God

Sacred Cows and Holy Kisses

What on earth is a "holy kiss?" Is it a kiss on the cheek, a kiss on the lips, a sensual kiss, or a hesitant shy peck? Is it the "kiss of peace" which we share in worship each week, a hug of greeting or a handshake? Whatever its form, what makes it "holy"? In fact, what makes anything "holy" or "sacred"?

"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory." (Isaiah 6:1-5)
"Greet one another with a holy kiss." (Romans 16:12-16)

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

Joy in the judgment

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

 

Secrets and Mysteries

“For there is nothing hidden, except to be disclosed;
nor is anything secret except to come to light” (Mark 4:21-25)

Christian Unity

Over the last year I have been privileged to preside at the Eucharist at St. Peter’s Anglican Church here in Hermanus on several occasions during their interregnum. As I look back to earlier times in my ministry, it would have been unthinkable that a non-Anglican like myself would have been able to take communion in an Anglican church let alone celebrate Holy Communion with the approval of the bishop! Likewise, although we take it for granted now, sharing together as we do here at Volmoed around this altar or holy table week by week was equally unthinkable when I was first ordained.

The Unknown God

According to Matthew’s gospel, prior to his Ascension, Jesus commissioned his disciples to go and make disciples of all nations, and promised them that they would receive the strength and guidance of his Spirit in doing so. Thus the disciples became apostles – those who are sent – and soon the Christian mission began to spread across the Mediterranean world. To begin with, the target audience for the message was confined to Jews, but it was not long before Gentiles became converts. This raised several problems.

What does “God's security” look like?

(pic courtesy WCC)
As a 10-year-old schoolgirl, on 6 August 1945, at 8:15 a.m., Setsuko Thurlow, then Nakamura, suddenly saw a brilliant bluish light flash outside her schoolroom window. “I remember the sensation of floating in the air. When I regained consciousness, in the total darkness and silence, I found myself in the rubble.”

As a 10-year-old schoolgirl, on 6 August 1945, at 8:15 a.m., Setsuko Thurlow, then Nakamura, suddenly saw a brilliant bluish light flash outside her schoolroom window. “I remember the sensation of floating in the air. When I regained consciousness, in the total darkness and silence, I found myself in the rubble.”

She began to hear her classmates' faint voices: “Mom, help me. Dad, help me.”

Rethinking Sacrifice

As young children my sister and I were embarrassed by our father’s motor car. The parents of other children had modern flashy post-war models. But our father’s pride and joy was a 1936 Willys that only had three gears, a tennis ball fixed to the base of the long gear shift to prevent oil from spilling on to the floor, and made a noise when going up hill that would have rivaled any diesel powered bakkie of today! But it did have one redeeming feature -- its number plate was CA 6!

Choice Moments

Before Jesus began his ministry he was tempted by the devil during the forty days he spent in the Judean Wilderness. Jesus, Matthew tells us, faced three temptations, each of which was basically the same. He was tempted to embark on his life’s mission in a way that compromised his trust in God and undermined what he was called to do through suffering and redemptive love.

Opinion: U2 and the art of subversion

I didn’t know the word subversive when I moved to the United States. One of my friends/mentors introduced me to the word. Subversives intend to destabilize in a manner that is not a head-on collision. It is like the scattering of seed or the telling of parables, instead of planting a full grown plant one buries a seed under the ground. This seed has within itself the slow momentum of change or subversion. Sub = “from below” + vertere = “to turn”.

Written by Tom Smith

I didn’t know the word subversive when I moved to the United States. One of my friends/mentors introduced me to the word. Subversives intend to destabilize in a manner that is not a head-on collision. It is like the scattering of seed or the telling of parables, instead of planting a full grown plant one buries a seed under the ground. This seed has within itself the slow momentum of change or subversion. Sub = “from below” + vertere = “to turn”.

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