Monthly Archives: August 2022

The Call to Prophecy in words and action

21 August 2022


Jeremiah 1, 4-10

This morning’s reading is about God empowering Jeremiah, God puts the divine words in Jeremiah’s mouth.  This is known as word-event formula and although it is not found in earlier prophets it occurs 30 times in Jeremiah, 50 times in Ezekiel, and 12 times in the Deuteronomistic History.  Maurice Andrew suggests that it indicates that Jeremiah is a prophet to the nations, like the servant in Isaiah, and he is also a Deuteronomy prophet like Moses.

Jeremiah is the prophet most identified with doom, and this is supported by verse 10 where he is commissioned ‘to pluck up and pull down, to destroy and to overthrow.’

Maurice Andrew says he often thought that Jeremiah is the journalist’s favourite prophet and he recalled a TV programme where Hamish Keith spoke of ‘the Jeremiahs of journalism.  Keith was referring to predictions of the fall of the government of the time and indeed predicted the downfall of governments as journalists still do.

Dr. Andrew goes on to suggest that Jeremiah is really inclined to be a realist who can always see the potential for disaster. Continue reading The Call to Prophecy in words and action

Loving God by Loyalty to All Humanity

Vineyard Song - Out Here Hope Remains

Readings for 14 August 2022

Isaiah 5, 1-11

In this passage from Isaiah the people of Jerusalem are provoked into accepting judgement on themselves. The friend has done everything possible to cultivate a vineyard and would expect it to produce grapes.  At that point the people of Jerusalem are called to make a judgement between the friend and the vineyard.

Finally, the friend is identified as God and the vineyard is the people of Judah.  God expected justice but received bloodshed.[1]

Luke 12:49-56

Fred Craddock says that Jesus is the crisis of the world and by that he does not mean an emergency but the moment of truth and decision about life.

As an image to help the understanding of that comment he suggests a gable of a house where two raindrops strike the gable and could run off either way.  If instead of a gable, we think of a ridge in a mountain range the raindrops could indeed, end up oceans apart. To turn towards one person, goal or value means turning away from another.

According to the sayings in this reading God is acting through Jesus in a way that creates a crisis that produces difference even in families.  Peace, in the sense of status quo, is disrupted and historically this has proven to be true.


‘Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division!’ (Luke 12:49). Continue reading Loving God by Loyalty to All Humanity

‘Blessed are the peacemakers’

August 7 2022

Blessed Are the Peacemakers, for They Will Be Called Children of God" (Matt  5:9) | Bible Commentary | Theology of Work

Is there anyone who doesn’t hope for peace. I don’t know of any nation that doesn’t give at least lip service to the words inscribed on the front of the UN building in New York. ‘They shall beat their swords into ploughshares.’ Those words have sat there for over half a century, and how many of the nations that send members to sit in UN meetings have known even one decade when their people all sit under their own vines and harvest their own crops? What do they think they’re doing, all those wise men and women who debate the ways forward for the world’s countries – including their own? We might be forgiven for thinking: very little.

We might be forgiven for thinking that, but are we then shifting the responsibility onto someone else’s shoulders. Anybody’s but mine. It’s not my job to work for world peace.  Others will do that, somewhere other than the place I sit in. Just let me go on sitting quietly in my own garden and dreaming of peace, but don’t ask me to do anything about it. Is that where we’re at?  Continue reading ‘Blessed are the peacemakers’

Millennial dilemmas

31 July 2022

Here we are, in your beautiful and beautifully strengthened and renewed church. What next? How will you use your treasure?

Strangely enough, the readings chimed in with these questions. We had Paul insisting on the universality of Christ’s new kingdom, and Luke reminding us about the futility of accumulating possessions, and challenging us to find and hold our real treasures. (As one of my favourite hymns puts it: ‘The pearl of great price and the treasure of heaven’, i e the great love of God.) Continue reading Millennial dilemmas