making and maturing disciples of Jesus Christ in Birmingham and for the world

Thought for the Week (Page 34)

Why did Jesus come?

Dear Friends, I belong to a ‘preaching group’.  Half a dozen of us meet every six weeks or so to encourage one another in our preaching.  The method is simple: we take it in turns to give a brief sermon outline, which is then lovingly mauled by the brethren (affectionately known as the ‘wolves’).  Actually, […]

He who built the starry skies

Dear Friends, There’s some seriously good theology in the carols we sing at Christmas – which is a good job, or else we shouldn’t be singing them at all!  For instance, how about this verse from ‘See, amid the winter’s snow’?  (I hope we can forgive the reference to snow!) Lo, within the manger lies […]

The Happy Land of the Trinity

Dear Friends, I am reading a wonderful book called Embracing the Trinity, which has a chapter with the charming title ‘Within the Happy Land of the Trinity’. You may well be thinking to yourself, “Happy? Confusing, difficult, awkward, yes, but not happy.” The point, though, is not so much that we should be happy but […]

Waiting for Him

Dear Friends, It would make an interesting and rewarding study to go through the New Testament, noting all the different ways in which Christian believers are described. In fact, here are two already: “Christian” and “believer”. And there are more than single word descriptions. Here is one I found while preparing for last Sunday: Christians […]

A royal wedding

Dear Friends, Could anyone have missed the announcement this week that Prince William is engaged to Kate Middleton, and there will be a royal wedding next year? One newspaper had sixteen pages of coverage! Who would not want to wish them well, especially when he is likely to be king one day, and when we […]

Do you have the Spirit?

Dear Friends, Having the Spirit of God in our lives is not an optional extra for some Christians, a deluxe version of Christianity for those who want it. Being a Christian is more than believing the right things and living a good life; it means being changed by God himself, having his Spirit. That becomes […]

On the level

Dear Friends, Grace is a great leveller. God’s grace means that we all come to him on exactly the same terms, on our knees, as sinners asking for mercy. There are no short-cuts, no VIP lounges, no fast tracks, no inside circles, no special passes, no exemptions, no byes. Naaman the Syrian had to learn […]

One hundred million sins

Dear Friends, Tate Modern has an intriguing exhibition at present. Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has displayed more than one hundred million ‘sunflower seeds’ made of porcelain. They are an impressive sight, covering 1,000 square metres of the Turbine Hall. Handmade, no two seeds are exactly the same. I heard about this exhibit at the same […]

Something to swallow

Dear Friends, The good news story of the week, perhaps even of the decade, has been the amazing rescue of 33 miners trapped underground for 69 days in Chile. Is is true that, once the miners were discovered alive, their rescue was fairly secure. But, before that, there were 17 days when they didn’t know […]

Praise the Lord

Dear Friends, As a staff, we pray together twice a week, on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and we have taken to reading one or more psalms before we pray. On Thursday it was Psalms 149 and 150. They both begin and end by telling us to ‘Praise the Lord’. In fact, the last five psalms […]

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