A Gift for All: A Reflection for Pentecost 2022

Today we celebrate — I trust with great hope and expectation — the wonderful feast of Pentecost, which commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus’ disciples. It’s an event which can be thought of in many different ways; even in the four years of this blog, I’ve discussed it in terms of the … Continue reading A Gift for All: A Reflection for Pentecost 2022

A Kingdom Not of This World: A Reflection on Sin, Salvation, and John 18.33-37

Today is the last Sunday of the liturgical year, a day known as 'Reign of Christ' or 'Christ the King' Sunday. In light of my ongoing series on different images the Scriptures use for sin and salvation, today's theme offers an opportunity to remind ourselves of one of the most common images for salvation in … Continue reading A Kingdom Not of This World: A Reflection on Sin, Salvation, and John 18.33-37

Defilement and Purification: A Reflection on Sin and Salvation and Hebrews 10.11-25

My midweek post this week introduced the complicated issue of sacrifice in Christianity, focusing especially on the substitutionary models of Christ's death that have dominated Western Christian theology for the past millennium. These models assume that Jesus was punished for our sins, in order to assuage God's anger and thereby fulfill the Jewish sacrificial system. … Continue reading Defilement and Purification: A Reflection on Sin and Salvation and Hebrews 10.11-25

Jesus and the Problem of Performative Religion: A Reflection on Mark 12.38-44

"All the world’s a stage, / And all the men and women merely players." These words of William Shakespeare from As You Like It capture well the feeling we all have from time to time that our lives are not our own — that we're all too often caught up in the deep behavioural ruts … Continue reading Jesus and the Problem of Performative Religion: A Reflection on Mark 12.38-44

Hunger and Feeding: A Reflection on Halloween and All Saints Day, Isaiah 25, and Sin and Salvation

Today, or I should say more properly tonight, is Halloween, the celebration of all that is macabre and ghoulish. It's hard to think of Halloween without envisioning ghosts, with all their associations of unfinished business, and unfilled longing. I'm reminded once again of the Buddhist notion of the 'hungry ghosts', an existential state where those … Continue reading Hunger and Feeding: A Reflection on Halloween and All Saints Day, Isaiah 25, and Sin and Salvation