A space for sharing thoughts.

The Wine-Maker

I have never written a biography, but I do understand that writing a biography is a bit of a craft. You have to collect all the pieces of information you can so that you can have a well-rounded and sober picture of the person the biography is about, then you must then decide on what stories to include and which ones to dispose of. And finally, what order of events to produce. It’s a tough job. Now consider that the passage above came from an ancient ‘biography’ of Jesus written by John who later said ‘Jesus did many other things ... [Continue Reading]

The Wine-Maker2022-08-03T16:05:38+01:00

Jesus of Arbour Hill

He looks worried. Maybe he should be; his complexion is grey. I am pondering him as he stands near the entrance to Dublin’s Arbour Hill cemetery, final burial place of the 1916 leaders. His arms are stretched out as if in welcome to visitors, tourists, dog walkers, little ones coming to develop their bike riding skills. His face is handsome, his expression serious. But that complexion! If he was real you’d have serious concerns for his health. But this is a statue, stuck to the same spot since 1988, the year Dublin celebrated its millennium. Why does he look handsome ... [Continue Reading]

Jesus of Arbour Hill2022-07-22T10:02:09+01:00

All the Way There and Back

Esmeralda Santiago recalls a childhood memory in “When I was Puerto Rican”: Sunday morning before breakfast Abuela handed me my piqué dress, washed and ironed. “We’re going to Mass,” she said, pulling out a small white mantilla, which I was to wear during the service. “Can we have breakfast first, Abuela. I’m hungry.” “No. We have to fast before church. Don’t ask why. It’s too complicated to explain.” I dressed and combed my hair, and she helped me pin the mantilla to the top of my head. “All the way there and back,’ she said, “you should have nothing but ... [Continue Reading]

All the Way There and Back2021-10-27T11:10:04+01:00

Soft Reset

It happens more often than I would like. Some important piece of technology goes on the blink, my phone, my e-book reader, my laptop. I try to get the best out of what I buy and also try and avoid adding to the planet’s heaps of electronic rubbish so I keep my technology for as long as I possibly can. The longer you keep it the more likely it is to malfunction. When something goes on the blink I always try the soft reset first. Soft reset means the phone, reader or laptop resets itself without wiping everything clean. It ... [Continue Reading]

Soft Reset2021-12-02T10:27:46+00:00

Waiting Under Lockdown – Romans 8

How do we wait? -- 3 Postures for our day Waiting is no one's favourite stance in the Western world, but it's where we find ourselves now, waiting for lockdown to end. So how do we wait? Turn groans into lament We all groan, it's natural, we groan grumble and sigh. Even creation groans, and we, as humans, are not separate from that. It's part of our salvation because we are saved in hope. At times "we don't know how we ought to pray", but the Spirit helps us and does so with groans. This legitimises our groans and shows us ... [Continue Reading]

Waiting Under Lockdown – Romans 82021-04-19T10:19:42+01:00

‘How can a Father give up His Son?’ — A Good Friday Poem

There he was, at his last meal with His friends, giving thanks to me. Always grateful, always attentive, the perfect Son. But the pain was on its way. He asked me to stop it, the very thought of it overwhelmed Him. Yet I couldn’t, I couldn’t answer His request, couldn’t give my boy what He wanted. I held back. Was that my will? It certainly wasn’t my desire. Not to see Him of all people in pain. And yet He accepted that, always thinking of me. When they came for Him they brought swords and other weapons. For my Jesus! ... [Continue Reading]

‘How can a Father give up His Son?’ — A Good Friday Poem2021-03-24T15:52:41+00:00

‘Reading Scripture with Fresh Eyes in 2021’

“Hi, my name is Mike and I’d like to cancel my subscription to 2021. I have been using it for the last seven days, but it is really not to my liking, and it doesn’t match the advertising. So refund please.” So goes a tweet by scholar Mike Bird as we start 2021. It’s not been a great start to the year, the goodbye to 2020 was not quite what we hoped for as we enter into lockdown number three. So we need to ask ourselves the question, again, how are we going to get through this. I didn’t realise ... [Continue Reading]

‘Reading Scripture with Fresh Eyes in 2021’2021-02-23T10:23:03+00:00

The Other Crowd

The other crowd. Do you know who I mean? Them. The ones not like us. The ones we would like to be friends with if only they would get their act together and start seeing things my way.  What do we do about the other crowd? That question can start a war, destabilise a country, spark a riot, divide a religious denomination or split a family. It has done all of those. Many times. Like dust particles in the air that are seen only in a beam of sunlight, the issue of “the other lot” is always there, whether seen ... [Continue Reading]

The Other Crowd2021-02-23T10:26:22+00:00

The Beauty of Sharing Leadership

Several years ago, while studying at Irish Bible Institute, I wrote a reflection on leadership as part of my Master’s dissertation. In it I described my belief that shared leadership can often be slow to change, absent of vision, weak in decision making and abdicate responsibility. I am now convinced that I was entirely wrong and have since come to believe exactly the opposite. As I reflect, I realise that in my twenties I was drawn to more driven and dynamic models of leadership. It was my assumption that the strong leaders were those who developed the boldest vision and ... [Continue Reading]

The Beauty of Sharing Leadership2021-02-23T10:24:09+00:00

Embrace the Difficult

First the immediate challenge of this time is that we have been significantly disturbed in recent months. For those of us who like predictability and a reasonable level of security, which is probably a huge majority of us, that causes us to classify these times as difficult. I have a number of difficulties with "difficult." Even if you leave God out of the picture there are people in Yemen, Syria and India who would tell us we have no idea what "difficult" is and who among us would look them in the eye and tell them they are wrong? And ... [Continue Reading]

Embrace the Difficult2021-02-23T10:24:23+00:00
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