From the monthly archives:

April 2014

Easter message

by Richard on April 21, 2014

A poem by my friend Howard Ingham
You led me to believe it was all about dying.
You never told me life was involved,
Thanks to the binds you were so set on tying.
You led me to believe it was all about dying -
You were lying. I plan on applying
These principles until the issue is resolved.
You led me [...]

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From the far star points of his pinned extremities,
cold inched in — black ice and squid ink–
till the hung flesh was empty. Lonely in that void
even for pain, he missed his splintered feet,
the human stare buried in his face.
He ached for two hands made of meat
he could reach to the end of.
In the corpse’s [...]

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“Easter” by Micheal O’Siadhail

by Kim on April 20, 2014

Dizzy with joy, the Easter morning
sun trembles in the heavens;
the tacky buds unclenched, release
the appropriate festschrift of leaves.
Unsuspected, in their microworld
tiny cells teem, crossplay,
rich networks of twisted rings
interlace, relate to the concord
of history rebegun. A starling mimics
Bravura, wood-pigeons whoop it up,
the orchestra purrs, tunes into
a master craftsman. Life da capo,
as riding our whirling [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on April 20, 2014

Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!
Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!
Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, [...]

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Maybe He looked indeed
much as Rembrandt envisioned Him
in those small heads that seem in fact
portraits of more than a model.
A dark, still young, very intelligent face,
a soul-mirror gaze of deep understanding, unjudging.
That face, in extremis, would have clenched its teeth
in a grimace not shown in even the great crucifixions.
The burden of humanness (I begin to [...]

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To be crucified is first to lie down
on a shaved tree, and then to have oafs stretch you out
on a crossbar as if for flight, then thick spikes
fix you into place.
Once the cross pops up and the pole stob
sinks vertically in an earth hole, perhaps
at an awkward list, what [...]

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900,000 needing to use foodbanks “should shock and anger us”
Figures “should lead Government to examine why the post-Welfare Reform benefits system allows so many people to go hungry.”

Leaders of the Methodist Church, Baptist Union of Great Britain and United Reformed Church have responded with concern to the latest figures from the Trussell Trust, released today.
“These [...]

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Cameron and Easter

by Kim on April 15, 2014

Here’s a letter I emailed to the British newspaper the i, printed yesterday (14 April):
I’m delighted and encouraged to hear that David Cameron has stressed the importance of explaining to young people the significance of Easter. Presumably that will include emphasising that, fundamentally, the resurrection was God’s vindication of Jesus of Nazareth, the northern [...]

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The Coming
And God held in his hand
A small globe. Look, he said.
The son looked. Far off,
As through water, he saw
A scorched land of fierce
Colour. The light burned
There; crusted buildings
Cast their shadows: a bright
Serpent, a river
Uncoiled itself, radiant
With slime.
On a bare
Hill a bare tree saddened
The sky. Many people
Held out their thin arms
To it, as though waiting
For [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on April 13, 2014

Jesus comes with all his grace,
Comes to save a fallen race,
Object of our glorious hope,
Jesus comes to lift us up!
Alleluia!
Let the living stones cry out!
Let the sons of Abraham shout!
Praise we all our lowly King,
Give him thanks, rejoice, and sing!
Alleluia!
He hath our salvation wrought,
He our captive souls hath bought,
He hath reconciled to God,
He hath washed [...]

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The folk song of the church

by Richard on April 9, 2014

John Bell on the value of traditional tunes in worship
Performance songs, whether they be from Handel’s Messiah or the latest album of a Christian rock-star were not primarily written for congregational purposes. But hymns have been and should always be intended for corporate use, enabling the people of God to sing their faith and praise [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on April 6, 2014

Captain of Israel’s host, and Guide
Of all who seek the land above,
Beneath Thy shadow we abide,
The cloud of Thy protecting love;
Our strength, Thy grace; our rule, Thy Word;
Our end, the glory of the Lord.
By Thine unerring Spirit led,
We shall not in the desert stray;
We shall not full direction need
Nor miss our providential way;
As far from [...]

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LORD, with what bountie and rare clemencie
Hast thou redeem’d us from the grave!
If thou hadst let us runne,
Gladly had man ador’d the sunne,
And thought his god most brave,
Where now we shall be better gods than he.
Thou hast but two rare cabinets full of treasure,
The Trinitie and Incarnation:
Thou hast unlockt them both,
And made them jewels to [...]

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Proof-texting still has its defenders

by Richard on April 2, 2014

Ministry Matters blog claims They were wrong when they told you not to proof text. Given the date it was posted, my first thought was that this was an April Fool, but it doesn’t read that way
Seminary professors often ridicule proof-texting as arbitrary, implying that it is illogical, uncontrolled, individualistic. But this is false. Christians [...]

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US Scouts Boot Openly Gay Troop Leader

by Richard on April 1, 2014

From NBC News
The Boy Scouts of America on Monday banned an openly gay Scoutmaster from the organization, saying its national policy barred gay adults from membership.
Geoff McGrath, 49, leader of Troop 98 in Seattle’s Rainier Beach neighborhood, is believed to be the first gay adult to be booted from the Boy Scouts of America since [...]

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