Genesis 2: 15-17, 3:1-8; Matthew 1-11

I don’t know about anyone else here today, but one of the staples of my childhood was watching Warner Bros. cartoons.  Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Sylvester the Cat – foghornand my absolute favourite: Foghorn Leghorn, the bombastic, loudmouthed, prank-playing rooster (and I would caution you against making any connections between the nature of his character and the fact that he was my favourite!). Watching these cartoons was a daily event; and for myself and my siblings it was one of the highlights of the day. Continue reading “Genesis 2: 15-17, 3:1-8; Matthew 1-11”

Poems Based on Japanese Models

In recent times I have been experimenting with poems based on two particular Japanese models: the haiku (3 lines) and tanka (5 lines). Both are ancient forms of traditional poetry in Japanese culture; and although, when rendered in English, do possess certain differences from the Japanese originals, are nonetheless popular and compelling poetic forms.  I can’t speak for the results – but I do hope they are nonetheless of some merit. Enjoy! Continue reading “Poems Based on Japanese Models”

Micah 6: 1-8

In the first week of its existence, the new administration of President Donald Trump has probably received more media coverage, scrutiny, analysis, and commentary than most Presidents receive in a month. At one level, this arises from the understandable novelty of newness: people are naturally curious about the policies any new administration will pursue, and the media tend to feed this curiosity as it senses an opportunity for increased circulation and improved ratings. However, in the case of President Trump, this intense coverage is also the product of his own conduct over the long course of the last presidential election cycle, and both the expectations and the fears which his campaign promises have raised in many parts of American society and the wider global community. Continue reading “Micah 6: 1-8”

Isaiah 42: 1-9

In his book A Grief Observed, C S Lewis talks powerfully about the experience of being forced into the position of onlooker in a situation involving the suffering of another; of what it feels like to be relegated to the sidelines while a tragedy unfolds. And in particular, he describes the particular, impotent rage which the observer in these situation experiences: the desperate desire to be somehow empowered or equipped to intervene, to be able to change the course of events so that the suffering ceases or the tragedy doesn’t occur.  And Lewis also describes the terrible sense of isolation and loneliness which this situation engenders: of how one desperately cries out to God for answers and solutions; and of how, instead, in the midst of our terrible pain, it only feels as though God has slammed the door shut in our faces, and all we can hear are the bolts being driven home on the other side. Continue reading “Isaiah 42: 1-9”

Luke 17: 5-10

In the classic television series Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister, the cynical public servant, Sir Humphrey Appleby, was often wont to observe that politicians like busyness and activity, it being their substitute for actual achievement. Of course, this cynicism highlights the fact that busyness and activity can often be a smokescreen for the fact that while we think change is occurring and achievements are taking place, in reality the status quo remains. Continue reading “Luke 17: 5-10”

Luke 21: 5-19

There’s an old story of which I’m fond, and which I’ve shared with you on previous occasions. It’s the story of a man who, every morning, would take his Bible and, with eyes closed, open it at random; whereupon, he would place his finger on the page, open his eyes, and read the passage upon which his finger had alighted. He did so because he believed that this was God’s personal, inspiring message to him each day. Continue reading “Luke 21: 5-19”