Vicar's Blog

As I write our world is in great turmoil. Horrific acts are relayed to us from far off parts of the globe, and unbelievably inspire vulnerable young people in our own land to emulation.

Believers in Jesus are particularly at risk in many of these lands, losing their lives, their homes and security while places of worship are destroyed.

We live in a land that enjoys the fruits of a Christian heritage – with democracy based on the value that all are equal before God, and compassion and the sanctity of human life the base of our health and welfare system, flowing from the understanding that people are created in the image of God and of Jesus example and reinforcement that love of God and one another is the greatest commandment. Hence we are shocked at what takes place in the name of ‘God’, as are many from all religious backgrounds. What will the future hold? That depends on us – every one of us – recognising that it is not enough to despair, or to sit back and complacently assume that

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We know nothing about God except what God has revealed about himself. This he has done through what he has made (Creation – Natural Revelation) and through the nation of Israel as recorded in the Scriptures (Special Revelation), which pre-eminently includes God’s revelation of himself through his Son, Jesus. Hebrews 1:1-4.

Further revelation is brought to us in our experience through the indwelling Holy Spirit. As Jesus said, ‘The Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth’. This revelation will always be consistent with the Scriptures and most often will arise from prayerful Bible reading.

It is from the lips of Jesus and through the reading of the Bible that the understanding of God as Trinity has emerged, even though the word ‘Trinity’ does not appear in the Bible.

Jesus said, ‘I and the Father are one’ and ‘if you have seen me you have seen the Father’. He received worship as God from Thomas and the prologue of John’s Gospel clearly identifies Jesus as the Word of God through whom

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‘Honour your Father and Mother’ is the fifth commandment and the only one with a specific promise attached – long life in the land God gives you! Respect, empathy and gratitude are part of what this entails. When God was searching for a simile with which to emphasize his love for his people, he compares it to a mother’s love, describing how even if this were to fail - unthinkable as this is - his love will never fail! He has engraved our name on the palms of his hands! (Isaiah 49:15). Jesus also describes his love for God’s people in maternal terms, ‘How often I have longed to gather you under my wings as a mother hen gathers her chicks...’ (Luke 13:34) Our mothers, despite their inevitable personal frailties and faults, are the ones who gave us birth, and invariably have faced many personal sacrifices to provide us with a foundation for life - emotionally, intellectually, physically, socially and, more often than not, spiritually! 

How will you honour your Mum this Mothers’ Day? And how

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The coming of Jesus in the flesh brought God visibly near to those with eyes to see and ears to hear.

‘If you have seen me you have seen the Father’, Jesus responded to Philip.

Yet Jesus himself was not staying around, so something more was needed. Jesus assured his disciples, ‘I will ask the Father and he will give you another Helper who will never leave you…You know him for he lives with you now and will be in you.’ (Jn 14:16, 17b)

Jesus speaks of the Father and the Holy Spirit as though he and they are all one and the same, or rather that the company of any one is equivalent to having the company of any of the others.

This blows our mind to understand, but deeply reassures our heart when we receive this truth. Clearly Jesus is not the Holy Spirit, for he says that it is only by his going that the Holy Spirit can come, and that this is for our benefit. (Jn 16:7)

So the Holy Spirit living in us is the fulfilment of Jesus’ promise that ‘Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of

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The art of distraction is perfected by magicians to enhance the impact of their feats.

The same ruse is at large in keeping people from marvelling at the truest life ever lived being given up in a death for others – and then given back by God in resurrected life. 

It is this life that calls for our attention and allegiance. Enjoy your chocolate – it will last for a moment. Unwrap Jesus, put your trust in him, and you will have all eternity to enjoy.