A Prayer for the Middle East

A Prayer for the Middle East

Loving God, we know that both your tender compassion and your fierce anger are aroused by what is occurring today in Syria, Iraq, Israel, Gaza, and other parts of the world where people are wounded and displaced by political violence.

Our hearts long for peace, that full-bodied peace pictured in the Scriptures in which warfare gives way to harmony, hatred to love, tears to laughter. Bring enemies to the table of peace, equipped with the capacity to repent and forgive.

Our tears flow for those forced to flee. Grant them places of safety, companions to comfort them in their grief and share their fears, water to quench their thirst and food to sustain their bodies, and the kindling of hope for a better future.

Our hands tremble at the challenge of containing evil and doing good. Grant our leaders the resolve to do both. Bless them with the wisdom to know how. And Fill us with the generosity of spirit to welcome these wounded friends to our country.

The New Bigotry

The New Bigotry

In recent weeks Facebook has been filled with anti-Muslim diatribes. They all share the conviction that there is only one form of Islam in the world, that it aims at the imposition of islamic law on all people, and is not afraid to resort to violence to achieve this objective. Anyone who is a committedContinue Reading

Celebration and sorrow. Two keys to a life well lived

Celebration and sorrow. Two keys to a life well lived

There’s an interesting episode in the Gospels where a woman brings a jar of expensive perfume, cracks it open and pours it¬†upon Jesus. His followers, who have caught his concern for those living in poverty, grow indignant, protesting to the woman that the perfume could have been sold and the money given to those whoContinue Reading

Enough of the hate. It’s time for love.

Enough of the hate. It’s time for love.

I’ve had enough of people who say they are followers of Jesus yet act with hate. This week brought the distressing news that the Westboro Baptist church plans to picket Robin Williams funeral. Believe it or not, the church’s website address is godhatesfags.com. The homepage includes a list of “sister” sites: GodhatesIslam.com; Godhatesthemedia.com; and Godhatestheworld.com.Continue Reading

Face to face with a great white shark

Face to face with a great white shark

Today I found myself face to face with one of the greatest predators on earth: the great white shark. I was there by choice. All my life I have been fascinated by sharks, and I have dreamt for years of joining in a great white shark dive. So I found myself in Port Lincoln SouthContinue Reading

Why I need to dance like a crazy man

Why I need to dance like a crazy man

Last week I was reminded of a delightful anecdote from Dr Paul Brand, the medico who did revolutionary work on leprosy. Brand, who grew up in India, was sent to boarding school in England at the age of nine. When he was fourteen he received a telegram telling him that his father had died. The youngContinue Reading

All we have are the fingerprints of an elusive God

All we have are the fingerprints of an elusive God

Any God that is a spirit will be elusive, knowable only by her “fingerprints”. She may well act in my life and world, but I will only ever see the effects of her action, never her. When I gaze at the rich hues of the setting sun I choose to see the creative genius whoContinue Reading

Should we stop reading the New Testament letters for a while?

Should we stop reading the New Testament letters for a while?

Sometimes I wonder if the Christian church would do well to read nothing in the Scriptures but the Gospels for the next twelve months. No Moses, no Isaiah, no Paul, no Peter. Just Jesus. It seems to me that one of the more detrimental consequences of a high view of the Bible is that weContinue Reading