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Responding to God’s love in Church and Community

Letters

February 2018 Will it ever be proven? I was recently discussing aspects of faith and science, within the context of my Christian belief that death in this life is not the end but merely a transition into that eternal life to come in the direct presence of God and Jesus Christ. I talked about the amazing advances in scientific knowledge and understanding in recent years in so many areas of science and technology. (I do think, by the way, that faith leaders and political leaders need to be much more actively involved in the moral, ethical and legislative issues surrounding many of these advances). During the course of my discussion I was asked did I think that one day science would prove the existence of this eternal life to come? The answer is I don't know but what I do know is it's a great question to ask and to consider the implications to the whole world if yes proves to be the correct answer one day. 

 

Christmas 2017 reflection.

Do you like quizzes? In any event, in the “pot luck section” do you know what is the shortest verse in the bible? John 11 :35 “Jesus wept”. At least that’s the standard answer (alternative later!). “Jesus wept” describes his response to the feelings aroused by the death of Lazarus. Quite profound in describing human characteristics of Jesus in sharing with us emotional responses to life’s journey. As we approach Christmas, and celebrate the birth of Jesus, emotions can run high. They may reflect the joys of Christmas past and anticipation of Christmas present(s!) or sorrow reflecting perhaps on loved ones no longer with us at this poignant time. Christmas can be very stressful; financial pressures, getting everything done in time, deciding who goes where on Christmas day and a host of other issues can turn what should be a celebration of a special birth into a minefield of obstacles to be overcome. Of course if you read the accounts of Jesus’ birth, in Matthew and Luke’s gospels, you encounter a pretty chaotic situation much loved by nativities all over the world. Angels, wise men, shepherds – all heralding in the birth of what is essentially a refugee child. Yet that child was to set an example which, I believe, has changed the world more than anyone else. So in celebrating the birth of Jesus, I hope you will also celebrate his life (and continuing life) amongst us. In the hectic rush towards Christmas, I trust you are able to find at least some time to appreciate God’s gift to us of Jesus Christ who shared with us both a human and divine relationship experiencing a whole range of emotions from joys to sorrows. Talking of which, John’s gospel verse “Jesus wept” and indeed the whole of the New Testament was originally written in Greek. Based on this, the shortest verse in the bible is 1 Thessalonians 5 :16 which in English text is, I believe, “Xaipete” meaning “Rejoice evermore” now that is a true celebration of Jesus’ birth. Hope you all have a peaceful Christmas. Robert

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