Category «Church Matters»

Go for walks

I confess that I have never been sporty – I only played for the school second XV.   But I have always enjoyed walking.  Mad as it may seem to some, at one stage I used to go for walks at 5 o’clock in the morning, learning my Latin vocab at the same time. My sister …

Growing older

In my twenties I thought that anybody over the age of 40 was old. From the perspective of ancient society, I was right. The Romans called a man under 40 a iuvenis, i.e. a young man (‘juvenile’); while a man over 40 was called a senex, i.e. an old man (‘senile’).  In the ancient world …

Levels of friendship

I shall never forget visiting an elderly couple and asking ‘Who are your friends in the church?’ They began to reel off name after name, until suddenly I realised that all they were doing was telling me who they knew by name in the church. Few, if any, were ‘real’ friends:  or if they were …

Wisdom from Richard Baxer

In the Lectionary of the Church of England Richard Baxter (17 November 1615 – 8 December 1691) is commemorated this Thursday. The choice of date is a little strange, for it marks neither his birth or his death, but rather the death of his wife, Margaret (14 June 1681).

Good leadership helps a church to grow

Good leadership of any church is vital. True, a church’s destiny ultimately is in God’s hands. But, in the short term, leaders can make – or break – a church. Thank God, at Jerusalem the church was in good hands.  We see this not least in the how the apostles handled the election of the …

Celebrating Corpus Christi

Today is Corpus Christi, Latin for ‘the body of Christ’ and one of the biggest festivals of the Roman Catholic Church. Always held on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, it is the day when Roman Catholics celebrate the ‘real presence’ of Jesus in bread and wine. The roots of this festival go back to 1193, …

The strange warming of the heart

Today, 24 May, is what Methodists call ‘Aldersgate Day’. It marks the day in 1738 when John Wesley experienced the assurance of his salvation. As he wrote at some length in his journal: In the evening I went very unwillingly to a [Moravian] society in Aldersgate Street [in the City of London], where one was …

What happened at Pentecost

“All the believers were gathered together in one place” (2.1 GNB). Luke in Acts 1.15 speaks of there being “120” believers. It has often been supposed that the 120 were gathered together in the ‘Upper Room’ where Jesus celebrated the Last Supper with his disciples (Luke 22.12), and where the apostles and the women gathered …

Books for Today – May 2018

Books of the month The Revised New Jerusalem Bible: New Testament and Psalms with study notes (Darton, Longman & Todd, London 2018. 749pp: £9.99. 978-0-232-53361-3) is one of this year’s great Christian publishing events. This is a superb Roman Catholic translation, in which Protestants can have full confidence. It is a wholesale revision of The …