Sitting in the judgment gate

July 6 2015 A third guest post by John McCulloch Last week I walked up the via dolorosa and to get away from the bustle of the Old City entered the Alexander Nevsky Church. This church is less frequented by flocks of tourists than the neighbouring Church of the Holy Sepulchre. To keep it a…

An undomesticated God

6th after Pentecost, July 5 2015 2 Samuel 5.1-10; Psalm 48; 2 Corinthians 12.2-10; Mark 6.1-13 Rev Páraic Réamonn, Church of Scotland Tout commence en mystique et finit en politique. The French writer Charles Péguy wrote these words a century ago: Everything begins in mysticism and ends in politics – a movement he saw as…

Come and take a walk with me

June 30 2015 Emma Pritchard was an Ecumenical Accompanier serving with Group 56 in the West Bank. She wrote this song based on her own experiences and those of her team, and she sang it as a solo in the handover service in St Andrew’s Scots Memorial Church on Monday, June 15. Come and Take…

Restoring God’s world

June 23 2015 A second guest post by John McCulloch In 1953, the French writer Jean Giono published a short novel entitled The Man Who Planted Trees. It tells of a shepherd called Elzéard Bouffier and his efforts to re-forest a desolate valley in the foothills of the French Alps. The story is narrated by…

Breaking the idols

4th after Pentecost, June 21 2015 1 Samuel 17.38-49; Psalm 9.9-20; 2 Corinthians 6.1-13; Mark 4.35-41 Rev Páraic Réamonn, Church of Scotland When Timothy Radcliffe was a grubby schoolboy, he was given Little Arthur’s History of England. It mainly told how the English went around killing lots of other people. I suppose Little Macbeth’s History…

Not of this world

3rd after Pentecost, June 14 2015 1 Samuel 15.34-16.13; Psalm 20; 2 Corinthians 5.6-17; Mark 4.26-34 John McCulloch, Church of Scotland You may be pleased to know that I am not usually in the habit of quoting Napoleon… especially from the pulpit…. However, when he was exiled after he had lost the battle of Waterloo,…

Praying at the wall

June 8 2015 It’s a cry familiar to every teacher: “Please miss, it isn’t me, it’s him.” (Or, of course, “sir”.) Well, this one is him. It’s a guest post by John McCulloch, who is currently doing a six-week summer placement in St Andrew’s Scots Memorial Church, Jerusalem. John is about to enter his third…

That was then, this is now

2nd after Pentecost, June 7 2015 1 Samuel 8.4-20; Psalm 138.1-8; 2 Corinthians 4.13-5.1; Mark 3.20-35 Rev Páraic Réamonn, Church of Scotland “What time is it?” This is one of the questions the Anglican New Testament scholar Tom Wright says we need to ask. “What time is it?” On the second Sunday after Pentecost, the…

Strange math: Three-in-one and one-in-three

Trinity, May 31 2015 Isaiah 6.1-8; Psalm 29.1-11; Romans 8.12-17: John 3.1-17 Rev Páraic Réamonn, Church of Scotland “The God of Abraham praise,” we sang in our opening hymn. “Hail, Father, Son and Holy Ghost… Hail Abraham’s God and mine.” For us as Christians it’s very natural to assume that Abraham’s God is our God,…