a hot coal

Have you ever felt out of place?

Have you ever found yourself in some situation where you just didn’t belong?

In fact it’s a fairly common human experience – to feel out of place in this way.

If you’ve ever moved to a new town, you’ve probably felt out of place.

If you’ve ever travelled to another continent or country, you’ve probably felt out of place.

If you’ve found yourself spending time with people of a dramatically different income-bracket – well, you’ve probably felt out of place.

No doubt each one of us can of a time when we’ve felt out of place – we’ve all had that sense of discomfort and unease – of being disoriented – that goes along with being out of place. “Uh, I’m don’t think I’m supposed to be here.” Continue reading

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gospel and the gazette

The beginning of a short sermon series – this week, looking at transformation through travel…

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A few decades ago the Swiss theologian Karl Barth offered a suggestion to young seminary students and theologians, a suggestion we are going to take him up on over the next few  weeks. Barth suggested that they read with the bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other hand.

These two texts represent two worlds? There is the world of the bible, in which the ways and identity of God are opened up for us. The world of the bible, in which ancient human experiences of God are recounted. And then there is the world of the newspaper, in which our contemporary world is described, in which the opinions of our neighbours are offered, in which the preoccupations of our society come to light. Continue reading