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We are All Immigrants

"A wandering Aramaen was my ancestor. He went down into Egypt and lived there as an alien." (Deut. 26:1-5)

"Who is my neighbour?" (Luke 10:29-37)

Tables

(Psalm 34:8; Matthew 11:16-19)
O taste and see that the Lord is good.
The Son of Man came eating and drinking

Keep Awake!

Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming! (Matthew 24:36-44)

Work out your own salvation

The abbot confided in me the other day that this is his favourite text from the writings of St. Paul: "work out your own salvation in fear and trembling" (Phil. 2:12-15). I assume it is because he does not believe that we should sit around waiting for someone else to save us -- we should get on and do it ourselves. That is an eminently practical way of going about things. And for good measure, we should fear and tremble while doing so. Working out our own salvation is a serious matter, is it not?

Embodied Souls

Last week I conducted a workshop at Mt. Fleur near Stellenbosch. One of the participants was James Grace, a lecturer in the School of Music at UCT. James is the leading classical guitarist in South Africa, and as it happens, he will be playing here in Hermanus later this month. But after dinner last Thursday he gave us an impromptu concert. He not only played with amazing technical skill, he also played with "soul." Something that goes beyond mechanical ability, lifting the music into a different realm that reaches deep inside you.

 

Redefining Faith

Lately I have been spending a lot of time reading the book of James. Reading this small yet powerful book has challenged me to think and re-think the very nature and meaning of faith.

Meeting the Lord

It is a not unknown counterargument to the modern doctrine of the rapture to point out the precise first-century meaning of the Greek word apantesis, "meeting", in the context of 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. Even so, recent reflection on this text in light of my experience of certain African cultural practices of hospitality would seem to bolster just that scholarly counterargument.

 

Joy in the judgment

Today I've been studying Ecclesiastes 3:16-22 in preparation for an upcoming lesson.

 

Beyond innocence

I think we would all agree that Barry and Molly have two of the most adorable twin grand-daughters, Chloe and Zara. A sheer joy to the family, they were also a delight to the rest of us who had passing glimpses of their curly locks and smiling faces. That lively image has stayed with me the whole week since last Thursday when I met them for the first time and, if I may say, I think they took a fancy to my beard. But another image has also been with me, the faces of two brothers who, so it is alleged with good reason, killed and maimed so many people at the end of the Boston marathon.

Scars

The bombings that took place this week in Boston at the end of the annual marathon have shocked not only Americans but people across the world. Whatever the motivation that lies behind this terrible act of terror, nothing can justify such killing and maiming of innocent civilians. Even if the bombings are acts of revenge for what is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan since the American led invasions, they must be condemned, as must the bombings in those countries where every day is like that fateful day in Boston.

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