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"Christ is preached to an Ethiopian"

I thought I would check out the lectionaries readings for tomorrow. The 1st reading is Acts 8:26 - 40 and so I went to www.biblegateway.com and put the reference in the search engine. Up it came with this title:
Christ is preached to an Ethiopian

So what, I hear you ask is wrong with that - that is what the passage is about isn't it.

If you are going to add subtitles to the Biblical text, please do not miss the main point. If you are unsure as to what the main point is, then consult the text. And since you are publishing a version, you should consult the text in its original language. Read it and see what is repeated. If you do that with the text in question, you will find that he word Ethiopian is not repeated but the word  eunuch is.

So what is the big deal about that? Jews did not have a problem with Ethiopians. Remember the "Queen of Sheba" . However, Jews did have an issue with eunuchs. A eunuch was cut off from the assembly, in accordance with Mosaic law. For the Chris…
Recent posts

Finding God

Where do you go to, my friend, when you're alone in your head?"
What is the journey you take while you lie still on your bed?

I don't meet to travel so far,
Chasing after an elusive star!
I do not need to spend months or years,
To climb a mountain in the Himalayas

Some people, like tumbleweed,
Get blown about this way then that.
Some people, like a stagnant pond,
Stay put, slowly being suffocated
By the smothering of water-weed.

Tumbleweed trippers want the latest things
Look out for trends
Life is exciting and "on-the go"
Forget about commitment and settling down
That is boring - we have need for speed -
Then suddenly, something happens that
Stops us in our tracks
This life of haste starts to show its cracks.

The Pond ponderers, like to think things thoroughly through,
Always take a more conservative view.
Their reactions are ponderous and slow .
They hesitate and hold back,
Dare not take risks,
Make a single mistake.
Tradition, tradition, it's the on…

Forgiving Others

Matthew 6:14-15New International Version (NIV)14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. 
Forgiveness is probably the most prickly and provocative issue of faith. There are two sides to this: The meaning of forgiveness Its implications and the question of who has a right to forgive and what is forgiveable. The more the severe the offence and the greater the pain that is inflicted, be that physical, psychological or even financial pain, the harder it is to forgive, no matter what the background is. 
However the background is not irrelevant either - since the relationship that existed between the person wronged and the wrongdoer before the offence was committed, will mean that the pain is increased. Also, the attitude of the wrongdoer afterwards will often be a crucial factor in deciding whether or not to forgive.  
It is hard to make generalisa…

Prayer of Lament

My last blog was about Lament and Rejoicing. I spoke about the mournful memories of past and the reflection on tragedies and injustices whilst as Christians, we remember that there is a "city on the hill" and we have hope.

In that Blog I was reflecting on the Jewish commemoration known as Tisha b'Av - remembering the destructions of the Temples in Jerusalem, both Solomon's Temple destroyed by the Assyrians and the Second Temple destroyed by the Romans.

I also reflected on the commemoration of one of the most hideous battles of the First World War, that took place a century ago - the Battle of Paschendaele - where a quarter of a million lives were lost. Yes ultimately the Germans surrendered and the Allied forces one, but it was an horrendous war and that was a particularly horrendous battle.

I also reflected on the passing of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act that partially decriminalised homosexual activity - a good thing - but also a marker that things were not good an…

Lament and Rejoicing.

Philippians 4:4 clearly is a command to Rejoice - Always. How is that humanly possible - especially when faced with the terrible things that happen that can only be described as tragic. How does the believer marry these two seemingly polar opposite responses to what life throws at us.

There is in the Bible the Hebrew book of Lamentations - which is read during the fast day of Tisha b'Av (9th of Av [Hebrew Month]) It is a period of Mourning for observant Jews, when they mourn the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. On Tisha b'Av (Wednesday 2nd August 2017) It begins at sunset of the previous evening, when we gather in the synagogue to read the Book of Lamentations. Besides fasting, we abstain from additional pleasures: washing, applying lotions or creams, wearing leather shoes, and marital relations. Until midday, we sit on the floor or on low stools.

We also know that Jews commemorate the terrible evil of the 20th Century - the Holocaust. This is also an annual looking back…

Boundary Marker

Wednesday evening and time for Vespers at St Mary's. However this was different. Along with the usual, wonderful calming tunes that permeate the environment, and the sound of the bells and the ringers practice their changes, this Wednesday had a visual component, the work of two local artists. Christine had an installation that explored the link between clothing and boundaries. It was the words "boundaries, real or imagined" that caught my imagination. I thought about the many boundaries that exist. Particularly our imagined boundaries. Or maybe not imagined, maybe they really do exist, in our own minds. 


Boundary Marker Where is your boundary marker?
What is your boundary marker?  A row of pebbles, or a painted line in the street?  A fence topped with barbed wire,  A brick wall with broken glass, set in concrete?
Is there an entry or an exit, or is it entirely enclosed? Is it it a sanctuary, a place of safety and solace, Or are you serving a sentence, self-imposed-  Of s…

Yesod - Connection/Belonging

Connection

Counting the Omer, usually it goes from Passover to Tabernacles, but I have decided to "Count the Omer" from Easter to Pentecost. 
Well,we reached the end of the second last week yesterday and the focus for last week was:
Yesod (יְס֖וֹד)which is translated as "Foundation" which is the attribute assigned to God. The emotional quality in humans linked to Yesod is "Connection" 
What follows is my thoughts on Connection:
I saw a Tweet which asked the question, 'Is loneliness a cause of mental illness. 94% of the approximate 700 respondents said it was. 

Loneliness is not simply the lack of company. If it were there would be a simple and straightforward solution - find company. Put all the lonely people in a room together and they wouldn't be lonely any more.? Company can relieve the pain of loneliness for a while, but it is not a lasting or permanent solution. 

I believe that at the core of loneliness is the loss of connection. The feeling that &q…