Love not war.

  A reflection based on Isaiah 2.1-5, John 15.9-17   It is the wish of most people that power hungry human beings would learn to love and not engage in war. The first Isaiah, saw a time when Judah and Jerusalem and other nations would come together and live-in peace. Many people will be familiar with Micah 4:1-5 which is part of a group of passages on the promise of the coming of God’s kingdom, frequently heard at Christmas but many may not be aware there are similarities within Isaiah chapters 2 where he sees swords being turned into ploughshares.   The image in this passage of people beating swords into ploughshares and spears into pruning hooks was written figuratively some two and half thousand years ago, it is still the dream of all peace-loving people and has come to symbolize disarmament. It is a hope of all who want to live in peace. This means that those who wish to walk the walk of peace-making will use their energy and imagination to help nations to bring disarmament. Th

Creating a caring society.

Creating a caring society is at the heart of Christian teaching. We believe that we should all work to bring an end to poverty, homelessness, all people should have access to health care and education. In Acts 2:43-47 we are told that the disciple of Jesus met regularly after his ascension as they prepared to fulfil the commission, he gave them. They shared their food and resource and made sure nobody went hunger or was homeless. Mary knew she was blessed expressing this in a song, which is in Luke chapter 1:46-55, after her meeting with Elizabeth. Mary’s song also echoes the song of Hannah in 1 Samuel. The interrelationship between God’s plan for John and Jesus, already intimated by the careful parallelizing  between the two announcements. They receive concrete expression in this account of the meeting of the two pregnant mothers. The formal parallel between the two infant narratives is maintained: each mother is supernaturally aware of the other’s condition. Both women, while giv

Is COP28 a Cop out.

  The nations of the world met in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, to discuss action on climate change. They have made fine statements; however, will these be match by action? Or will it be like the other 27 meetings where the fine words have not been matched by the actions needed to protect the environment. The changes in climate affect the wellbeing of our world, which mean it has a negative impact on food supply and the environment in which we live. In Deuteronomy 26.1-11 and John 6.25-35 highlight the importance of the harvest which for many is no longer a celebration because many farmers are suffering from the impact of climate change. I our modern world we give thanks for a good harvest in a Harvest Festival service. This gives us the opportunity to celebrate the gifts we receive from God. The celebration of a good harvest goes back thousands of years. In today’s world many people live in towns and cities do not understand the work involved in supplying their food. They go to

If we want peace we have to lead by example.

  Reflection based on Matthew 5.13-16 In Matthew 5:13-16: Jesus talks of people being like salt and being lights in the world. In other words, being good example to others and putting the teachings of Jesus into practice. The following passages in Matthew 5 are on ethical conduct. We all need to read these regularly. At first sight these may appear to be strange items to use in his illustration. Why salt? Salt serves mainly to give flavour and to preserve. Disciples, if they are true to their calling, can only do this if they preserve their distinctive character. Strictly pure salt cannot lose it salinity, but impure salt dug from the shores of the Dead Sea could gradually become un-salty as the actual sodium chloride dissolved. Light like salt, affects its environment by being distinctive. The disciple who is visibly differs from the other people will influence them. But the aim of their life and witness is not to parade their own virtue, but to direct attention to God who inspi

All we want is peace.

Reflection based on Micah 4:1-5 We all wonder if there will ever be peace in our world. Will the people of violence stop bringing terror to people lives whether it’s through the wars being reported on the TV or to local street conflict caused be drugs and alcohol? In church services which pray for Peace the words from Micah are frequently quoted because he talks of a new age of peace coming from Jerusalem and swords being turned into ploughshares. Micah 4.1-5 is part of a group of passages on the promise of the coming of God’s kingdom. He wrote and prophesied the come of God’s chosen one who would change the world for the better. Micah’s words are also used at Christmas. Micah 5:2-4: “God promises a ruler from Bethlehem”: is regularly used in Worship to announce the coming of Jesus.      As a prophet, Micah spoke both to Judah and Israel, usually referring to them by the names of their capital cities. He lived in a rural area and appeared to have been less familiar with the politic

Spiritual Protection based on Ephesians 6.10-20.

  If we can accept that there are evil forces in the world, we need to protect ourselves from them as much as we possibly can. When Christians talk of Spiritual Protection, they are normally thing of the guide Paul give to us in Ephesians 6.10-20. The people of God are in a spiritual battle against evil which seeks to separate us from God. However, God equips us to fight these temptations through His Holy Spirit. While people are obsessed with the supernatural the real evil come from the action of human beings who engage in evil acts of violence, lies and fake stories. We all must be on our guard and ask God to protect us from the many evils in our world. P aul in Ephesians 6.10-20 explains how God protects us. For Paul the whole universe was a battleground he uses description like, power authorities, world rulers, for different classes of these evil spirits. The Christian has not only to contend with the attacks of people, but they also had to contend with the attacks of spiritual f

Why do people believe in Ghosts but not God?

  People are happy to use clairvoyants, watch ghost hunters which highlight the supernatural, but cannot bring themselves to accept there is a supernatural being working for the good of all. Some people expect God to perform miracles when things go wrong and protect us from the evil in the World. But there is evil in the world which often seeks to harm us. Do we acknowledge that God is beside us when we are ill, guiding the doctors to cure us? Do we humble ourselves and accept that the way God want us to do things is not the way we want to do things? People get upset or refuse to do it God’s way because they think they know better; this usually results in them getting deeper into trouble. Humility is a difficult thing for most human beings, but it is important in acknowledging God and accepting his guidance in the things we do. The term Spiritual Power or Protection can easily be misunderstood. Most people associate it with mystics, spiritualism, or some psychic power. Most of these