,
that I may be ready
when you pour your new wine
This year, I am again following the Big Read using Tom Wright’s Lent for Everyone – Mark. I’ll reflect here – if you’re following it too, or even if you’re not, please share with me.
8You used to be like people living in the dark, but now you are people of the light because you belong to the Lord. So act like people of the light 9and make your light shine. Be good and honest and truthful, 10as you try to please the Lord. 11Don’t take part in doing those worthless things that are done in the dark. Instead, show how wrong they are. 12It is disgusting even to talk about what is done in the dark. 13But the light will show what these things are really like. 14Light shows up everything, just as the Scriptures say, “Wake up from your sleep
and rise from death.
Then Christ will shine on you.”
One of the best things about Spring is the longer days. More light in our lives, both morning and evening.
Of course the problem then is that the light shows up all kinds of things that you had never noticed or managed to ignore in the darker days. Our windows always look terrible when the sun shines on them, showing up all the dirt that has accrued.
The presence of God brightens up lives and gives clarity to see.
People who walk with God, no longer live in the darkness. He brings light to our lives.
That light peers into all the corners, shows the dust, the cobwebs, the smears that have appeared. But it also gives you the light to be able to see to do something about it.
Clean surfaces reflect light, dusty ones not so well.
What does God ask of those who live in the light? Honesty and truthfulness. Christ is shining on us, does that light also reflect from us?