Archive for the 'Bible' Category

21
Apr
11

love and obedience – april 19

Reading Matthew 26 36-56

I can’t read this passage without remembering it being brough vividly to life at an out door mystery play in the Museum Gadrens in York. I remember the tension, the fear as the mov got nearer – the noise level and the torches. I remember the actor playing the devil laughing as Jesus is taken away. I remember the dignity of Jesus as he obeyed his father in allowing himself to be taken

It stopped being a nice story – instead it was nasty and violent and unpleasant. But it was real! Jesus knows failure, betrayal and desertion from those he loves. In that moment he must felt so alone and afraid. Yet he faced it because he knew that was what obedience meant.

So nothing I can do can stop him loving me – no failure betrayal or desertion is too great – what an amazing truth

Advertisements
21
Apr
11

who is welcome here? – april 18

Reading Matthew 26 14-35

Jesus brings new meaning to the familiar story as he celebrates the passover with his disciples. A meal that focuses on God the redeemer and whose depth is all the greater through the cross of Jesus.

His blood is poured out for many – so the invitation is for those who want to celebrate God’s recdemtion to come an d take part. In recent times the place of children at communion has been much debated. But then i find myself asking, ‘who am I to decide who should come?’ – it is God’s heart that matters. Are all welcome at this table?

21
Apr
11

Who is Judas to you? – april 16

Reading Matthew 26 14-27

I have often been intrigued by the presence of Judas at the Last Supper. Here is Jesus knowing he faces death, sharing his last meal with his disciples and he shares it with the man he knows will betray him – wow! But maybe thats exactly what love really looks like.

In other parts of the Bible Jesus criticises the Pharisees because they only invite their friends to eat with them – ‘even the pagans do that he says’. I imagine that the pain Jesus felt was immense and yet he still welcomes Judas to the meal.

So then I ask who are the people who have betrayed me and what does it mean to treat them like Jesus treats Judas?

15
Apr
11

what will you be remembered for? – april 15

Reading Matthew 26 1-13

The pace in our readings slows down as we approach Easter week. Here we have the women pouring perfume – possibly meant for her own death – on Jesus’ head to anoint him for burial – a stark reminder of the importance of Jesus’ death for us all. But what struck me most as I read it was Jesus’ words about her being remembered. So I ask myself what will I do that will be remembered? What legacy will I leave? What will I be willing to sacrifice for the sake of Jesus?

14
Apr
11

sheep or goat? – april 14

Reading Matthew 25, Highlighted Passage: 25:31-46

Another uncomfortable parable. I have heard it preached on as if the message is that we should care for other Christians but feel that is too narrow a perspective. In keeping with my challenge of reading scripture against myself (with thanks to Pauline Hoggarth), I find myself wondering if I fall in to the righteous category or not!

This is also an interesting story in the light of Rob Bell’s latest book – Love Wins – more on that after I have heard him speak next week in Liverpool. In the meantimne when will I be feeding the hungry, caring for the sick or visiting those in prison in the next month – now that is a challenge!

14
Apr
11

Faithfulness is the key – april 13

Reading Matthew 25, Highlighted Passage: 25:14-30

The familiar parable of the talents which is so often confused in English when people talk about their talents or abilities. The master in the story has given the servants the job olf looking after his money when he is away. The first two look after what they have been given and put it to work, the last simply hides it away

What sort of image of God do you have? The first two are motivated by a desire to see the master’s name and resources well used. The third is motivated by fear. God calls us to a life of stweardship and service. Which of these servants are you most like?

13
Apr
11

live life with care – april 12

Reading Matthew 24, Highlighted Passage: 24:45-51

Jesus continues to focus on judgement but this time his words are aimed at his followers. Those who think that judgement won’t happen to them. He gives a warning about living in the light of his return.

Living like this is not a life of fear – it’s one of expectancy. At any time Jesus may return and we are so looking forward to it that we live as if he was returning today and ready for that to happen. Jesus talks here about living a life that craes for others we meet. Will we live that way today?