Jeremiah 1: 4-10; Luke 4:21-30

In 1908, the English writer H G Wells published a novel entitled The War In The Air.  In it, he described a terrible world war, fought not with armies or navies, but with great fleets of aircraft.  These air-fleets not only engaged one another in combat, they also bombed and destroyed the cities of their enemies, bringing about a wholesale collapse in human civilisation. Continue reading “Jeremiah 1: 4-10; Luke 4:21-30”

Nehemiah 8:1-3,5-6,8-10; Luke 4:14-21

I recently read about a film that was released some years ago which imagined the life of Jesus as it might have been had he lived in the tough working class suburbs of the Scottish city of Glasgow.  I’ve not seen this film myself – I don’t even know its title – but according to the account I read, the disciples were portrayed variously as labourers, unemployed down-and-outs, some even as thugs and criminals.  The Jesus of this film comes from a similar background; and instead of trying to “reform” the disciples and make them give up drinking and gambling and visiting prostitutes, he spends his time simply talking to them, a pint of larger in one hand and a cigarette in the other.  For this film depicts Jesus’ ministry not as one in which he converts people into pious church-goers; rather, it’s one in which, moved by compassion for the emptiness and despair of their lives, he meets them in the pubs and bars where they seek solace, engaging them with conversation.  And it is through engagement that this Jesus manages to persuade the disciples that the way out of despair lies not in self-destructive indulgence, but simply in realising that there actually exists the possibility of God in their lives; and more than that, the possibility of a God who actively desires relationship with them. Continue reading “Nehemiah 8:1-3,5-6,8-10; Luke 4:14-21”

Acts 8: 14-17; Luke 3: 15-17, 21-22

In his book Necessary Heresies, the Scottish minister Peter Cameron describes an occasion when he was attending an ordination service for a fellow minister in Edinburgh.  The church was located in an economically depressed part of the city in a suburb with which he was unfamiliar; Cameron got lost, and had trouble finding the church, so that by the time he eventually arrived, the service had already commenced. Continue reading “Acts 8: 14-17; Luke 3: 15-17, 21-22”