The great Greek philosopher Socrates declared that the unexamined life was not worth living. By this he meant that a life which had no room in it for reflection, for consideration and critical self-analysis, was, in effect, less than a life. Such a life, he thought, was one in which there was no possibility for change, no chance for growth or development; it was a life that had nothing in it through which growth might be driven. Socrates argued that we do not change if we do not stop to consider; and if we do not change, then life itself is static and meaningless. Continue reading “Mark 13: 24-37”
In 1969, the British art historian, Kenneth Clark, produced a remarkable television series called Civilisation. In it, he traced the evolution of European culture from the end of the Dark Ages to the present, exploring and explaining how the Western world we know today came into being. And in the third episode of the series, in discussing the extraordinary Gothic cathedral dedicated to St Francis of Assisi, Clark made an observation that is as relevant today as it was in 1969: Continue reading “Matthew 25: 31-46”
Someone once said that an assumption was the mind’s equivalent of a post-it note. I don’t remember now who said this, but as sayings go, I think it’s quite insightful. It recognises that assumptions can serve a useful purpose: they’re a kind of mental short-cut that enable us to make quick decisions based on past experience. Indeed, if humans didn’t have the ability to make assumptions, we probably wouldn’t be able to do anything; we’d spend all our time trying to work out all the implications of each new situation – and by the time we worked out what to do, it would be too late to do anything at all. Continue reading “Matthew 25: 14-30”
PRESRIPT: On the evening of Friday 4th November, I was inducted as the Minister at Mountview Uniting Church, my first full-time ministry placement. As part of the Induction Service, the new Minister is given time to say a few words on their own account. This is what I had to say.
On Monday afternoon, I came in to set up my office – a kind of preparation ritual for the start of my ministry at Mountview. Having put my desk together and arranged the furniture to my satisfaction, I wandered into the worship space and just sit in one of the pews for a while, listening to the silence. After a while, I said: Well, here I am, Lord. And I hope you know what you’re doing, because right now I’m feeling a bit clueless. Continue reading “Induction Statement”
Groucho Marx once famously said that he would refuse to join any club that would have him as a member. It was one of the many witticisms for which he was noted; but like all great comedians, many of his funniest words carried a serious meaning. Continue reading “Matthew 25: 1-13; Amos 5: 18-24”