Friday, March 25, 2016


God promised that there would come a man who would crush the ancient serpent, defeating once and for all time the rebellion of men and angels - though he himself would be bruised.

God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his only son, the son on whom all his hopes for the future were pinned, the son who was himself the fruit of God's promise - and then at the last minute, when hope was gone, stopped the knife and sent a ram instead.

God rescued his people from Egypt, but not without blood, for in truth their firstborn were not better than the firstborn of Pharaoh, and an animal had to die - the slain lamb painting the doorposts of the house, death on the outside and life within,

God gave his people animal sacrifices, rivers of blood through the generations, hands laid on goats to transfer sin and guilt - so that sin could be done to death, and sinfulness sent away to the wilderness.

God spoke to his people through the prophet Isaiah, at the point of their great rejection of him, and told them of his servant, the one would who would himself be rejected by the people - and yet would bear sin and transgression to death.

God sent his own Son into the world.  Crucified, he achieved all that had been symbolised and promised.  Here is Satan defeated.  Here is the loving Father offering his only Son.  Here is the rescue from sin by blood.  Here is the sacrifice which does to death our rebellion and removes our guilt.  Here is the Servant who submits to taste death for all.

O love of God! O sin of man!
In this dread act Your strength is tried;
And victory remains with love;
For Thou our Lord, art crucified!

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

We don't know people

There is a lot of angst to be seen amongst American friends and acquaintances today, who are dismayed at the progress of Donald Drumpf.  One of the things that I notice coming up a lot is this: "who are these people?  Nobody I know is voting for him, so who is?"  I've just been reflecting on the fact that hardly anyone I knew was voting Tory in the UK last time around, and yet here they are, in government.  My Facebook feed was filled at the time with people saying "how can this be right?  We don't know anyone who voted for them!"

My conclusion is this: I don't know many people, and the people I do know are not representative of society at large.

Implication: the perspective I have on things is very narrow.  If I draw conclusions about where society is, or where society is going, based on the circle of my acquaintances, I will probably be wrong.  I need to stop being baffled by the fact that there are lots of people out there who think very differently from me and my 'set'.

Application: I need to try to understand people who are coming from very different positions from mine.  I can't just write them off because they don't match the type of people with whom I regularly rub shoulders.

Obviously the application goes beyond politics.  How can I present the gospel to people I don't know or understand?

Work to do.