Category Archives: Bible

What’s the Point of Lent? #4: Roman Catholic Practices

This is the fourth in a mini-series looking at how different traditions celebrate Lent. They build on each other, so you might like to catch up on the first three:¬† Fasting in the Old Testament Jesus and the Early Church Orthodox Practices Looking for Lent stuff on Pinterest (a current, geeky hobby of mine) leads […]

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What’s the Point of Lent? #2: Jesus and the Early Church

This is a mini-series leading up to Lent, which begins in 2014 on March 5. You might like to catch up on the first part, looking at fasting in the Old Testament, before reading this one.¬† In the Old Testament, fasting is usually portrayed as a spontaneous response to what Scot McKnight calls a ‘sacred, […]

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What’s the Point of Lent? #1: Starting with the Old Testament

No one can be right or wrong about how to celebrate Lent, I realised the other day. Lent is a church tradition, not something instituted by Jesus or the apostles. So we’re all in the same boat, theologically speaking, of needing to figure out how Lenten practices might sensibly and meaningfully connect us to God […]

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Sacraparental Lent with Kids

This is an introductory post to our Lent with Kids series, explaining how and why we’re using candles and a bunch of other things to make Lent meaningful at home. I wrote this several years ago now, and it has become a cornerstone of our family spirituality. Skip to the bottom to see the basic […]

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Advent in Art 2013: Expectation

Advent in Art is a project of World Vision New Zealand for the spiritual nurture of staff. Mark Pierson and Alison Squires curate and produce beautiful sets of cards with reproductions of paintings, Scripture readings, questions for reflection and a ritual to perform. This year Advent in Art features the art of Wayne Forte, reproduced […]

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Advent with Toddlers

Happy Advent, everyone! Today is the first Sunday in Advent, the four-ish-week period leading up to Christmas. Today was SBJ’s first appreciation of Advent. He’s almost two, so I wasn’t sure just how much would be appropriate for him, but lots of things surprised me about the day, so I thought I’d give a full […]

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Matters of Life and Death: Dementia and Ageing

I read some of¬†Sandy’s story¬†on Sunday: I am 57¬†and was diagnosed in 2004 with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.¬†I was a bank manager and was very active in my community¬†and church. One afternoon, I left work and did not know how to get home.¬†This was the start of a “downhill no return” into the Alzheimer’s world.¬†I am […]

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Matters of Life and Death: Disability

Some of you will know that I’m living with postnatal depression. It’s hard. What I said on Sunday about disability is stuff I believe both in my head and because of my own experience: We think life should be perfect and comfortable. But God comes to us in the¬†imperfect and the¬†uncomfortable. We think life is […]

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Advent in Art 2013: Shall We?

  ¬† Probably my favourite season of the church year is coming up soon. Advent, the four weeks before Christmas where we prepare ourselves for celebrating Jesus’ arrival in our world. There’s lots to like about Advent (even if you don’t have calendars filled with chocolate). It’s not often we engage deeply in old-fashioned anticipation, […]

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Matters of Life and Death: Facing an Unplanned Pregnancy

My sermon on Sunday and the accompanying blog post were mainly directed at the ‘neighbours’ of an unborn child: those who have the opportunity to support a little family in crisis.¬† What I also want to say loudly, and separately, is that if you have experienced a crisis pregnancy, for any reason, in any circumstances, […]

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