The Second Sunday of Advent
Picture a massive road building project cutting through hills and valleys to create a new straight, level road. The vision from Isaiah that John the Baptist quotes in our Gospel reading is one that seems to require bulldozers. It reads like the specification for a new motorway or by-pass. “Get the road ready … make a straight path for travel.” “Every valley must be filled up” and “every hill and mountain levelled off.” It doesn’t sound very environmentally friendly but, like the current project on the A14, may result in major archaeological finds.
Advent Sunday Carol Service
There’s an improvisation game that actors play, called Headteacher, which goes like this. The teacher arrives late carrying the register and a pair of glasses. He starts to quieten down the class, but when he puts his glasses on he sees not a class but the school governors. He rapidly heads to the door, but the door sticks and he struggles to open it. Eventually he escapes, but re-enters the room a short while later, taking it to be the staff room.
Christ the King
“Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice” Jesus tells Pilate to which Pilate responds: “What is truth?” Indeed that question seems particularly relevant for our world today. What does it mean to belong to the truth?
The Second Sunday before Advent
When I was in year 4, school was really only about one thing. That one thing was the football game we played at break time. One day the ball got kicked onto the school roof by mistake. My friends and I faced the unthinkable prospect of 45 minutes’ break time with no ball to entertain us. Can you imagine?
In 1915 the American physiologist Walter Bradford Cannon coined the term ‘fight or flight’ to describe how the nervous system of an animal’s body responds to threats. Quickly the insight was applied to human reactions in a much wider context.
Today marks the centenary of the Armistice, the moment when 100 years ago the hostilities of the First World War came to an end and peace was made after four long devastating years of war. More than ¾ million British men and women were killed and countless others were maimed, wounded or emotionally destroyed.
All Saints Eucharist
Two years ago in the Brexit referendum this country was divided between leavers and remainers. In truth few remainers believed the European Union was the fount of every blessing, while few leavers really thought Britain would finally realise its eternal destiny the moment it left the EU.
The Twenty-Second Sunday after Trinity
I wonder, when you lie on your bed, how long it takes you to get to sleep. There’s something extraordinarily vulnerable about lying down with your eyes closed not knowing what will happen next. It puts us on touch with our isolation.