Author Archive

Get Ready!

December 21, 1996

"Fast before the feast!" my mother would say, as she put Christmas Eve supper on the table: codfish cakes, or her heavenly homemade baked beans. Both dishes I secretly preferred to turkey! "Fast before the feast!" Prepare the way! Not … (read more)

Listen To The Children

December 20, 1996

Last night was Sunday School Pageant night. My daughter, Maggie, played Mary. It was her second year in the role! It made me think of a Christmas Eve 12 years ago, when her mother, "great with child", was a last-minute … (read more)

Getting Married In Advent

December 19, 1996

We made it this far! 15 Years! Praise God! Was there ever any doubt we'd make it? Well… Today is our anniversary! 15 years ago we were crazy students, rolling from exams and essays right into a wedding. "What a … (read more)

Calling All Prophet Souls!

December 18, 1996

Can you feel it? The air is electric with promise as Jesus begins his ministry. "The kingdom of God is at hand!" Literally, so close you can reach out and (almost) touch it! Every Advent we read these words. Do … (read more)

Christmas Wishes

December 17, 1996

My 11 year old daughter has her Christmas list sorted by category, and colour-coded for degree of desire or need. The farmers in my congregations are wishing for a few nights of good, hard frost to set the clay in … (read more)

A Thrilling Voice?

December 16, 1996

Hark! a thrilling voice is sounding, "Christ is nigh!" it seems to say. The words of that hymn could be about John the Baptist, or about Isaiah, as we read his words in Advent light. What do the words mean … (read more)

It Seemed Like A Dream

December 15, 1996

What is your dream, this December, this Advent season? What Christmas miracle would you like to see? It would be like a dream if we could wake up on Christmas morning to news that all the fighting had ended, all … (read more)

A Theologian At Prayer

November 14, 1996

In the last days of war, and the first days of Allied occupation of Germany, Helmut Thielicke preached on the Lord's Prayer to a congregation under siege in Stuttgart. Thielicke shared his congregation's fear of the bombs, their relief that … (read more)

The Why Of Prayer

November 13, 1996

Why pray, when God is all-powerful? God can do whatever God pleases. God created the universe, set it in motion. Why pray? How could we ever hope to move the great God's hand? We pray because something in us longs … (read more)

The Assurance Of Presence

November 12, 1996

"And lead us not into temptation." Perhaps it's better to say, "Don't let us walk into temptation alone." It also suggests, "Don't leave us to be tested beyond our strength." Of course it's hard to imagine God doing either of … (read more)

The Courage Needed To Pray

November 11, 1996

"Give us each day our daily bread." Think of the manna in the wilderness. God provided enough bread for each day's needs. No more, and certainly no less. Pray for enough to meet our need. Trust that God will provide … (read more)

What Matters Most

November 10, 1996

What we pray for reveals what really matters to us. These words of Jesus show us what mattered to him, and what we should seek when we approach God. First pray that God's name will be honoured. In ancient times … (read more)

The Who Of Prayer

November 9, 1996

If we look at Jesus' words in Luke 11, we can learn the who, the what, and the why of prayer. First the who of prayer. Luke tells us that Jesus began by saying "Father". It's a different form of … (read more)

Lord, Teach Us To Pray

November 8, 1996

Over the years, people have told me that each Sunday the words of the Lord's Prayer strike them in a different way, as a reminder of something that's wrong in their lives, or challenging them to forgive others, to struggle … (read more)

Ten Words Of Love (5)

October 27, 1996

The summary of the law in Deuteronomy chapter six, which Jesus quoted, is the greatest commandment: Love the Lord your God with everything you've got. And like the first of the ten, that commandment really begins with an affirmation of … (read more)

Ten Words Of Love (4)

October 26, 1996

In many Jewish homes today you will see a little plaque, about thumb size, at the front door. The plaque bears tiny Hebrew letters, which stand for the ten commandments. The residents of the home reach up and touch the … (read more)

Ten Words Of Love (3)

October 25, 1996

People often describe the ten commandments as a foundation. They talk about teaching them to children, "so they'll have something to build on." The Ten Commandments are much more than a foundation. They're a whole house to live in. As … (read more)

Ten Words Of Love (2)

October 24, 1996

In Hebrew, the first commandment begins with, "I am the Lord, your God, who brought you out of slavery." Those words aren't just an introduction to more important things. The ten words of love start with words of relationship. Words … (read more)

Ten Words Of Love (1)

October 23, 1996

There's a story that there were originally 600 commandments. When Moses presented God's law to the people, they cried out, "This is too much, Moses! Can't you get God to lighten up a little?" Moses trudged back up the mountain. … (read more)

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