As I sat down to write I was interrupted by a phone call from the pastor at church. Could we take on support for an Iraqi refugee family who had just arrived in Canada? They were split between two homeless shelters, and the mother was expecting a third child within a matter of days.Read More
Like the shepherds on the hills surrounding Bethlehem, we have our rather mundane routines that make up a large portion of our lives. We have our responsibilities, our families or groups of people we spend a lot of time with, and our small, familiar corner of geography.
The appearance of angels in the night sky changed all that for these shepherds.Read More fear, surprise, routine, angels, heavenly host
It’s complicated to live as faithful followers of Jesus, speaking a language that engages the culture and addresses contemporary needs while remaining true to Jesus. Anybody can just go with the flow, adapting to culture while abandoning the lordship of Jesus. On the other hand, it’s easy to retreat into rules that cut ourselves off from the culture.Read More God’s Word, culture, lifestyle
How does Christian community work in practice? If we don’t get this right we’re in danger of living like people who have “given up their faith” (v 8). We may fail to prevent others from “turn[ing] away from Christ” (v 11). As if that is not bad enough there is the damage we can do by bringing insult on the church (v 14).Read More Christian community, caring, widows
The distinctiveness of the Christian community is a hugely important biblical theme. The people of Israel were chosen to be a model, showing the world what a community in relationship with God looked like. Surrounding nations were meant to look at Israel and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people” (Deuteronomy 4:5-8).Read More character, accountability, leaders
The apple orchards along the roads I run are laden heavy with a harvest of new fruit right now. It will soon be time to gather them in and enjoy this year’s crop. Psalm 67 was written to be sung at a time like this during worship at the harvest feasts. It’s an all encapsulating chorus praising God for blessing the whole community.Read More worship, harvest