Learning to Listen in a Lonely World

‘You can be lonely anywhere, but there is a particular flavour to the loneliness that comes from living in a city, surrounded by millions of people.’ Olivia Laing – The Lonely City In her haunting book, The Lonely City, Olivia Laing explores the theme of loneliness, especially as experienced in urban contexts. Loneliness is not…

The Bible in Four Minutes

How do you quickly and effectively summarise a story as complex as the Bible? Impossible, you might think. But storyteller-poet Dai Woolridge has given it a pretty good shot! His latest video tells biblical story in four minutes, weaving together many of the key themes and threads, showing how they connect beautifully around the person…

The Provocation of Hope

‘Hope is never mere, even when it is meagre. When all other senses sleep, the eye of hope is first to awaken, last to shut.’ (Gil-Galad, The Rings of Power, Season 1, Episode 5) I’ve been thinking recently about the theme of hope, prompted by a few verses from the Epistles (and that quote from…

Learning to pray on Gethsemane roundabout

This strange little roundabout is a few minutes from my house. The first time I walked across it, taking my then-five-year-old daughter to school, she declared: “Oh, I know this place from my Bible! It’s the Garden of Gethsemane.” It was a strange thing for her to say. Gethsemane in her storybook Bible looks far…

BeReal: Connecting with Culture

If you’re curious what a ‘geriatric millennial’ makes of a social media app much loved by Gen-Z, then you’re in luck! This week I had the privilege of writing the London Institute of Contemporary Christianity’s Connecting with Culture, and I chose to offer a few thoughts on BeReal. The concept is simple. Users receive a…

Covenant-making and context collapse

A few weeks ago I made a joke that took on a life of its own. Sorry if it’s taken you all that time to erase it from your memory, only for me to remind you again. I tweeted a picture from the Bible of Jean de Sy, which depicts Abraham’s circumcision in Genesis 17:…

Gaia: Has the church silenced the sermon of creation?

‘The heavens declare the glory of God;    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.Day after day they pour forth speech;    night after night they reveal knowledge…Their voice goes out into all the earth,    their words to the ends of the world.’ (Psalm 19.1-2, 4) ‘Since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen,…

Two types of prodigal. Two types of Father.

Writing about David, Absalom, Judas and Jesus reminded me of this thread I posted a couple of years ago on the return of two prodigal sons. When reading through 2 Samuel, I was struck by how vastly different Absalom’s return to David is in 2 Samuel 14ff, compared to the return of the younger brother…

Kiss the Son: David, Absalom, Judas and Jesus

I am currently taking a slow journey through the Psalms; roughly a Psalm a week, which I’m pondering across a few days, alongside my other readings. I’m really enjoying the slow pace, and the repeated reading, and I’m being hugely helped by James Hamilton’s brilliant commentary, which has made me appreciate how carefully arranged the…