2011

Parish Magazines: November 2011 – January 2012

Parish Magazines: November 2011 – January 2012

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Parish Magazines: September 2011 – October 2011

Parish Magazines: September 2011 – October 2011

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Parish Magazines: June 2011 – August 2011

Parish Magazines: June 2011 – August 2011

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Curate’s Corner: November 2011 – January 2012

Curate’s Corner: November 2011 – January 2012

The last time I spoke in church I labelled my sermon ‘Black And White Or Shades Of Grey.’ The passage I was speaking about concerned the difficult question of whether or not the Jews should pay their taxes to Caesar. Jesus’ reply was interesting – ‘Give to Caesar what is Caesar and to God what is Gods.’ In those few words. Jesus made it clear we should obey the law of the land (pay our taxes etc) but also give to God what is his, which is everything! The problem arises when there is a conflict between the Government or the law, and the moral code of the Bible. For example, the law has clearly stated that the residents of Dale Farm in Essex who have 51 illegal camp sites on green belt land, must give up their homes of the past 20 years. The locals fully support the evictions because of what they have endured over many years. The travelling people see it as an attack on their way of life, and claim they have nowhere else to go. So who is right? Frankly, I am not sure as we never get all the facts via the news or on TV. But the general principle that Jesus gave applies. We should pay our taxes, support the law etc unless there is a direct conflict with the commands of God our creator. In practice therefore, the caravans should never have camped on land which did not have planning permission, but the local authority also have a duty to provide homes for those in need. For you and me, we often face situations where the solution is not black and white, but a difficult shade of grey. In those situations we need the guidance of God’s Spirit, the support of fellow Christians and a strong moral conviction. But ultimately we have to give to ‘Caesar’ what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s. And sometimes this can mean making very difficult decisions! God bless...

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Curate’s Corner: September 2011 – October 2011

Curate’s Corner: September 2011 – October 2011

As I write this wee piece for the bulletin, the news is on and the headlines are all about the riots in England over the past week. Many people are disgusted and disturbed by the riots and what has caused them. All sorts of explanations have been put forward and the Government is under pressure to come up with solutions. So why did they happen? Sadly I cannot answer that question, but it is clear that the answer lies in the breakdown in society whereby respect for authority has almost disappeared, self confidence is low, civil rights have taken over from civil responsibility and the only person who matters is me! Far too many people see themselves as worthless and without a future. How sad. The bible makes it clear that each one of us is a unique human being made in the image of God. We are not only made in the image of God, we are loved so much by him that Jesus came from heaven to die on the cross so that you and I can spend eternity with him in paradise. Once we realise exactly how precious we are to God, our self worth and our whole attitude to life should change completely. I am special – you are special – we are all unique and extraordinary human beings. So what is the answer to the riots and the sense of hopelessness that surrounds so many people? Surely it has to be recognition that God loves us, God cares for us and he wants us to love him, love each other and be servants to one another. As Christians, we are a people who should be full of hope, irrespective of what is happening around us in the financial markets, on the streets, at work or without work, with plenty or with little. Because we know that this is God’s world and he ultimately will judge us all and bring to himself all who believe in him. So never forget that you are special. Hope is everything and our hope is in the one who made this earth. The future is bright – the future is already decided by God. Just trust him! God bless....

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