Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Reporting service

Order of service for Reported service

Call to worship: Psalm 22: 3-5

3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;

    you are the one Israel praises.[]

4 In you our ancestors put their trust;

    they trusted and you delivered them.

5 To you they cried out and were saved;

    in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

Hymn: StF 351: In Christ alone

All age address: Have you ever been really ill?

·         Ask them what their parents do to look after them when they’re sick

·         How much better it is to be well

·         God – sent Jesus to heal the sick (all of us)

Hymn: StF 635: My Troubled soul, why so weighed down


Collective Psalm 22: 22,24,26-31

22 I will declare your name to my people;

    in the assembly I will praise you.

24 For he has not despised or scorned

    the suffering of the afflicted one;

he has not hidden his face from him

    but has listened to his cry for help.

26 The poor will eat and be satisfied;

    those who seek the Lord will praise him—

    may your hearts live forever!

27 All the ends of the earth

    will remember and turn to the Lord,

and all the families of the nations

    will bow down before him,

28 for dominion belongs to the Lord

    and he rules over the nations.

29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;

    all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—

    those who cannot keep themselves alive.

30 Posterity will serve him;

    future generations will be told about the Lord.

31 They will proclaim his righteousness,

    declaring to a people yet unborn:

    He has done it!

Prayer of adoration / thanksgiving

Hymn  287: When I survey the wondrous cross

Reading: Mark 15: 33-38

Reading: Mark 2: 13-17

Reading: Mark 8:34-38


·         We are all sick

·         We all feel forsaken by God

·         Jesus knows our pains

·         He heals the sick

·         Cross is strength not suffering

Hymn: Old rugged cross

Collective Psalm 22: 1-2, 6-11, 19

1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

    Why are you so far from saving me,

    so far from my cries of anguish?

2 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,

    by night, but I find no rest.[b]

6 But I am a worm and not a man,

    scorned by everyone, despised by the people.

7 All who see me mock me;

    they hurl insults, shaking their heads.

8 “He trusts in the Lord,” they say,

    “let the Lord rescue him.

Let him deliver him,

    since he delights in him.”

9 Yet you brought me out of the womb;

    you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.

10 From birth I was cast on you;

    from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

11 Do not be far from me,

    for trouble is near

    and there is no one to help.

19 But you, Lord, do not be far from me.

    You are my strength; come quickly to help me.

Prayers of confession / forgiveness

Prayers of intercession

Lord's prayer


Hymn: 345: And can it be


Sunday, 9 December 2012

Oos 23122012

Order of service for December 23rd, Caversham heights, 10.30am

Call to worship: Titus 3 4-7

Advent liturgy

Hymn: H&P 232 Tell me the old, old story

Prayer of adoration

All age address: what is your favourite story?

·         This is a story of salvation
·         Birth of gods kingdom on earth

Prayer of thanksgiving

Hymn StF 627: Everyone needs compassion

Short welcome for peace candle: Isaiah 9: 6-7
Peace candle lit
Reading Luke 2 4-20 (can be done in two parts)
Prayers of confession / forgiveness
Hymn: StF 202 Hark the herald-angels sing

Sermon: true story of Christmas
Prayers for the coming of the kingdom

Hymn StF 216 See him lying on a bed of straw

Prayers for the housebound
Prayers of intercession
Lord's prayer

Hymn: H&P 135 Go tell in on the Mountain

Saturday, 22 September 2012


What does harvest mean to you? (Symon)

Ask people about what the harvest means to them?

In the Psalm we were given a picture of God as gardener

He fills the rivers with waters

Blesses the its valleys and trees

And blesses it with his love and mercy

But there is one fruit it does not mention and that id the fristfruit

When I think of harvest I think of this

Luke 13:34

34 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.

We our also a creation of God

We our his first fruit

It is hard to think of us as fruit I know

But it is for us all other creation was formed

It is to keep us that God blesses the harvest

And just as we gather the fruits we grow

So God will gather us in

So when I think of the harvest I think of the day when God shall call me home

Deuteronomy 26:1-11

How do we offer back to God? (Symon)

In accordance with are reading we have:
Come from the world God made for us
We have marked the wonders of God
We have given thanks that ours is a land of milk and honey
And we have rejoice in all the good things
but what our we to give him?
I am reminded of a Christmas song: In the bleak midwinter

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;

Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.

Fruit and vegetable our all well and good

Our time and money are better still

But what God really wants is You
You are his harvest
You his chosen person
Yes I know no of you think worth of it
Hardly the best of humanity
Hardly blessed in his sight
If I am fruit I am bruised and a bit mouldy
but so much dose he love you
That he causes the rivers to flow
He causes the sun to shine
And he even sent his first fruit
His own son
To call you home
So when you think God has forgotten all about you
Come be part of the harvest
And he shall rise you to be the first fruit

Friday, 7 September 2012

Why I support austerity

I recently attended my local preacher meeting, during which there is always an update on the church who is hosting it. This particular church had started providing emergency food aid (in partnership with others) to those in need in there local area. I was a little surprised, as the area in which this church stood, was not deprived or disadvantaged. It was a small town in south East England and food aid was required.

So why do I support the policy causing this food aid?

Firstly I must admit that this is the outcome I would expect. Food scarcity is always the outcome of increased global consumption and local recession. In a time of resource constraint I would expect those in the worse economic position too feel it more then those with greater accesses to resources.

This is not to blame those forced by forces far beyond them. To say that before the crash the country, the household and the individual overspent. If a person who is employed lives in debt they will be utterly destitute if they should loose there job. This is the situation many people have found themselves in.

One of the causes of this overspend is of course the fall in real terms wages but a vain attempt attempt to maintain current living standards. I often compare this to a impoverished Emperor , who is fooled into thinking thin air is the most fashionable robes and then buys them. He is foolish twice, once to buy thin air and the second time to use money better used else where (in paying of his debt perhaps).

We could argue who fault all of this is but we our faced with it none the less. Both the nation and the individual overspent and massively and for very little tangible outcomes. I concede there was useful spending as well for example new hospitals and school buildings. I however submit a new hospital operates just as well if not designed by an award winning architect. It was exactly this vane spending to which I refer. Infrastructure spending is one thing but no nation is enriched by modern, initiative buildings just functional ones.

So we our left with no money to spend. We have rather pleasant looking but empty visitor centres and people starving because they themselves lived of debt in the good times and I support the policy effectively pulling the plug on all the spending that partially supported this?

Yes and Yes again

One of the first effect of the global melt down was for good or ill the fortunes of Britain where held by the dreaded rating agencies. Effectively, Britain is owned not by its people but its debt holders and if the APR (Bond yields) where to raise too far BANG! At best ,massive devaluation of sterling (which would massively increase the cost of imports) and at worse Bankruptcy and who would be able to bail out the UK? Who?

So why not increase our tax take to pay off our debts and build some more pleasing ornate buildings? Why not? The required businesses people and investors we so desperately need would simply leave. We our beggars, not masters, we need them far more then they need us. Oh we could threaten to freeze them out of the UK but such an anti business anti free market move would end any chance of recovery and make Ukplc UK on the Volga.

No the bitter pill is this, without the ability to borrow more money for fear of the credit ratings and without the ability to tax people more without causing a flight of international capital we are ensnared. We must cut expenditure and do what ever private capital wishes in order to get there money voluntarily. I would say that there are far better target for cuts then the poor but they our either protected by government or by the electoral will of the people. No we must cut spending and pay off our debts, like those who our blessed to still have a job.

The UK must look beyond the EU for trading opportunities, shaking hands with anyone willing to spend a few pennies in the UK. Indeed placating Latin America with over various issues would be a good start. We our beggars remember and it is time we acted like them. Oh and by the way I know dealing with murders and corrupted people is not easy but neither is seeing people beg for emergency baskets.  

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Prayers of confession and forgivness 2nd sep

Prayers of confession (based on Psalm 15)

Lord forgive us that are walk has not been blameless
Lord forgive us for when we have not done what is righteous,

When we have failed to speaks the truth from their heart;
When our tongues have utters slander,

Forgive us for when we have wronged our neighbours
Forgive us for when we have casts no slur on others;

Lord we admit we have not keeps an oath
Lord we admit we have been shaken.

We have not kept your lord
We have no kept you gospel in our hearts

For all of this we seek your mercy
For all of us we seek your grace in our hearts 

Prayers of forgiveness:

Lord we know you forgive us always
Lord we know you'll give us grace always

You made your word flesh when we would not hear it
You showed us your grace when we would not see it
You set up your camp in our hearts when we needed it
You forgive us though we did not deserve it.

Lord your will is we spread the gospel of forgiveness
Lord you will is we spread the law of love

In this we are joined in salvation with your son
In the great act of scarifies we are forgiven though your son

Prayer of adoration

Listen! Look! Here the Lord comes, leaping across the mountains,
bounding over the hills.

My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the lord;
my tongue is the pen of a skilful writer.

You have exchanged the laws of man for your love

You have clean our souls from the stains of sin

You have anointed our lips with your grace

You have made us blessed you forever.

Lord you have erected your camp in my heart

Lord your is the cause of truth, humility and justice;

Lord your right hand achieve awesome deeds.

Lord your saving word has redeemed the world

Lord when I speak with you the words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart are pleasing in your sight,

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Traditional conservative manifesto

Traditional conservative manifesto:

I won’t you to imagine a party which is committed to the maintenance and improvement of our society, our nation and the good of all who reside within.

This party would devolve power away from the bureaucratic, inhumane, calculating state and give it to communities and the free men who reside within. We would seek to make the UK a working nation once more and a nation. We would reinforce are working class communities by championing community groups and neighbourhood policing and ridding them of the drugs menace.

We would make schools disciplined and safe places, quickly removing those pupils disturbing the learning of others. We would take the same attitude with problem households and criminal families. Communities would be empowered to intervene and remove. We will no longer force communities to suffer the consequences of failed families.

We would free Britain from the European Union reaffirming Britain as the only parliament with the right to pass laws in Britain. We would aggressively pursue a pro export policy, no longer binding exporter hands with endless paperwork or moral foreign policies. We would have lower tax rates for exporting businesses and manufacturing businesses in order to get Britain back working.

We would set the tax rate in order to punish immoral behaviour both personal and in the city but to get Britain back to work We would crack down on and shame those who do not pay their share and kick out businesses that did not pay there’s. We would ensure care the neediest but also crack down on welfare manipulation by both the middle classes and the poor. We would reinforce the NHS and end all government re-organisations, whilst directing it recourses towards the youngest in our society.

We would also encourage an increase in the British birth rate by offering nationalised child care and child tax breaks. We would remember the importance of mothering and families within our society, promoting society to play its role and giving what help we can. We will focus are efforts of communities and families, offering a helping hand but never thinking we know best.

With these principles and many more we shall call this party the Conservative party 

Friday, 6 July 2012

Self-interest and the banks

So why did bankers rig an internal banking rate, well very simply it was in there interest to do so. Actually it will have been in there short term interest to do so.

Before I continue I must admit my starting premise and this is we all act as self-interested individual. We do not operate in either perfect knowledge or wholly freely therefor we act in a limited rational way in the furtherance of our own or perceived self-interest.

So let us look at the starting question again; why did investment bankers rig the interbank rate? Answer, it was in there self-interest at that time. What does that mean, well as they saw it they would get a reward that outweigh the risk of losing their licence to trade and cause a scandal that would harm there means of making a living.

Wow! That reward must have been high. Actually I doubt it; the banks did in the end manipulate this rate to ensure there continuation (thus the risk was much reduced) but before this stage the rigging had already become systematic and the reward at individual banker (the achievement of targets and the reward for doing so) could simply not out weight the risk.  

So what can we conclude from the fact they did. One that they value the risk of being caught, very low; two that the punishment for bad behaviour must have either been no existent or very lenient; I suspect it was a combination of poor monitoring both internal / external and a very lenient punishment for  unacceptable behaviour and hear we have the nub of the issue.

Clearly the banks rewarded risky behaviour (again acting in there limited self-interest) and sought out and promoted risk taking individuals – actually this is untrue. I expect they did seek out risk taking individuals and rewarded successes but more importantly they must have stopped asking questions and demoted people unwilling to take extreme risks in the sight of others. Therefore you have an environment in which risk is rewarded and ill behaviour not punished whilst those unwilling to act in such a manner (for whatever reason) were side lined.

As you can see no memo insisting on the rigging of libor was required, indeed no knowledge of it in the higher Escalon’s would ever be heard, as no one wanted to know or sought to know. Simply by rewarding risk and not punishing ill behaviour an organisation will guarantee some law is eventually broken, as more and more risk will have to be taken to achieve increasing targets. This is the problem with limited self-interested rationality, it is often short sighted and often lacking in prudence, epically when the organisations does not punish ill doing. 

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Earthly powers

I believe we Christians have a problem
This problem is not unique to us as a people of faith and nor it is at its most extreme
The problem is this we live in a society which no longer shares our beliefs
We are still blessed that they are sympathetic to are core beliefs
But we are now a people of faith in a sea of at best indifference

So the problem is this how can we preserve our faith?
How can we maintain the covenant we have made in the blood of Christ?

Jesus in Mark 14:24 refers to his crucifixion as forming a covenant with believers
In the first reading God reminds us of the covenant and of the cost of breaking it
The main part of this covenant we still share – “have no other Gods”
The Jews had assimilated foreign Gods
They has submitted to alien influence and ease
But God had maintained his covenant with them and demands reciprocation

In are second readings of Luke we hear about the cost of following Jesus.
On the face of is this passage is about physically following Jesus
But it can also be read as the cost of accepting Jesus
“No one who puts a hand to the plough and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God”
When we accept Jesus we agree to the cost in other words;
In this passage people ask to follow Jesus
And Jesus warns the of the cost
He warns the first about personal privation (no home, no rest)
He warns the Second that if he chooses to follow him he must forsake any human concern
Even the burial of his farther

And to the last man he warns:  that once he embarks on this path there is no turning back
This is the cost of following Jesus
A cost anyone who choose to follow him must pay
I think this should be taken as a warning
Often people follow Christ and talk only of the rewards
Only of the joys
But I can testify to the cost
Of the sacrifices
All I accept as my part of the covenant formed on the cross
As in Luke though Jesus I was warned and accepted.

So far so good and then the third reading
Well – cripes
Where to start?
Well first the lectionary is supposed to be Romans 13:1-10
But to me Peter 1 make similar point and better.
Peter’s words have direct implications for us today.
As I said at the start like peter we live in a society which does not share our beliefs
And in which the government which allows actions which run contrary to are beliefs
So how can we react?
Shall we shut the doors of are temple?
Shall we kneel before the might of the state?
Shall we adopt the norms of our society like those in the first reading?
Or shall we react in violent revolution?

No we must stay the course.
We must preserve the conversant with God
And we must maintain the law of the land
We are not called to take power for ourselves or to revolt against the powers that be
Indeed both Peter and Paul tell us to submit to earthly power
Peter extols the virtues of suffering for doing good
He predicts the glory of the martyrs whose power came not at the sword but on the cross.
As odd as some of you may find these teachings they do give us a model of living in this world
It accept that powerful people may not always be good or believers
It accept man’s law shapes the world we live in and that we may not like it
But people will not hear good news from a violent man
A man with blood on his hands cannot proclaim love
No Peter and Paul call us to show the ways though our silent suffering
Buy living as Christ wants us we will show the follow of the foolish man
By living by Gods laws first and man’s second the follies of these as well

So whilst we must accept we live in a world of laws we do not like
The oath to altering this is not violence or revolution
But silent resolve, good deeds and following Gods laws above all
Whatever the cost may be

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Earthly power

We have already explored the idea of covenant
The very first conversant wans between Noah and God is that after the flood
And it was sided arrangement. 
God continued to forge relationships with his chosen people
These relationship were based on Gods protecting the Jews
And the Jew worship in God alone
This idea is given human form in the new testernment:
Jesus in Mark 14:24 refers to his crucifixion as forming a covenant with believers
This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,’ 
Of course this new convernatal relationship
One which is drastically different from that between Noah and Mosses.

In the first reading the prophet Jeremiah is recounting a meeting with God
In this meeting God is demanding that his people stop worshiping false Gods
He refers to the current covenant (made with Mosses)
In which God has delivered them from Egypt to Israel
And he is warning Jeremiah that the Jews are not keeping their part of the agreement
And that the cost of this is God would end the protection of the ppl of Israel 

In are second readings of Luke we hear about the cost of following Jesus.
One the face of is this passage is about physically following Jesus
But it can also be read as the cost of accepting Jesus
“No one who puts a hand to the plough and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God”
Indeed if you take the covenanter view of is passage
Jesus is asked by many good men who fell called to follow him
He warns the first about personal privation (no home, no rest)
He warns the next good man that if he chooses to follow him
He must forsake any human concern

And to the last man he warns that once he embarks on this path there is no turning back
This is the price of entering a covenant to follow Jesus
I think this should be taken as a warning
Often people follow Christ and talk only of the rewards
But I can testify to the cost
And the greater the commitment the greater the cost

The Jews merely had to have one God but we the followers of Jesus have to give of ourselves
The Jewish covenant was flesh for protection but are Christian on is the blood of God for grace

So far so good and then the third and fourth reading
Well – cripes
Where to start?
Well to me Peter 1 and Romans 13:1-10 make similar point
but for me Peters words have a direct implications for us today.
Today we are faced with a situation similar to that described by Peter
We live in a society which does not accept our beliefs
And in which the government allows actions which run contrary to are beliefs
So how can we react?
Shall we shut the doors of are temple?
Shall we kneel before the might of the state?
Shall we adopt the norms of our society?

Well we have been reminded that we must maintain are covenant with God
And we must maintain the law
We are not called to take power for ourselves or to revolt against the powers that be
Indeed both Peter and Paul tell us to submit to earthly power
Peter extols the virtues of suffering for doing good
As odd as some of you may find these teachings they do give us a model of living in this world
It accept that powerful people may not always be good or believers
It tacitly accepts that after Gods law man’s law shapes the world we live in
These passages guide us when those around us forsake the Lord our God
We must keep the covenant with are God first
But stay within the laws of men second
For no one will hear good news from a condemned man

It remains us that when surrounded by pagan men
We must shine all the brighter with goodness
And never restor to evil or violence
We must in short submit ourselves to the care (for better or ill to earthly authority)
Regardless of our physical comfort we must maintain the covenant
We must alone keep the lord they god as sovereign
We alone must keep his law 
It is not an easy message but remember
No one who puts a hand to the plough and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.’

Saturday, 16 June 2012

16062102 service

Call to worship: Psalm 92: 1-4, 12-15

1 It is good to praise the Lord
    and make music to your name, O Most High,
2 proclaiming your love in the morning
    and your faithfulness at night,
3 to the music of the ten-stringed lyre
   and the melody of the harp.
 4 For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord;
    I sing for joy at what your hands have done.
5 How great are your works, Lord,
    how profound your thoughts!
12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
    they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
13 planted in the house of the Lord,
    they will flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They will still bear fruit in old age,
    they will stay fresh and green,
15 proclaiming, “The Lord is upright;
    he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.

Let us prepare as sinner before God with are first hymn
H&P 460: Come, sinners, to the gospel feast

As sinner let us bring are sins to the lord so we can be forgiven of them: with our Prayers of confession

Inspired by Psalm 109

Lord Forgive us  when we failed to extend kindness to others
Lord Forgive us  when we did not take pity on fatherless children.

As we forgive those who have sin against us

Lord we know we fail you when we held the son accountable for the iniquity of his fathers
Lord we know we fail when we made the daughter pay for the sin of his mother

As we forgive those who sin against us

Lord we need forgiveness as a church family for when we failed to be a good family
Lord we need forgiveness as a church family for when we failed to care for new members 

As we forgive those who sin against us

Introduction to the theme

Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:6-10, 14-17
Reading: Mark 4:26-34

Let us give thank for the fruit of the faithful life with are next hymn
H&P 139: The kingdom of God is justice and joy

What are your thoughts on the theme?
 Let us come together for a time of thanks giving with are Prayer of thanksgiving

Let us proclaiming Gods love in the morning and praise his faithfulness at night.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our farther for the gifts he freely gives us.
Let us give thanks to the lord are father who cares for all his children.

He is the eternal father of all the people of the world and we are joyful to be counted among his children.

Let us be thankful that our farther that he has paid the cost of sin for his children.
Let us be thankful that Lord our farther that he continues to love and guide his children

He is the eternal father of all the people of the world and we are joyful to be counted among his children.

We rejoice with eternal joy that you Fathers do not exasperate your children.
We rejoice with eternal Father that you do not embitter your children.
We rejoice with eternal Father that you will never become discouraged with your children

 He is the eternal father of all the people of the world and we are joyful to be counted among his children.

Let us continue giving thanks with are next hymn
H&P 355: Come ye thankful people come

Lord takes these monies as a conversant that we will continue ion the family of church, welcoming and support new members and honour you are heavenly father

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Ode to my majestic lady

Whenever I think of the pageantry and tradition the British wrap the power and glory of the state in I cannot help recall the phrase the Iron hand in the velvet glove and in this case the state having to carry though the austerity is the iron first and the monarchy as they have been since King Charles days is the most splendid of splendid velvet gloves. So why celebrate this deception? Well deception it is not Burke says “A nation which is just force will not stand for no one can love it but a nation covered in mercy of velvet will stand for others for it can do what must be done but also bring joy and glory to its people”. Today we celebrate our monarch and through it are nation for the real reason the real meaning behind our monarchy is not some tedious constitutional role but as a symbol of everything we take pride of in this nation and such a symbol must by its necessity be a-political. Unless a nation be defined by its politics (and what a sad nation that would be) the symbol of itself must be beyond the temporary and faddish claims of politics. The monarch is beyond it and has steadfastly remained beyond it, allowing itself to be moulded and adapted to the needs of the people. I think sadly of the self-harmed caused in republics to the nationhood caused by the political infighting and the shattered nationhood this leave behind a danger our apolitical head preserves us from. The monarchy and the almost Wallace and Grommet contraption which serves as our nation’s constitution has proved a very effective break of the lust and whims of are leaders (both elected and otherwise). It is impossible to radically alter the constitutional arrangements of this nation without removing the monarchy (a beloved institution and often far more well-loved then these hidden changes). There are those that say the monarch herself does not veto bills and quite rightly so; we have an entire democratic structure to deal with that but the existence of the monarchy and thus the preservation of the pseudo constitutions prevents radical constitutional reform without the whole system crashing down upon the deranged heads of those little men trying to reshape the system in there temporal and self-serving image. Link to both these points; that the monarch is the self-image of the nation and a break of the lust of powerful men is there role as that most important pillar of good order the pillar of tradition. Now those who oppose the monarchy will cry out that slavery was once a tradition but this is both not true and a misunderstanding of the greatness of tradition. A tradition survives you cannot quote something that occurred and declare it tradition. A nation with no tradition is not a nation but a collection of squabbling idea with no senses of itself or perspective and it also have nothing it values beyond itself. Tradition becomes part of the whole, it give all a sense of continuity and place and a reservoir of values to resort to in time of hardship. Indeed given this year the wonder of the tradition that has surrounded and glorified the jubilee has lifted our nation. One of the other great features of the monarchy is there holistic leadership. This is both due to their apolitical basis and of their traditional standing. Think back during the war and the three pillars upon which the survival of our nations rested; the people, Churchill and of course the monarchy. The monarchy who withstood bombing and threats against their person and the monarchy which forsook its golden throne to participate in the war effort whilst still carrying the nation. I can think of the sons of any presidents whom have left the comfort of their families office to adorn uniform and fight for their nation but that is the depth of leadership and selfless devotion the monarchy embodies and performs. I could go on and on about the glories of a monarchy alongside a democratic parliament; I could talk about economic benefits, I could talk about embodying duty and I could talk about their faith role but I do not wish to bore my reader. I will simply conclude with this, whilst the monarchy inspires national devotion and love. A selected head of states (the standard system for the symbolic head of state in a parliamentary system) adds none of these things and even an elected symbolic head add nothing but merely electing the now empty symbol and that is not enough to remove a well-loved and significant aspect of British life.

Friday, 1 June 2012

On Gender:

On Gender: I must declare certain facts; one sex is unacceptable concept within traditional conservative circles, this is not to sex is unacceptable full stop but we consider it not a valid topic for the public sphere in which political debate takes place. This awkwardness with this most private of topics has led to traditional conservatism being wholly unable to engaged with identity or gender politics at all. This inability to engage with the new politics of self and of definition has led to the abomination of neo conservatism the first split from the conservative family since the dawn of man. These market worshipers believe that man must be made to confirm to wider social needs though they are very vague about the results. We cannot accept this; man should love his community and his place in the order of things, we acknowledged that this may require a shortening of the self but this should not be seen as a sacrifice but an exchange for participation in a larger self and to be able to partake in the glory of community and nation. So what does this mean for those whose gender or sexual orientation forms part of their selfhood and this selfhood is in opposition to the gender aspect of the selfhood of their community? Much more simply put how should conservatives react to none heterosexual people. Well let us start with first principles. God ordained the order of the world; all things that exist within these orders are thus part of the divinely inspired and sanctioned order. God ordered that man should mate with women for the increasing of his kingdom and the mutual joy of both parties. Thus we state and we state as an article of truth that there is only man and women and only man and women can be joined together in a meaningful union. So what about those who gender is not recognised, without accepting there union we are abridging there selfhood. Well firstly we do not accept that one’s sexual preference is part of one’s selfhood. This obsession with sex is a product of a decaying and self-centred society and will be of a lesser concern to them once we heal the harm market and self-worship has done to community. For the3 time being however, the harm has been done and thus we must respond to these misguided calls. In order to restore the idea of unions for life and of the centrality of the family I would suggest it be best that we allow those who have a non-ordained sexual preference be allowed within their own community to join together in empty union with one another. These unions would not be acceptable as a moral union or an ordained union as they serve no purpose and are alien to Gods divinely inspired order but they would increase mortal unions and once more increase and retrench the idea of monogamous family units in our society. So beyond marriage what else must we do? I really believe the best we can do is ignore it. Communities will accept or exclude them and it would be unacceptable to force communities to share the same sex obsession which they themselves share and it would be equally unacceptable to stoke the fires of hatred based on the same sexual obsession. Thus the best solution to these issues is to retrun society to a stage were once more sex is not part of the public discourse and where those who has issue with it can be allowed to deal with it without a great deal of interference.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Isaiah 6:1-8 V2

Children’s address: Today we mark the golden jubilee of our Queen Now I wonder if any of you know what jubilee means? Biblically it comes from Leviticus 25. It was a day set aside by the Lord. One to be filled with trumpet and celebration. A time when the nation of Israel would declare Liberty throughout the land and a day of family reunion. The Golden jubilee is slight different. It marks the queens 50th year upon the throne of Britain Today I wish to talk about celebrating the majesty of a different monarch the king of kings of Israel We have just heard about Isaiah meeting with God. The King of all creation and the God of the Jews Jehovah. As the reading said, when Isaiah saw God he was upon a golden throne with angels all around him signing his praise. So what was it like for Isaiah standing before God – well. Now none of you are “wise” enough to remember the first jubilee but I am sure some of the wiser member of the congregation does. So what does the congregation remember of the queen or the jubilee? Think of all those images, the soldiers in uniform, the golden carriages and thrones and all the servant buzzing around the queen. I wonder what you would be like if you had to speak with the queen and receive an important task? Now I wonder what it would be like to stand before the King of Kings. I wonder what you would like if you were stood before God and receive an important task? Isaiah was clearly scared, scared because he felt unworthy, unclean, unable to stand before the King of King. But God had not called Isaiah to scare or judge him God had called Isaiah to carry Gods message to Israel This message was to bring God’s people closer to God Because God loved us then and love us know and want to join with us. Unlike are queen he cannot simply descend from heaven surrounded by angels So he called people to him (we call these people prophets) Despite all the grandness and wonder of Gods Kingdom But still despite people like Isaiah God people refused to hear him So God decided to do something stage I am not sure I would give up golden thrones and angelic servants would you? He gave up his golden thrones and his angels and took mortal flesh He did this because he loved his creation more then all his golden thrones and all the angelic choirs So that though we may sometimes feel like Isaiah approaching or praying to God We should remember that he loved us so much he gave up all of those wonderful things for us

Sunday, 20 May 2012

The crucified trinity

I am fairly sure most of the people gathered have heard and enjoy this familiar promise of God. Sorry did I just say familiar promise, I apologies; I meant to say this wonderful, saving, life affirming, cornerstone of my faith and the faith I share and we are blessed to share with billion but what does this mean, how did the death of Christ save man from the cost of sin? Indeed what does being the son of God mean? Well I don’t know – there you are an honest answer So what am I doing here? I am responding to a God who so loved his creation that he took on human formed and died so it may live Before I go on I know others don’t share this view of God or of the trinity And you know that is okay To me the trinity can be best understood on the cross It is the end of a story that starts with creation and ends on the cross Often this seen as the story of sin (Adam brought sin into the world and Jesus atoned for this) But from my view of the God who died on the cross it is a story of God’s love In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. He then created human kind, who disobeyed him God then exiled man from his presence So ensued the Old Testament – the history of Gods attempts to reconcile with his elusive creation At some point in this story God realised that prophets and visions were all well and good But he was going to have to intercede physically Now God faced a choice, he could rain down his vengeance on his creation Until it buckled under and became subservient to his will Or he could take the narrow and longer path He in the words of Wesley Emptied Himself of all but love, and bled for Adam’s helpless race He then started his work Spreading his word and his mercy throughout the land and started his slow walk to the cross All part of his divine plan Upon the cross God endured even death in order to become part of our lives He gave up his life in order to pay the cost of sin and redeem man kind Even after paying this enormous cost, even after his own creation rejected him God came again (on Pentecost) and this time he never left our mortal world. So when I look upon the cross I do not just see Jesus hanging there But Yahway having taken off his crown to hang and suffer there.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Isaiah 6:1-10

Children’s address: Today we mark the golden jubilee of our monarch. Now I wonder if any of you know what jubilee means? Biblically it comes from Leviticus 25. It was a day set aside by the Lord. One to be filled with trumpet and celebration. A time when the nation of Israel would declare Liberty throughout the land and a day of family reunion. The Godlen jubilee is slight different. It marks her majesties 50th year upon the throne of Britain So today I wish to talk about celebrating the majesty of a different monarch the king of kings of Israel We have just heard about Isaiah meeting with God. The King of all creation and the God of the Jews Jehovah. As the reading said, when Isaiah saw God he was upon a golden throne with angels all around him signing his praise. Think of all the colour and ceremony surrounding the monarch of Britain. Times it by a million and you may get close to the wonderment surrounding God Before whom poor Isaiah stood alone Isaiah was clearly scared, scared because he felt unworthy, unclean, unable to stand before the King of King. Indeed until being cleansed and forgiven of his sins. Isaiah was in a terrible panic and fear one a million time worse than if we stood before our queen. But God had call Isaiah for a purpose, not merely to scare him or impress him and this purpose was almost as terrifying as this vision of God It was not to bring Israel closer to God but to Make the heart of this people hard, make their ears dull and close their eyes. # Do you think this is a loving or caring God? Or a scary and fearsome God? Well despite his might and his anger and despite the people of Israel’s continual disobedience he still wanted to commune with them. So we turn are thoughts to today. Today is Trinity Sunday a difficult and complex day A day when we rejoice in the glory of majestic God, served by all the angles in heaven Today we also give thanks for Jesus, for the fact that the majestic God took human form and suffered for us. We also give then that the majestic god has remained with us as the holy spirit. Whilst we may find the majestic God fear inspiring and off putting and hard to approach. We celebrate gladly that he sent men and his own self to soften the hearts of men. We today should be gladful that we can share in his glory and will be one day join with his ageless glory Made us clean by his son, kept us clean in his holy spirit So we can stand peaceful in his majestic glory as Isaiah did before us

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Unfathomable creation

In this piece I seek to explore why God took mortal form and why humanity and God still seem unable to commute fully. There are three main views on why God took human / mortal form. The first is God became human to interweave his reality / himself with our reality; In short he wanted to become present in our world. The second more implicit reason is that God took human form to correct man’s understanding of his law. The third reason is that God became mortal in order to pay the debt of sin with sinless blood and by doing so enable man to reconcile with God. It is of course interesting to note hear that the full reconciliation with God takes place after man and Gods death (they are reconciled in heaven as immortals) this even after God became mortal. As I wish to suggest another reason for God taking on mortal form, I will look at the three main explanation of this miracle of miracles. If we look at the first reasons; god was hardly absent in the Old Testament, he does at least intervene in human affairs, though sometimes in rather unsavoury ways. I note that after Christ God left the holy spirit but God could have done this without partaking of human form, no this reason says nothing, it is a by-product not a reason. If we then look at the second reason: God could have continued to alter the laws via prophets and sacred interventions (indeed it seems to correct the law once then end this task as the era of the prophets ended some time ago) is a little strange if this were God’s aim. Regardless of the logical inconsistency God could have reinforced the law without becoming mortal, indeed if this were his aim a harder touch with humanity may have done more than the gospel of Christ. Now let us look at the last issue or as I call it the John 3:16 theory. This explanation is the most popular by far but it is wholly illogical or at least inconsistent with an all-powerful God. If we accept God as all powerful he could easily forgive sin, indeed in an odd way God created sin as it was he who laid out right and wrong. Now I do not seek to undermine the heart of this view, that God became mortal in the form of Christ Jesus and died for us but I do not think it was solely for the forgiveness of sin I think God did this in order to better reconcile with us both via the forgiveness of sin and via a better understanding of man. So why would God have to become mortal in order to better understand man? Well why would you go into a community you knew? Why do anthropologist travel thousands of miles, forsaking modern luxury, to live among indigenous communities they already know about? Well the answer is simple in order to increase their understanding of them. If we accept that, then it is not a giant leap to see that though you can know everything about something, you will not be able to understand it. I the think it is not such a leap to argue that God knows everything about us but sometimes struggles to understand us. What God does not understand us! Heretic, blasphemer! Undermining God, tiny little human desperately trying to analysis God with your inadequate mind and failing. Well probably so but answer me this, why did God become mortal? I have already dealt with the dogma (none of which is biblically based but is not heresy because it is antique) so why? I happen to think God does not mind when we attempt to better understand him and his will (indeed I think it is an act of adoration) and it only harmful when we think we know the totality of God, when in short we think we know it all. So what does the unfathomable creation mean? Well the outline of the idea is fairly basic. God made man and there is nothing he does not know about his creation. God could not understand his creation and in order to increase his knowledge and also to become present in the mortal world and forgive sin he chose to become human. Not because it was necessary, not because he had to but because he wanted to. Take a moment here, what I am proposing is God died for our sins not because that was the only way to pay the price of sin but because he wanted to fully understand man (and death is a part of man) and pay the price of sin and who better than the author of sin (the deity of the law) to bear that cost. So why did an all knowing deity have to come into human form in order to understand his creation? Well, I can’t help but recall Wittgenstein story about talking to a Lion. Wittgenstein proposes that even if we could talk (or know) with a lion, we would still not be unable to understand the lion. This is due to the vast differences in world view, points of reference and even understanding of meaning betwixt us and said Lion. Well think about the trouble God has in understating us. Now we must be careful here, God can understand us when we speak (though in a different way to what humans think of understanding) and I believe he can understand that facts of humanity (our needs, our wants) but until he became human he could not understand our actions or our almost purposeful disobedience. It is notable that since God intersession with humanity he is far less frustrated due in my view to his increased understanding but still in the same was as we cannot comprehend God, God cannot understand us. So why even after God became flesh and lived our mortal lives does there still exist a debt of understanding? It would be easy to blame it on sin and I am not opposed to the easy answer. It must be hard for a deity without sin to understand the “will to sin” but this is not the end of the story for me. I think the understanding deficit is partly due to the need for humans to hide their true selves and act often in opposition to this true self which confuses God. God only has a true self, he does not require the mask which humanity adorns itself, even in the person of mortal Jesus God did not experience either sin or self-deception (arts which humanity are experts in) . So once we think that God expect us to act in the true self that we know we can see how he could fail to full understand us or our needs. The other explanation I hinted at earlier though God has lived (which is a bad choice of words) the immortal and mortal life we have lived only the mortal life, so though God has lived as Man and lion, we have only lived like men. It seems fairly obvious that full communion with God is only possible once we die and become immortal and this share fully in the world of God. Of course it is also helped that once free from the world of man; man will only have a true self as I have said but once we have left the mortal world God will be able to fully understand us and maybe we him.