It Is Finished – a hymn

‘Tetelesthai’ is the favourite Greek word of one of our vicars – it’s what Jesus cries on the cross, and it means ‘it is finished’. Perfect tense. A completed action with present effect.

Hark! the voice of love and mercy
Sounds aloud from Calvary;
See, it rends the rocks asunder,
Shakes the earth, and veils the sky:
“It is finished!” “It is finished!”
Hear the dying Savior cry;
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It’s Friday…

Another bit from ‘The Ordinary Hero’ (Tim Chester) that’s got me thinking is how he talks about the cross not just being the pattern for Christian discipleship (which I guess is a relatively conventional idea) but also the pattern of the world.

So the cross does not just pattern the need for self-sacrificial service, and even martyrdom, (things we might call suffering-with-a-purpose) from Christians, but it is also Continue reading

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A 5min sermon for Pentecost Sunday – Ezekiel 37:1-14

I wrote this for the 8am communion service at church.

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Right, is there anyone here who’s seen the Lion King? Anyone? Yup, a few… Ok. Well, maybe you’ll remember that there’s a place that Simba is told NEVER to go …the Elephant Graveyard. A massive desert, scattered with bones, where nothing grows.

It’s a Disney image, but maybe it’ll help us picture where Ezekiel is taken at the beginning of our passage: a valley strewn with “a great many bones” verse 2, and the bones are “very dry”.

Something huge and terrible has happened here. Continue reading

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Piper on the Calvary road

Epic quotation from Mr. Piper that I’m ripping off from Tim Chester’s ‘The Ordinary Hero’:

What a tragic waste when people turn away from the Calvary road of love and suffering. All the riches of the glory of God in Christ are on that road. All the sweetest fellowship with Jesus is there. All the treasures of assurance. All the ecstasies of joy. All the clearest sightings of eternity. All the noblest camaraderie. All the humblest affections. All the most tender acts of forgiving kindness. All the deepest discoveries of God’s Word. All the most earnest prayers. They are all on the Calvary road where Jesus walks with His people. Take up your cross and follow Jesus. On this road, and this road alone, life is Christ and death is gain. Life on every other road is wasted.

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Some thoughts on co-dependency

Someone pointed me towards some resources on co-dependency a few weeks ago with the comment ‘I never knew what this was, but then I read this stuff and thought “this sounds just like me!”‘

[NB: co-dependency is misleadingly named – the term arose because it was first described in the families of addicts/alcoholics who found they were dependent on their relative’s addiction (co-dependent) because it meant they were ‘needed’ to look after their relative and mend the chaos and damage they created. If you are – as I was – completely clueless about what co-dependency is then here is one option for an introduction. It’s probably not the most well-written, informed etc. but it turned up near the top of my google search on ‘co-dependency’.]

Reading through the stuff I got sent, I was struck by a few uncomfortable resonances myself, and  I’ve also started recognising these traits in many of the people around me, too. I guess it comes with the territory of working in one of the ‘caring professions’…and also with being part of the church. Continue reading

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Where’s your life-horizon? [AKA: Never mind where *your* life-horizon is – chuck it and go for Jesus’ life-horizon instead!]

We’re still working through John with the students at church, and yesterday we made it to John 17, one of my all-time favourite chapters. (OK, I know I say that about a lot of chapters of the Bible…I just have a lot of favourites – I’m a twin, I like to be egalitarian about things). At the end we had a short talk which posed the question: do our priorities match the ones Jesus demonstrates as He prays to the Father so shortly before His death?

It’s a great question.

It’s a challenging question. But the more I think about it, the more it excites me. Continue reading

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Crowning glory

…but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children.We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us….For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory…But, brothers, when we were torn away from you for a short time (in person, not in thought), out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you….For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.

1 Thess 2:7ff

Read through 1 Thessalonians and ask yourself, what is the heart and goal of Paul’s ministry?

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