Thought for the Week

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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Homeland

I hope fans of the hit TV series will forgive me when they discover that this article isn’t about the show at all.  Instead, it was prompted by a quotation I came across: “Any country can be their homeland – and yet their homeland, wheresoever it may be, is to them a foreign place.”  (The

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You don’t have to sin any more

It was one of those eye-popping moments, when the truth suddenly dawned and you found yourself saying, “Yes, of course! Why didn’t I see that before?” It was during the How People Change course, when we reached the point where we were told, “So, you don’t have to sin any more.” In Christ, God has

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Small word, big meaning

“I believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.” We say those words every time we say the Apostles’ Creed in church (and the Nicene Creed is very similar). Yet how often do we stop to consider what they mean? In particular, what are we saying when we describe God as ‘almighty’?

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Who was Thomas Cranmer?

We now have a Cranmer room… but who was he? Thomas Cranmer was Archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI and briefly Mary I, when he was burned at the stake for his Protestant views. He was the architect of the Book of Common Prayer, so it is to him that

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