God shows no partiality

15th after Pentecost, September 6 2015 Proverbs 22.1-9, 22-23;; James 2.1-17; Mark 7.24-37 Rev Páraic Réamonn, Church of Scotland Last Tuesday, Tabeetha School in Jaffa opened for the first day of the new school year. On Wednesday it closed again. Those of you who’ve been following the Israeli media more closely than most will know…

Fair play for Pharisees

14th after Pentecost, August 30 2015 Song of Songs 2.8-13; James 1.17-27; Mark 7.1-8, 14-15, 21-23 Rev Páraic Réamonn, Auditoire de Calvin, Geneva, Switzerland On Saturday 20 June, Vivien and I had our first Sabbath meal in a Jewish home. “Whenever we eat bread, we wash our hands,” said our hostess. “Come!” So we did…

Exodus church

August 21 2015 John McCulloch’s last hurrah. For now. During my time in Jerusalem I was fortunate to meet with bishops, nuns, priests, patriarchs, ministers, liberation theologians and activists from across the ecclesiological divide. The richness of our Christian traditions is on display in Jerusalem, with Russian Orthodox, Copts, Armenians, Lutherans, Anglicans, Melkites, Franciscans, Dominicans,…

Do not accept

August 12 2015 A penultimate guest post from John McCulloch The opening line of Yehuda Amichai’s poem “Do Not Accept”, solicits us to resist and question that which seems beyond our control: Do not accept these rains that come too late. Better to linger. Make your pain An image in the desert.[1] In our age…

Bread incarnate

12th after Pentecost, August 16 2015 John 6.51-58 Rev Colin Grangaard, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen. I’m Colin, and with me are my wife Jeni, and daughter Josephine – who has no doubt made her presence felt by…

Enough!

10th after Pentecost, August 2 2015 Exodus 16:2-5; John 6:24-38 Rev Loren McGrail, United Church of Christ On the fifteenth day of the second month after they had left Egypt the whole company of Israel moved to the Wilderness of Sin which is between Elim and Sinai. And they were complaining against Moses and Aaron…

A new exodus

9th after Pentecost, July 26 2015 2 Samuel 11.1-15; Psalm 14; Ephesians 3.14-21; John 6.1-21 Rev Páraic Réamonn, Church of Scotland Today the lectionary goes on holiday. This is the year of Mark, but today we start a four-week vacation from Mark and take a long excursion into John chapter 6. John tells us two…

Sheep without a shepherd

8th after Pentecost, July 19 2015 2 Samuel 7.1-14a; Psalm 89.20-37; Ephesians 2.11-22; Mark 6.30-34, 53-56 Rev Páraic Réamonn, Church of Scotland Alick Isaacs was born in Glasgow but grew up in Birmingham. At the age of 14, he was walking home one night from a Talmud class when three teenage skinheads spotted the kippah…

The cost of discipleship

7th after Pentecost, July 12 2015 2 Samuel 6.1-19; Psalm 24; Ephesians 1.3-14; Mark 6.14-29 John McCulloch, Church of Scotland The Old Testament reading in 2 Samuel 6 describes a triumphal procession. King David and thirty thousand of his men are transferring the ark of the covenant to its permanent home in Jerusalem. There is…

Tempted by violence

Another guest post from John McCulloch Last week I walked through Old Jerusalem, ending up in the Christian quarter at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The bustling narrow streets are full of merchants selling everything from halal meat to kosher food. Mountains of spices, dates, fruit, and freshly baked bread fill the air with…