Christian Comments

/Christian Comments
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8 04, 2020

Meeting with Jesus in our self-isolation

April 8th, 2020|

Matthew 4:1-11 At his baptism, the moment Jesus had that special awareness of God’s love for him, was the moment he was most vulnerable to attack from Sin – pride that he was God’s special son, a sense of invulnerability from being at one with God, and feeling it is all about him to save the world. So, what was Jesus’ response? He self-isolated! The Holy Spirit led him into a wilderness to live alone for 6 weeks. In that time, he faced his demons and had to shout out that there were no special privileges for him – like [...]

6 04, 2020

Imagining the events of Palm Sunday

April 6th, 2020|

Each year when we arrive at Palm Sunday, there is a part of me that would very much like to press pause, to frame the imagined footage that is in my mind’s eye of Jesus riding on a donkey, on the winding road from the Mount of Olives, passing the Garden of Gethsemene and, travelling onwards across the Kidron Vally and, up through the eastern gate into the City of Jerusalem. I imagine the crowds of people and the excitement for those who have accompanied Jesus and his disciples as they passed through the towns and, villages on the way, [...]

1 04, 2020

“Weeping with those who weep”

April 1st, 2020|

By the rivers of Babylon— there we sat down and there we wept when we remembered Zion. On the willows there we hung up our harps. For there our captors asked us for songs, and our tormentors asked for mirth, saying, ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion!’ How could we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land? If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither! Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy. (Psalm 137:1-6) Each [...]

25 03, 2020

“Watson’s Wednesday Weekly”

March 25th, 2020|

I have called this “Watson’s Wednesday Weekly” because it is WWW – and we are all finding ways to use the world-wide web to meet, communicate, encourage and support one another. Our son is the arch cynic when it comes to the Church – some years ago he returned from working with nuns in Africa who were combatting the spread of AIDS, caring for its sufferers and the orphans it left, and his role being to educate young people through football. Similar situation to today. When he looked at the agendas of our church meetings and synod, he declared “Dad, [...]

24 03, 2020

The epidemic of 1832

March 24th, 2020|

The epidemic arrived from the East. The was plenty of warning. We saw it happening but chose to ignore it until it had arrived. We didn’t react fast enough. There was denial, there was reluctance to suffer the economic consequences of trade disruption. We didn’t worry, and we risked the lives of the most vulnerable in society. As a result 402 people in my home city of Sheffield died in the cholera epidemic of 1832. There is a memorial which stands above the city and reminds us of this dark hour, a time marked by fear. Today the disease has [...]

18 03, 2020

Sometimes we have to let go…

March 18th, 2020|

I am new to the URC and have already been blessed by my experience of a Christian denomination and tradition that, if I’m honest, I didn’t know much about before. One of the things that has really made an impression on me has been the ‘creation story’ of the URC. Nearly fifty years ago two branches of the Church in England came together to create something new. I imagine this was not an easy process for many people, even with a sense of pressing need that something had to be done and the ecumenical vision for the Church to be [...]

9 03, 2020

Telling your story

March 9th, 2020|

I'm transgender, and I want to write about what it has been like to tell my story. It’s not always been easy. When I started to train for ministry, I had been transitioning for quite a while, and I looked very male, so people felt like I probably didn’t need to tell my story. In fact, my tutor initially told me that I probably shouldn’t, and that it would be difficult to get a call to be a minister if I was out about being trans. I listened for a while. But, eventually, I started to tell my story. And [...]

4 03, 2020

We are called to reflect God’s love

March 4th, 2020|

Each one of us is hopefully loving our neighbour, our colleague, our community, making a difference in the world, helping others to find themselves, and walking together to create a world of peace and justice. I hope I am one of them, loving as Jesus taught us to love. But I have been pulled up short recently with a caution – This love is not Jesus’ love if all I am doing is drawing attention to my own goodness, aren’t I a good person, someone who needs affirmation, praise or simply to be loved back. The Moody Blues wrote a [...]

24 02, 2020

Be kind and compassionate to one another…

February 24th, 2020|

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgives us (Ephesians 4:32.) Being kind to each other is one of the hardest things to do because you have to become selfless, thoughtfully display tact and understand the other's point of view or state of mind or situation. As human beings we are not very good at thinking before we speak, tweeting or commenting on any platform. In the past being kind and displaying gentleness has been seen by some as showing signs of weakness. To challenge someone who is being mean or bullying [...]

18 02, 2020

Growing in Diversity

February 18th, 2020|

The Oscars film and television award ceremony on the 9th of February followed in the footsteps of the BAFTAs https://www.theguardian.com/film/2020/feb/02/joaquin-phoenixs-attack-on-baftas-for-systemic-racism-meets-industry-wide-praise, one week previously, in showing up the whole industry once again for a lack of diversity of nominees https://oscar.go.com/nominees in terms of gender, race or LGTB rights. At the Oscars awards it was Oscar and BAFTA ‘Best Actor’ award winner, Joaquin Phoenix https://www.theguardian.com/film/2020/feb/10/joaquin-phoenixs-oscars-speech-in-full, whose admittedly off-the-wall acceptance speech was almost worthy of award itself in the eyes of many. At the BAFTAs, both its host Graham Norton and awards presenter Rebel Wilson also commented at the lack of diversity being [...]