Don’t Look at Yourself: Polarisation and the ‘Problem’ with Parables

I left social media for Christmas and returned to find everybody talking about a film about why nobody is talking about the climate crisis.  Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up is a piece of satirical sci-fi about two astronomers (played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence) who attempt to warn humanity about a comet that’s set…

Light in the Darkness

On Sunday I had the privilege of speaking at a Carol Service at our new church, Oxford Community Church. I spoke on the subject of light in the darkness. It was a great fun morning, singing carols and celebrating hope! If you fancy checking it out you can do so here. The talk starts around…

Advent Reflection: The assumptions of Mary

‘“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne…

Reading Roundup 2021

‘Of making many [lists of] books, there is no end.’ (Ecclesiastes-ish 12:12) It’s the end of the year, so every Christian with a blog is posting a list of the things they read over the past twelve months. I figured I might as well follow suit.  I started plenty of books this year, and finished…

Advent Reflection: Five strands to the blessing of Elizabeth and Zechariah

‘In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. But they were childless because Elizabeth…

Advent Reflection: Which prayer and which response?

Luke 1 begins with the story of Zechariah, a priest who ‘just happens’ to be in the right place at the right time, serving in the Temple at the altar of incense. An angel appears to him, declaring that his prayers have been answered and that he is to become a father. What seems like…

Forget not the Benefactor: Some personal reflections on tithing.

Yesterday I posted a reflection on tithing, prompted by this article from the BBC, ‘would you give 10% of your salary to charity?’ As it happens, I had already been thinking about tithing this week, before I came across the article, so I wanted to share a few personal thoughts.  I’d been thinking about tithing…

Tithing: Enjoying the Benefits and meeting the Benefactor

I used to work for the insolvency service, processing bankruptcy and liquidation cases. I remember one day being called into my boss’ office because he had been going through a client’s outgoings and didn’t understand one of the items: “He’s listed a monthly ‘tithe’. What is that? I think it’s a religious word, but I’m…

Love’s gonna pick you up

A few months ago, we watched Vivo as a family movie. If you haven’t seen it, it’s an animated musical, with songs by Lin Manuel-Miranda, in which ‘a music-loving kinkajou embarks on the journey of a lifetime to fulfill his destiny and deliver a love song for an old friend.’  In one of the songs,…