It could have been easier

It’s a teenage pregnancy, and the fiancée isn’t the father. The birth happens in a farm ‘lean-to’ rather than in a good family home with the best of midwifery care. The baby lies wrapped in cloths in a feeding trough, rather than in suitable babywear in a new basinet. The angels announce this ‘centre of history’ moment to low paid, …

Specificity

Today we have so much data and information available to us, more than we can cope with. So, we simplify, summarise, generalise. This may help make things more manageable for us, but something important gets lost in the process: specificity. Specific details are important. They add colour, context, and concreteness! Life is not lived in generalities, but in the specifics. …

How do you rank?

Black Lives Matter. This powerful movement protests against the devaluing and ill-treating of people just because of the colour of their skin. But once we’ve fixed our racism, is that enough? Maybe I’m no longer racist, but do I have a gender bias? Perhaps I’m not racist or sexist, but do I think those with higher academic qualifications are somehow …

Worth more than what we do

With Covid limiting some of the things we can do, here’s a reflection on the difference between being and doing… God made people of immeasurable value. Intricately designed and lovingly created, we are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image and likeness of God. Part of that likeness is that we are creative beings: we imagine, design, construct, evaluate, and …

The Direction of the Flow

Ezekiel had a vision of a river flowing out from the Jerusalem Temple towards the Dead Sea. As the river reached the sea, it turned the saltwater into fresh water. Swarms of living creatures followed the flow of the river, and all variety of fruit trees grew along the banks. Ezekiel tells us “where the river flows, life abounds” (Ezek47:9). …

The Significance of our Ordinary Lives

At times life can feel very ordinary. You might be devoted to God, faithful to your marriage partner, responsible and caring with your children, trustworthy and reliable as an employee, dependable and available as a friend. But none of this will ‘make the news’. Instead, what makes the news is the extremes – the highs (someone cures cancer, a movie star …

Waiting

We hate to wait. It feels like something evil, because waiting forces us to waste time doing nothing. Those stolen moments—full of potential—lost forever. So cruel! But not all waiting is bad. God created it. Abraham had to wait. He was promised descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky, but he didn’t receive his promised son, Isaac, till …

Christmas Blockbuster

Christmas is a blockbuster way to begin the story of Jesus’ arrival on earth. It is packed with drama: an angel visits the unlikely mother-to-be to announce the pregnancy; the couple overcome a brief crisis of homelessness as she goes into labour; more angels sing in the sky like a firework display to some shepherds; star-following international VIPs acknowledge the …

Too Busy

“Life is busy!” we complain. But who are we kidding? This is how we choose to live. If we found a way to be more efficient in our activities so that we saved time, what would we do with that extra time? More activities! We are addicted to doing things. Maybe it’s the false sense of control we get from being so …

God breathes out, we breathe in

“God formed a man from the dust of the ground, and the Lord breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and he became a living being.” Genesis2:7 We are made of dust. We are of the earth, limited in time and space. But dust alone is not enough to make a human, no matter how well it’s crafted. What makes …