I watched online a rocket launch into space. There is something that excites me about seeing a vehicle blast off into the beyond; new things to discover, the joy of exploration, fresh insights. Our recent Easter children’s holiday club entitled ‘Space Academy’ picked up on this theme.
Easter: the most important day for Christians, more so than Christmas! I’ve heard it argued that Christmas is to Christianity what:
• Mawlid is to Islam (birthday of Muhammed)
• Janmashtami is to Hinduism (birthday of Krishna)
• Hanamatsuri is to Buddhism (birthday of Buddha)
• Teacher’s Day is to Confucianism (birthday of Confucius)
I was talking with a friend about how the most important thing to discuss with people is what they believe about Jesus. To push this thought further, the most important thing to discuss about Jesus has to be whether people believe in His resurrection.
In Stretch, our weekly Bible study, we have been going through the book of Hebrews. This is an incredible letter and one where you find yourself needing to take your time in order to process all that you're reading. In studying for these Bible studies, I've read ahead a little as we are currently only in the middle of chapter 4, and as I was doing so I came across some incredibly encouraging words.
I was listening to the Christmas carol ‘Angels from the realms of glory’ the other day. There was a particular line that was repeated in each verse that captured my attention, the call to ‘come and worship’.
What will you be worshipping this Christmas? As you are reading this article, it may be because you probably have some connection with our church and, therefore, worship is something that perhaps you know happens in church.
I wonder when you think back on your life what were the things you worked hardest for? What were the things you didn’t give up on, the things you pursued and fought for, the things you knew you had to accomplish and follow after? The more I read God's word and follow Jesus I see clearly that this life of discipleship to Christ is one that demands me to be a passionate follower. Someone who is all in, fully committed, passionately pursuing growth and deeper intimacy with my Saviour.
I don't know if anyone besides me looked at their calendar at the start of this academic term and saw all the events of this next season and had to fight a little bit of anxiety about how they were going to get through it all? After genuinely feeling the benefit of a good mental break over summer, and having enjoyed relaxed time with friends and family and even some half-decent summer weather, I admit to having to push back the feeling of panic and pressure that was already starting to build inside my mind.
When visiting my old place of work as a chaplain, a regular topic of conversation is why I have moved from working in engineering to being a church minister. The short answer I sometimes give to provoke discussion is that “I’m on a mission from God”. What I’m wanting to stir is a conversation about "Why are we here? What is our purpose? What are we living for?"
This summer, before going on holiday, I did what so many people do, looked at reviews of the place we are staying at online. More often than not it is really helpful. However, it is very easy to read reviews that give a false report which are not accurate and make a decision based on a bad review.
In our English culture, death is something we traditionally don’t talk about. There are times when we really have to, however, what we tend to do is rely on euphemisms from the more comic: “popped his clogs” to the solemn: “didn’t make it” or “no longer with us”. If we have the opportunity to ignore it or bypass it in conversation though, most will try our utmost to do so.