a glutton and a drunkard #jesus

Over the past number of days, the Prime Minister of Turkey has faced something of a crisis. A protest that began in Istanbul over plans to demolish a city park, has developed into a more widespread protest against his authoritarian tendencies. There is concern among some in that secular country that Prime Minister Erdogan wants to turn Turkey into a religious, Islamic state.

And one of the things that has secularists in Turkey up in arms is a law recently passed that puts significant restrictions on the advertising and sale of alcohol. Many in Istanbul have protested, or expressed their opposition to these restrictions on alcohol. Within much of Islam, of course, alcohol is forbidden – but alcohol sales are legal in Turkey and there are many restaurants and bars serving alcohol in Istanbul.

In the face of these protests, and in the face of this opposition, the Prime Minister has waged a rhetorical war. Appealing to religious and political conservatives, Erdogan recently said that anyone who drinks alcohol is an alcoholic. As far as he’s concerned – or at least as far as his rhetoric is concerned – there’s no such thing as a moderate or acceptable level of alcohol consumption – if you drink any alcohol at all, you will necessarily drink too much alcohol. Continue reading

Celebrating Communion

Today is a day of paradox – a day of tension.

 

And the tension of this day comes from the fact that the church calendar lets us choose between two different themes or liturgies for today.

            Is it to be the Liturgy of the Passion?  Do we focus on the suffering of Jesus?

            Or, is it to be the Liturgy of the Palms? Do we focus on the triumphal entry?

 

If you look at the purple insert that we read together at the beginning of worship today you see at the top it says Palm – slash- Passion Sunday. So we have to ask: Which is it to be? What do we mark today? To what part of Jesus’ story do we turn our gaze?

 

Passion or Palm?

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