‘Thought for the Day’

Dear Friends,

“I can’t imagine Jesus being invited on to Thought for the Day, can you?”  It is an intriguing thought!  Can you imagine the presenters of Radio 4’s Today programme introducing the speaker for that day’s three-minute religious slot?  “Now, we welcome to the studio, …”  What would they call him?  Jesus of Nazareth?  Jesus Christ?  The Son of God?  The Lord Jesus Christ?

But Damian Thompson, writing in The Daily Telegraph, doesn’t think it likely that Jesus would even be considered (assuming for the moment that it would be possible to invite him).  Why is that?  Quite simply, it is because of what Jesus said about hell: “In the Gospels, Jesus refers 15 times to Hell and its fire, which is so terrible that you’d be better off plucking out your eye or cutting off your foot than experiencing it.”  And, in case you are wondering, that is a pretty accurate summary of what Jesus said in Mark 9:45, “And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off.  It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.”

He goes on to say that Jesus’ words have effectively been censored and translated into a vague notion of separation from God, when it is “a separation that makes you scream in agony.  For ever.”  I do not know what Damian Thompson himself believes, but he has prompted this thought for the day: Do we take Jesus seriously?  We need to.

Chris Hobbs,

Senior Minister (Vicar)