Resident Aliens

Resident Aliens

The French Jesuit priest and philosopher, Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) said, ‘Joy is not the absence of pain’. Others have made the same observation repeatedly, either quoting de Chardin, or else expressing the same thought from their own perspective. It is a vital aspect of the joy we discover...
The theme of joy in Scripture finds its focus in the joy of knowing God as our God and Saviour. As we seek his glory (as opposed to our own) we experience a joy that is utterly different from all the joys of earth combined. Nevertheless, amazingly, this joy can be found and experienced on earth...
In the American Declaration of Independence, ‘the pursuit of happiness’ was listed along with ‘Life’ and ‘Liberty’ as one of three ‘inalienable rights’ common to all people. It is a striking and curious inclusion. But, whatever lay behind its place in this history-making document, it recognises...
God’s Providence is a wonderful thing. The Westminster divines spoke of it in these terms: ‘God's works of providence are, his most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all his creatures and all their actions’ (WSC 11). The Heidelberg Catechism captures in warmer tones like this: ‘God'...
Although for many churches, the celebration of Christ’s Nativity is over for another year, for many others it is yet to come. They will celebrate the Feast of Epiphany on January 6 th and on into the Sunday that follows. In part it will mark the visit of the Magi to worship the infant Jesus; but...
Christmas is fast approaching and images of Mary are everywhere – from cards to Nativity scenes – but she is strangely absent from many, if not most Protestant pulpits. Yes, she may be accorded a passing reference in the Christmas narrative, but she can come across very much as a bit-part, or an ‘...
Employment in the secular sphere is usually evaluated in terms of job satisfaction and job prospects. But what are their equivalents for those who work in the church – notably as Christian ministers? Although some embark in the ministry with a notional ‘career trajectory’ in mind – from humble...
Last words are important and often intriguing and none more so than the last words of Jesus. They are best remembered as expressed by Matthew at the end of his Gospel where Jesus tells the Eleven, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all...
The season of the Reformation ‘ Solas ’ has just ended and we have been reminded of the ‘aloneness’ of Scripture, grace, faith, Christ and the glory of God. But, hopefully, we will have also been reminded too that none of these are ‘alone’ in an absolute sense. The Reformers never divorced...
Out of all the names given to the Holy Spirit as he is revealed in Holy Scripture, few are more profound or precious than the ‘Paraclete’ (Jn 14.16). This designation has at one and the same time intrigued, but also excited Christians everywhere as they try to peer into the depths not only of what...