Ecclesiastes brings us the observations of Qoholet (the preacher) who is king in Jerusalem (1:12). He sees himself as in position to do this because of his great wisdom (1:16) and so he makes the pursuit of understanding his life project (1:13, 17). Remember that we have seen already how his perception is that life is an enigma, vapour like, hard to pin down, like chasing the wind (1:2, 14. Here are some of the things he observes about this enigma as he tries to pin things down). Continue reading
The book of Genesis closes with the story of Jacob’s 12 sons focusing specifically on Joseph (Genesis 37 -50). It tells how the people of Israel found themselves in Egypt prior to the Exodus.
Jacob has settled back in Canaan and had 12 sons via his two wives, Leah and Rachel as well as their maidservants who they give to him as concubines. Rachel, his first and greater love has provided him with two of the sons, Joseph and Benjamin. Continue reading
We tend to only read and study a few verses of Scripture at a time, maybe a whole chapter. This is true of preaching, Bible studies and personal quiet times. There s an important place for this in-depth study and reflection. However, the risk is that we can lose sight of the big picture. A book of the Bible or a section of it builds up a narrative or a logical argument. Letters and Gospels in the New Testament were designed to be read as wholes. In the Old Testament, there is a story that builds up from Genesis through to 2 Kings and if we don’t get the whole story, we lose something of its meaning. Continue reading
Our 930 and 1115 Congregations are currently exploring 2 Samuel 14-24. These chapters tell the story of Absalom’s rebellion against David. Alongside the main teaching, we are encouraging people to reflect on some of the Psalms providing reflection, commentary and response on the events. Our preacher on Sunday picked up on Psalm 3 which David wrote about the time when he was on the run from Absalom. Continue reading
In John 13, Jesus shows his love to his disciples by leaving his seat as an honoured guest, taking off his robe, kneeling and washing their feet. Peter is offended, he does not want Jesus washing his feet. Jesus insists Continue reading
We often, and rightly, focus on King David as a type of Christ. However, if that’s the only typology we see in him then we risk a shallow, surface reading of the Old Testament that misses a lot of helpful pastoral teaching. Continue reading
I’ve been writing a few articles in response to a challenge raised on twitter about whether churches were safe places to refer abuse victims. Continue reading