Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Long to Reign Over us

We missed this yesterday - we were having a late lunch. 
Her Majesty speaks (again) of Jesus with clarity and humility. Long may she reign over us. 
"This is the time of year when we remember that God sent his only son 'to serve, not to be served'. He restored love and service to the centre of our lives in the person of Jesus Christ. 
"It is my prayer this Christmas Day that his example and teaching will continue to bring people together to give the best of themselves in the service of others. 
"The carol, In The Bleak Midwinter, ends by asking a question of all of us who know the Christmas story, of how God gave himself to us in humble service: 'What can I give him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb; if I were a wise man, I would do my part'. The carol gives the answer 'Yet what I can I give him - give my heart'. 

The Story

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Christmas Poem

There fared a mother driven forth
Out of an inn to roam;
In the place where she was homeless
All men are at home.
The crazy stable close at hand,
With shaking timber and shifting sand,
Grew a stronger thing to abide and stand
Than the square stones of Rome.

For men are homesick in their homes,
And strangers under the sun,
And they lay their heads in a foreign land
Whenever the day is done.

Here we have battle and blazing eyes,
And chance and honour and high surprise,
But our homes are under miraculous skies
Where the yule tale was begun.

A child in a foul stable,
Where the beasts feed and foam;
Only where He was homeless
Are you and I at home;
We have hands that fashion and heads that know,
But our hearts we lost---how long ago!
In a place no chart nor ship can show
Under the sky's dome.

This world is wild as an old wife's tale,
And strange the plain things are,
The earth is enough and the air is enough
For our wonder and our war;
But our rest is as far as the fire-drake swings
And our peace is put in impossible things
Where clashed and thundered unthinkable wings
Round an incredible star.

To an open house in the evening
Home shall all men come,
To an older place than Eden
And a taller town than Rome.
To the end of the way of the wandering star,
To the things that cannot be and that are,
To the place where God was homeless
And all men are at home.

[GK Chesterton]

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Advent 5

Confession clarifies Confusion

Christ, in the work of mediation, acts according to both natures, by each nature doing that which is proper to itself; 
yet, by reason of the unity of the person, that which is proper to one nature is sometimes in Scripture attributed to the person denominated by the other nature.  
[Westminster Confession of Faith 8.7]

The works that Christ did, then, were not simply the works of a human; they are the works of the mediator, who is both fully God and fully man. Therefore the value of Christ's death is infinite because of the worth of the person. In other words, one who was a human being only could not have paid the debt owed to God for so great a number of people. Yet because Christ had a true human nature he was able to pay the debt on behalf of sinful humanity. [p22-23 of Mark Jones' A Christian's Pocket Guide to Jesus Christ.] 

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Sometimes the mask slips

Astute observation from Archbishop Cranmer as he reads some amazing coverage of news of a royal pregnancy. Even papers like the Guardian speak in glowing terms of the 'Royal Baby' (they quote Barak Obama's press secretary congratulating William and Kate on their first child!)

Surely such 'pro-choice' newspapers and journals (and people) should be talking about a bunch of pluripotent stem cells, an embryo or a foetus? For reports suggest that the Duchess is still in her first trimester, so this is not yet a baby; and certainly nothing with any kind of destiny. At this stage, surely, it is a non-person, just like the other 201,931 non-persons who last year were evacuated from wombs in England, Scotland and Wales. 
Or are royal foetuses endowed with full humanity from the point of conception?
Read more here.

Christmas is like knitting

you'know basically good ... but responsible for a lot of bad things.

click on the image for an excellent minute and a half by Milton Jones. #4thought

Advent 4