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Christmas and the Menin Gate

Some of you know of my interest in military history.

Currently, I am reading Paul Ham’s ‘Passchendaele; Requiem for Doomed Youth.’

I am always intrigued by the meanings that various cultures give to war, its terror and suffering. Truth be told, I am vexed by the way the Christian faith is often utilised to underpin such meanings.

In the Battle of Third Ypres fought in 1917, more commonly known as Passchendaele, the British, including the Anzacs, suffered 271,000 casualties and the Germans 217,000. The Allies gained about 5 miles of ground.

The best choir in the world is not in the Opera House

The writer of Luke’s gospel sat down about 100AD (maybe) to write his Gospel. It was about the same time after Jesus as World War II is for us. Luke wanted to explain why Jesus was different.

Jesus is born in a feedbox for animals (there is no stable – that is added in by other people later to try to soften the image). Utter degradation. He is visited by social, religious and political outcasts: shepherds.

The question is, where will Luke put God? This would be important to the story?

The first day in the office

The writer of Luke’s gospel sat down about 100AD (maybe) to write his Gospel. It was about the same time after Jesus as World War II is for us. Luke wanted to explain why Jesus was different.

Once upon a time...

‘All sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story.’

So wrote Isak Dinesen, author of Out of Africa.

For the last few months, a question has haunted me: Does love drive out fear? (I John 4:18)

It arose when our church was deluged with hate mail following the visit of Dr. Ibrahim, the Grand Mufti, in September.

It has persisted because it is hard to answer.

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