Something Worth Sharing: Disability Day
I don’t really like the term practical theology. I don’t like it because for me all theology is practical. So to employ the term practical theology is to suggest two things that in my view are mistaken. The first is that theology is abstract and arcane, and that practical theology is the part that brings it down to earth.
Jesus: Human and Divine
There are two kinds of things: those that abide forever; and those that don’t. The things that abide forever we call essence; the things that last for a shorter period we call existence.
We human beings are in the first category. We exist: we think that because we exist we’re the heart of all things. But we forget that existence isn’t all there is. Existence is not the same as essence. Existence is subject to change and decay – and death. Essence isn’t. Yes, we do indeed exist. But we’re not essences: we’re not permanent. We’re not essential. Take us away and there still is. Our being depends on the existence of others.
The Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity
Two weeks ago I sat in the deanery garden of St Mary’s Cathedral, Johannesburg, with Godfrey Harwood, who was dean from 1986, during the transfer of power, and who had become a close friend of Geoffrey Brown, vicar of St Martin’s during the same period.
The Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity
At Open House London last weekend I ended the church tour in the Dick Sheppard Chapel downstairs. The last thing I showed our many visitors was the wonderful St John’s Bible, this volume of the Gospels that we read from here every week.
The Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity
In the first of our Autumn Lecture Series last Monday Rowan Williams spoke about what it means to encounter the other. He spoke with a simplicity that made one feel that he was articulating a truth you had always known, but I am still unpacking some of the things he said for like all real wisdom what seems at first simple has a huge resonance and depth of truth for the whole of one’s life.
The Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity
Last week in the US Open tennis championship, the Australian Nick Kyrgios, at that point a set and 0-3 down, let a couple of serves pass him without attempting to play them. The hugely experienced and respected umpire Mohamed Lahyani, wondering whether the player was having a physical spasm or a mental meltdown, got down from his chair and said to him, ‘You’re great for tennis. But this isn’t good. It’s not you.’
The Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity
Today’s Gospel reading seems, almost eerily, like a text specifically written for our troubled world. A text about outward virtue and inward corruption. A text that shows it’s not what’s on the outside and goes in that is sinful; but what’s inside us that comes out.
Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity
I returned to St Martin’s yesterday from a holiday during which I visited in Chennai in India. Absence they say makes the heart grow fonder. There is truth in this. Yesterday I came into this church in the morning hungry not only for the quiet and beauty of this place but, disorientated and tired after my long flight and the experience I had been through
The Twelfth Sunday after Trinity
“If you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your life.”
That ‘if’, is a powerful word. It’s the word that has underscored the covenant that God has with Israel. A covenant based on a relationship of trust and fidelity. But Israel has decided it wants to be ruled by kings.