Saturday, 24 October 2015


There have been a lot of new things for me recently. A new house. A new job. A new routine. A new church family. And now, I am writing a little article for our church magazine, "the Grapevine", each month. This is my first entry!

New things can be exciting and daunting at the same time and I have definitely found that to be the case.

It has been great . I am an extrovert, at least for the most part, and so I like meeting new people. Having lots of conversations energizes me rather than draining me. But, trying to remember all the things I have been told about family and friends, previous health issues and so on is difficult.

Starting a new job is always a bit of an unknown. There is an excitement at what might lie ahead, a chance to start afresh, an opportunity to put your stamp on something. But the unknown factor means that you’re never quite sure what to expect.

In the Bible, there is a lot about newness, too much to cover in this short space sadly, but a couple of things we can mention:

We read of a new covenant, an everlasting one, where God will put a new Spirit into people, removing their hearts of stone and giving them new hearts of flesh (Jer 31:31-34). And Jesus tells us that this new covenant is made in His blood (Luke 22:20).

There is a new creation, both in terms of what takes place in an individual as they come to trust Jesus (2 Cor 5:17) and also in relation to the entire universe when Jesus returns to wrap up history (Revelation 21:1-5).

Newness in the Bible is never a mixed bag, it is always overwhelmingly positive. God doesn’t do newness badly.

As Christians we have much to be thankful for and much to look forward to when it comes to the new things that the Bible speaks about. Without newness we’d be dead, lost and have no hope, with it, well, precisely the opposite, and more.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

The Gift

We often associate gifts with Christmas, but not very often with Easter. And yet, for Christians, Easter is where we see the gift the was given at Christmas come to its fulfilment as Jesus goes to cross, dies and then rises again.

Here's a great little video by my former employers.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Complete trust in the darkest moment in all of history

Much has been written about Jesus words from the cross. There are 7 different sayings recorded in the 4 gospel accounts in the Bible. All of them are significant. 

Great words of grace:
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." Luke 23:34
Beautiful words of care.
“Woman,[a] here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother." John 19:26-27
Words in fulfilment of Scripture, which are stunning considering Jesus offered living water to those who would come to Him.
“I am thirsty.” John 19:28
Wonderful words of certain hope to one of the thieves who hung beside Him.
“Truly I tell youtoday you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43
The words that signalled the completion of the plan that He and has Father made before the beginning of time, achieving salvation for all who believe.
It is finished.” John 19:30
Words that showed He was in control, the He laid down His life, and that He chose to be obedient to death, even death on a cross.
Fatherinto youhands I commit my spirit.” Luke 23:46
But the one I want to mention briefly is possibly the most famous.
“Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My Godmy Godwhy have you forsaken me?”). Mark 15:34
But what is it in essence? 
A cry of abandonment? 
A cry of despair? 
A cry of fear? 
A cry of complete trust?

The words are a direct quote from Psalm 22:1. The psalmist is experiencing an horrendous situation in which he feels he has been forgotten, rejected and abandoned by God. 

This feeling is very real. From his view things seem hopeless.

And yet if we read the whole Psalm, the writer goes on to express trust in God despite feeling forsaken. The writer knows Gods character, not just in some intellectual way, but in a real experiential way too and he knows God is faithful to His people. The cry is genuine. The feeling is real. But it is not one of cessation of trust in God.

Some have suggested that Jesus' quoting of this shows that in that moment on the cross the eternal Son ceased to trust His eternal Father, whom He has been in perfect relationship with forever. 

Or even that this was purely the cry of a man, Jesus ceased to be the Son of God at this point.

I think this is dangerous and incorrect when we consider the Psalm in context. 

Jesus, on the cross, models for us complete trust in the darkest moment of His life and the darkest moment in history. Jesus' experience on the cross is beyond anything we can imagine.
Jesus experiences something He's never known before in relationship His Father because He becomes sin for those who trust Him. And yet, Jesus still trusts His Father.

When we read those words we can be truly comforted. 

Those words show us we can trust our Father when absolutely everything in the world is against us, when all around is dark, when we feel alone and overwhelmed. Why? Because He loves us and always has what is best for us.