Mustard Seed Sunday

The Sunday before Advent is called ‘Stir it up Sunday’, a name which comes from the Book of Common Prayer and possibly dates back to 1549. The words of the Collect that have usually been said on this day are, “Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people”. As traditions go, somewhere along the way the metaphor of stirring up the Christmas pudding or cake became a timely fit for the Sunday before Advent … [to read more, click on title]

Division? Really?

… and then we have this harsh and uncomfortable Gospel passage. Jesus telling us he’s come not for peace but for division. It would be easy to read it as if Jesus loves dividing people – friends, families, communities – but that seems far out of kilter with the rest of the Gospel story. Didn’t he come to give life rather than condemn? …. [To read more, click on title]

The Kingdom Without the King

Even Christians can subtly want the kingdom without the king. Because it helps us to fit in. It costs us less of our hearts. The kingdom without the king embraces the extremes of compassion without conviction, or conviction without compassion. It goes to church and pays a tithe but doesn’t grieve with the grieving or seek satisfaction in God through prayer. The kingdom without the king takes the teachings that make us feel better and rejects those that cause discomfort. It refuses the pain of transformation … [To read more, click on title]