Thought for the Week

The Lampedusa Cross

“One Sunday in 2011, at the height of the Arab spring, a carpenter from the Sicilian island of Lampedusa made a decision to stop making furniture. Francesco Tuccio was at Mass in his local church and among the congregation were bedraggled groups of newly arrived Eritrean migrants, weeping for loved ones who had drowned during

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Where I belong

As our plane approached Birmingham Airport last Monday, the flight steward asked me if I needed an immigration form. “No thank you,” I proudly replied, “I’m British.” I was coming home, after all; this is where I belong. Later, I half-expected the immigration officer inspecting my passport to greet me with a cheerful, “Welcome home,

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New Year’s Anti-Resolutions

Have you made any New Year resolutions? To be better? Work harder? Get fitter? Pray more? Read more? Do more? I came across a refreshing tonic to the traditional New Year resolution: the anti-resolution. Here are a few examples: – I will not try to get my body into better shape. I’ll learn to love the

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Looking back, looking forward

At this time of year, it is normal to look back on the year that is ending, and to look forward to the year that is beginning. In one sense this is somewhat artificial as we could do it at any moment, not only at the turn of the year. At the same time it

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The extraordinary God of the ordinary

God obviously didn’t employ a PR consultant when he was planning the first Christmas. I mean, where were the journalists, the cameras, the lights and the fireworks? No-one posted anything on Facebook; there were no tweets, and not a flicker on Instagram. Yes, I know that none of those things had been invented in the

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The holy family

The Nativity is a familiar scene. We all know who should be there: Mary and Joseph around the manger which holds the infant Jesus. There may also be one or more angels, a handful of shepherds, a selection of farm animals (although there is no mention of any animals in the Bible accounts) and even

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See him coming

When did you last think about the return of Jesus, the day when he comes back to earth? This season of Advent (a word which means “coming”) is designed to help us do just that. As we get ready to celebrate the first coming of the Lord as the babe of Bethlehem, we look forward

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Suffering Christians

As we think this Sunday about the suffering of our Christian brothers and sisters around the world, it seems appropriate to share some of their stories. (These reports featured in the December edition of Evangelicals Now).   In Sudan, two Lutheran churches were destroyed in two separate incidents in October. The Evangelical Lutheran...

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Remembering to forget

Dr William Sangster was a great English Methodist preacher of last century, of whom it was said that he moved as easily among kings and princes as he did among the inhabitants of slum areas who flocked to hear him preach. There is a story that recalls how one year he was addressing Christmas cards

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‘A true and lively faith’

I’m always encouraged when something I’m learning from one source is confirmed by what I find elsewhere, especially when it reinforces what God is saying to me in his word. Last Sunday, speaking on James 2, it was impossible to miss his insistence that a faith that is real will be seen by what it

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