Wednesday, May 10, 2023

‘King of kings’

On Saturday 6 May millions of us watched on TV as His Majesty King Charles III was crowned in Westminster Abbey. The Coronation Service was rich in ceremony and symbolism. The Archbishop of Canterbury anointed the king with oil and placed St Edward’s crown upon his head. The newly crowned King Charles III was given the ceremonial Orb and Sceptre, tokens of his royal power.  
Much of the symbolism associated with the Coronation was drawn from the Christian faith. The anointing recalls that kings in the Old Testament period were anointed with oil to symbolise that they were empowered for their role by the Spirit of the Lord. The Hebrew word ‘Messiah’ means ‘Anointed One’. The Greek equivalent is ‘Christ’.  St Edward’s crown, the Orb and Sceptre all feature crosses as a reminder that earthly rulers are subject to a greater King, Jesus.  
As the firstborn son of  Queen Elizabeth II, Charles was born to be King, although he only assumed that title on his mother’s death. Similarly, Jesus was born to rule. The angel of the Lord told Mary, Jesus’ mother, that her Son would sit upon the throne of his royal ancestor, David. When Jesus was born wise men from the East sought out the infant King of the Jews and brought him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Yet when the Lord Jesus Christ was crowned on earth it was not with a jewel encrusted crown of gold, but with a crown of thorns in preparation for his crucifixion. ‘Behold your King!’ said Pontius Pilate of Jesus, the man he had condemned to die. Jesus could have used the power by which he calmed the waves and healed the sick to avoid the suffering and shame of the cross, but he did not. Jesus came to die in the place of sinners that we may be forgiven and be reconciled to God. His lifeless body was taken from the cross and laid in a borrowed tomb, which is where it remained until Easter Sunday morning when God raised his Son from the dead.
Forty days later Jesus ascended to heaven to assume his place at the right hand of God the Father. That was his Coronation Day, when Jesus was crowned King of kings and Lord of lords. He is exalted far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. King Jesus offers his royal pardon to all who will come in faith and bow the knee before his throne.

*For May edition of various local parish mags

Wednesday, April 05, 2023

‘The Son of Man must suffer’

The Cross stands at the heart of the Christian faith. Yes, believers sit at the feet of Jesus the Teacher, captivated by his compelling vision of the righteous life in the Sermon on the Mount. They marvel at the miracles the Bible reports he performed; making the blind see, the deaf hear, and the lame walk. But the Gospel accounts never let us forget for a moment that the Man who preached the Sermon on the Mount and made broken human beings whole was heading for the death of the Cross. Jesus knew it, which was why he repeatedly told his followers, 'the Son of Man must suffer... and be killed'.

What lies behind that 'must'? Was Jesus' death by crucifixion the outworking of the unstoppable forces of history? When Boris Johnson resigned as Prime Minister he acknowledged he was powerless to resist calls in the Conservative Party that he should be removed from Number 10, ‘When the herd moves, it moves', he reflected. In Jesus' case, the Jewish religious establishment wanted him out of the way. They feared unless Jesus was stopped they would lose their power. They manipulated Pontius Pilate by forcing him choose between loyalty to Caesar and condemning Jesus to death. Inevitably, Pilate sent Jesus to the Cross rather than risk upsetting the Emperor. But there is more to Jesus' 'must' than that.

Perhaps the 'must' can be attributed to the blind forces of fate that are said to determine who wins the Lottery and who gets run over by a bus? But Jesus wasn't being fatalistic when he spoke of his impending death, going to the Cross resigned to 'whatever will be will be'. No, the 'must' that compelled Jesus towards Calvary was his sense that it was his God-given mission to suffer and be killed. Why? The Bible's answers that quite simply, 'Christ died for our sins'. In other words, the 'must' of which Jesus spoke was the fulfilment of God's rescue plan for the world, 'God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’ Now all who believe in Jesus are forgiven and put right with God.

Not only Jesus’ death, but also his resurrection was covered by the divine ‘must’, ‘the Son of Man must suffer... and be killed, and after three days rise again’. It was not possible for death to maintain its iron grip on the Prince of Life.

Easter services at Providence & Ebenezer

Providence Baptist Church
Good Friday 10.30am
Easter Sunday 10.30am & 6.00pm

Ebenezer Baptist Church
Easter Sunday 4.30pm

* For April edition of various parish magazines 

Monday, April 03, 2023

The Pastor as Counselor: The Call for Soul Care by David Powlison

Crossway, 2021, 76pp
In this little work, David Powlison underlines the uniqueness of pastoral counselling. All pastors are counsellors, but their counselling ministry is distinct from others who offer a ‘talking cure’ to distressed individuals. Pastoral counselling is about soul care, that ‘art of arts’ that aims at helping form people into mature and fruitful followers of Jesus. Pastors are not to maintain a professional distance from those they seek to counsel. Pastoral counselling is part and parcel of the minister’s close relationship with members of the flock he is called to serve.
The pastor’s counselling may take place in snatched conversations at the fringes of church life, where he asks people how they are doing and seeks to encourage them in the Lord. When bereavement, family breakdown or other forms of suffering strike, the counselling will be more intensive. Similarly, when a pastor gives support to a believer who is engaged in a massive struggle with temptation and sin.
In all these things the pastor offers counsel not as an expert with all the answers, but as a fellow-sufferer and fellow-sinner. The work is to be carried out in God-dependent prayer, as the minister endeavours to apply the teaching of Scripture to the troubled soul. Personal counselling is not an alternative to public preaching. It is an extension of the pastor’s calling as a minister of the word of God in the service of the people of God. 

*Reviewed for the Banner of Truth Magazine 

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Natural Theology by Geerhardus Vos

Reformation Heritage Books, 2022, 106pp
Gerhardus Vos will be know to readers of this blog for his famous work, Biblical Theology, published by the Banner of Truth Trust. Vos served as Professor of Biblical Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary from 1892 until his retirement in 1932. His main interest during that period was in tracing the redemptive-historical flow of the Bible’s big story. Prior to that he taught at the Theological School at Grand Rapids, where among other things Vos lectured on dogmatics and natural theology.
It is commonplace to say that God has two books in which he has revealed himself; the ‘Book of Nature’ and the ‘Book of Scripture’. The task of natural theology is trace what can be seen of God’s self-revelation in the created order. In a useful introduction to the work under review John V. Fesko places Vos’s contribution to the field of natural theology in the context of Reformed thought. John Calvin and his fellow Reformers drew on the teaching of earlier theologians to emphasise that while God reveals his existence to all in nature (Romans 1:19-20), natural revelation cannot give saving knowledge to sinners. Fesko argues of Cornelius Van Til’s negative attitude towards natural theology was a departure from the mainstream Reformed teaching as represented by Vos.
The main body of the work is drawn from notes made on Vos’s lectures on natural theology by his students at Grand Rapids. His lectures would follow and question and answer format. This is retained in the text. But what may have been an effective means of communication in the lecture hall does not work quite so well on the printed page. The Q&A approach makes it more difficult for the reader to follow the overall drift of Vos’s argument and a sense of momentum is lost.
That said, there are good things here. Vos gives attention to the meaning of natural theology. He discusses the strengths and weaknesses of arguments for the existence of God. The Professor interacts with older and more modern objections to arguments for God’s existence, many of which are still doing the rounds today.
*Reviewed for the Banner of Truth Magazine, 

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Pure Church: Recovering God's plan for local churches

Edited by: David Skull, Andrew King & Jim Sayers
Grace Publications, 2022, 283pp

I've been using this book as a tool for discussing church membership with someone who is not from a Baptist background. Meeting up to discuss a chapter or two at a time has helped to clarify the biblical teaching on the church that we seek to put into practice as a fellowship. The aim of this work is to sketch out a biblical vision of church life from a Grace Baptist perspective. The premise here is that God has a plan for how local churches should function and that he has revealed that plan in Holy Scripture. Of course, there are true gospel churches other than of the Grace Baptist variety. That is acknowledged in the first chapter, on The Visible Church. The visible church is the manifestation on earth of the universal church of Jesus Christ to which all genuine believers belong, irrespective of the denominational label. But the visible church is only made manifest when a local congregation holds to and holds forth the message of the gospel. 

That is the place to start when it comes to the biblical doctrine of the church. Not in finding snazzy new ways of 'doing church for the 21st century', but by having a sound grasp of the gospel of salvation that calls the church into being. These are the truths of 'first importance' defined by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 and helpfully outlined by Jim Sayers in the first chapter. Issues such as church membership and the proper subjects of baptism are second order doctrines. They may not be essential for salvation, but they are certainly not unimportant when it comes to recovering a biblical understanding of church life. 

Evangelicals have sometimes justified serving in theologically mixed denominations on the grounds that having unconverted members in the churches makes them a 'good pool to fish from'. Convinced Baptists believe that according to the New Testament local churches are gatherings of converted and baptised people where the Lord's Supper is celebrated. These matters are helpfully discussed in chapters two to five, on Conversion, Baptism, Membership and The Lord's Supper. 

On the Day of Pentecost Peter urged his hearers, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:38). Luke then tells us, "So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls." (Acts 2:41). That repentant and baptised people were added to the Jerusalem church strongly suggests a properly defined church membership made up of converted individuals. We should also bear in mind that it was possible for someone to be removed from the membership of a local church should they stray into serious error, or fall into open sin. The fact that they could be put out implies that they were formally received into the church in the first place. 

We live in highly individualistic times in which the consumer is king or queen. That may be well and good when it comes to choosing our favourite breakfast cereal, but such an attitude can be disastrous when it comes to following Jesus. The Lord has not simply saved a bunch of random individuals. He is gathering people together into his body, the church. If we may continue with Luke's description of the rapidly congregation at Jerusalem, "And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers." (Acts 2:42). Discipleship and discipline are two sides of the same coin when it comes to how local churches seek to form converts into fruitful followers of Jesus. See chapters six and seven. 

Discipleship is an essential element of the Great Commission, Matthew 28:19-20. It involves both formal teaching by pastors and teachers in the church and also members caring for each other and encouraging one another in the life of faith. Church discipline acts as a corrective when church members stray. Its purpose is to safeguard the purity of the church and to restore the straying member to faithful Christian discipleship. The Lord Jesus has given his local churches the keys of the kingdom that they may admit to their number those who have made a credible profession of faith and remove from their number those whose credibility as believers is in doubt. Attention is drawn to Matthew 18:15-20 and 1 Corinthians 5. 

Chapters eight and nine deal with the Independent governance of the church and church leadership. Baptists believe that each local church is independent under the lordship of Christ and subject to the authority of Scripture. The church members' meeting is the key decision making body of the church. Leaders are appointed by church members and may be removed by them if necessary. The biblical pattern for church leadership is one of a team of elders who share in the oversight of the flock, one or more of whom may be called to 'labour in the word and teaching' (1 Timothy 5:17) on a full time basis. The qualities required of overseers are detailed in 1 Timothy 3:1-7. Deacons are appointed to meet the practical needs of the church in line with Acts 6:1-7 and 1 Timothy 3:8-13.  

For all the right and proper emphasis on the importance of local churches comprised of baptised believers, the value of inter-church fellowship is also underlined in the final chapter on Gospel Unity. Churches with a shared confession of faith such as the Second London Baptist Confession, 1689 may wish to form formal associations. Confessional Grace Baptist Churches can enjoy fellowship with churches from other Evangelical and Reformed groupings. This may involve meeting together for times of ministry and prayer, or supporting shared activities like youth work. 

Despite the title, the writers of Pure Church do not claim that Grace Baptist Churches have reached a state of ecclesiological perfection and purity. Far from it. But they do hold that it is for the good of individual believers and churches when God's plan for the local church is followed. The various authors of this book have strongly Reformed Baptist convictions, but they do not lapse into sectarian polemic against those who belong to other church groupings. The stance taken is sometimes more 'Strict Baptist' on church membership and the Lord's Supper than all Grace Baptists would be willing to countenance. Surprisingly perhaps, the teaching of the Second London Baptist Confession on matters covered here isn't cited by the authors, which is something of an omission. That said, the work offers a lively and compelling vision of church life such as may be discovered in the pages of the New Testament. 

Monday, March 27, 2023

Cultural Christianity


Several years ago we spent our summer holidays in Carmarthen, West Wales. Disaster struck. I ran out of books to read. But ever the intrepid traveller I endeavoured to remedy the situation by popping into a local bookshop. Browsing the history section, a book with an orange and gold cover caught my eye. It was Rubicon by Tom Holland, who was originally from Salisbury. The book told the story of the rise of Julius Caesar. It was a bloodthirsty tale of ambitious men jostling to become top dog in Rome.

Caesar made a name for himself when leading the campaign to subdue Gaul. It is said that in pursuit of that goal he slaughtered a million Gauls and enslaved a million more. Today we would call him a war criminal and demand he be tried for his atrocities at the Hague. But the people of Rome hailed Caesar as a hero. The glittering prize of being appointed ‘dictator for life’ was bestowed upon him in 49 BC. Although his life was cut short when Caesar was assassinated on the Ides of March in 44 BC. (This is discussed on The Rest is History podcast with Tom Holland and Dominic Sandbrook, 13 February 2023). 

At first Holland admired the heroes of ancient Greece and Rome, but the more he immersed himself in that world, the more he was disturbed by their casual cruelty. The author realised that he was viewing the actions of the likes of Julius Caesar from the perspective of a culture that was deeply steeped in the Christian faith. Christianity teaches that all people are made in the image of God and are therefore worthy of dignity and respect (even Gauls!). That was the basis of modern day human rights. Jesus said, ‘blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth’. Caesar wouldn’t have agreed with that. But today we champion the underdog and demand that the poor receive the help they need.

Tom Holland doesn’t claim to be a personal follower of the Lord Jesus, but he does recognise that some of our most cherished values derive from the Christian faith. His book Dominion: The Making of the Western Mind shows how the faith has shaped our culture. But it is one thing to admire ‘Christian values’ and another to actually be a Christian

The Christian believes that Jesus is the Son of God who died upon the cross for our sins and rose again from the dead. Jesus promises those who believe in him a place in his everlasting kingdom. Cultural Christianity may admire the faith for its benefits, often picking and choosing the bits it likes, while rejecting the rest. But the kingdom of heaven is not to be selectively admired from outside, but entered as a person is transformed on the inside. As Jesus said, "Unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

* For the March edition of various local parish magazines 

Monday, February 06, 2023


It comes to us all. The children have flown the roost. You go to the cinema to see a superhero blockbuster. Batman, Superman, or some other character in a cape does battle with a baddie who threatens to destroy the world . Skyscrapers crumble around them and taxis fly through the air. It’s loud and visually stunning. Yet without the teenagers in tow it dawns on you that you’re not really enjoying this stuff anymore. And anything in 3D just gives you a headache. Reached that stage yet? I have.

My favourite film of 2022 was probably Living, staring Bill Nighy as an ageing civil servant, Mr. Williams. The actor has received an Oscar nomination for the role. His character’s life is stuck on hold in a bureaucratic machine. County Hall where he works  seems to operate with the sole purpose of stopping anything happening that would improve the lot of 1950’s Londoners. No capes are donned. No skyscrapers crumble, but the movie packs a powerful punch. Mr. Williams receives the devastating news that he is terminally ill. His first response is to try and live it up a bit with a trip to the seaside. But escapism fails to satisfy his desire to live out his days well, rather than just existing for the drudgery of the office.  

Although what does it for Mr Williams is returning to work. He unites his team in a project that will actually do something for the ordinary people of London, a city that has not yet been rebuilt following the Blitz. The message of the film is that we find purpose in life by doing things that make a difference for others. The final scenes are almost unbearably poignant.

Jesus said, ‘I have come that they might have life, and have it abundantly’. That’s why he died for his people on the cross and rose from the dead. But Jesus’ vision of abundant life isn’t an endless round of parties, glitz and glamour. He called upon his followers to love their neighbour as themselves, to care for the sick and feed the poor. Life to the full is for those who believe in the Lord Jesus, die to self and give their lives in the service of others. That’s living alright.  

* For the February 2023 edition of various local magazines 

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Deity & Decree, by Samuel D. Renihan

 Published in the UK by Broken Warfe, 2021, 134pp.

Evangelicals rightly demand theological precision and accuracy when it comes to the doctrine of Scripture, or justification by faith alone. Any drift from biblical inerrancy is detected and rejected in short order. Similarly when it comes to including works in justification. 'By faith alone, by grace alone', we insist. The same theological care isn't necessarily displayed when attention turns to the doctrine of God. Some contemporary Evangelical theologians suggest that belief in divine impassibility makes seem God cold and remote. Others have argued that the Son stands in a eternal relationship of submission and authority to the Father. 

Part of the problem is that Evangelicalism contents itself with brief statements of belief, as opposed to elaborate confessions of faith. Compare the Doctrinal Basis of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches with the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith, 1689. Point 1 of the FIEC Doctrinal Basis has a 54 word statement on 'God'. What it says is perfectly fine and good. But by way of contrast, the 2LBCF Chapter 2 devotes three paragraphs totalling 408 words to 'Of God and the Trinity'. The older confession self-consciously echoes the creedal heritage of the church and gives expression to what is sometimes called the 'classic doctrine of God', 'The Lord our God is a... most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions'. Renihan wants to recover the older emphasis of the confession. 

If the doctrine of God is 'first theology' and of primary importance, we need to ensure that what we say of God is biblically accurate and informed by the theological reflection of the past. That is where Deity & Decree comes in. With impressive clarity and brevity Renihan gives attention to God's Unity, Triunity and Decree. 

God's Unity: God is self existent, with life in himself. He is uncaused cause of all things. God's attributes such as his omnipotence, holiness and love are not the bits of which his being is composed. God is simple, having no component parts. All that is in God is essential to God, because all that is in God is God. That is why he cannot change. An unchanging God is not susceptible to suffering. There is nothing within the being of the ever blessed God that could cause him to suffer. Suffering cannot be imposed upon him from without, as that would give the created order an advantage over him, compromising his omnipotence and immutability. The impassible God is not cold, or remote, however, for God is love, full of self-generated compassion and mercy towards lost sinners. The move towards attributing suffering to God's being risks compromising the uniqueness of the incarnation of the Son of God. In Christ as man God did what is impossible for him to do as God namely, to suffer and die for sinners. 

God's Trinity: The Bible reveals that in the one God there are three persons, or subsistences: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. All three persons are equally and fully God, yet the Three are not interchangeable. The Father is unbegotten, the Son is eternally begotten of the Father, and the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. It is these personal properties alone that distinguish the persons. We may not ascribe an attribute such as authority to the Father and submission to the Son in terms of their eternal relations. The Son has the same power and authority as the Father because he is of the same essence as the Father. But there is an order in the Trinity and the missions of the three persons in the world of time reflect the eternal relations. The Father sent the Son into the world at his incarnation. The Father and Son poured out the Holy Spirit upon the church on the Day of Pentecost. Getting the Trinity right isn't theological hair splitting. As the Second London Baptist Confession states, "which doctrine of the Trinity is the foundation of all our communion with God, and comfortable dependence on Him." (2:3). 

God's Decree:  The decree is a simple, eternal and sovereign act of God's being. The Almighty's unchangeable decree, however, does not reduce creatures to the status of puppets in his hands. As the confession makes clear, "nor is violence offered to the will of the creature, nor yet is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established; in which appears His wisdom in disposing all things, and power and faithfulness in accomplishing His decree." (3:1). The decree does not make God the author sin, which he willingly permits for his own ends. Neither does it  deprive human beings of  responsibility to God for their actions. God decreed the salvation of his people not because of anything in them, but because of his own free grace given them in Christ before the foundation of the world. Those not elected to salvation are passed by according to God's decree. The cause of the damnation of the wicked is not the divine will per se, but their own sin, which rightly deserves eternal punishment. 

In line with the Reformed Catholic tradition Renihan insists that God's decree is the expression of his will which is a property of the divine being, not the persons of the Trinity. This cuts across the idea proposed by some contemporary Evangelicals that the Son's will was eternally subordinate to that of the Father. The divine will is common to all three persons of the Trinity in the being of God. The Son, as well as the Father and the Holy Spirit was therefore party to the decree of salvation. The Son's submission to the Father in the economy of redemption cannot be read back into the eternal relations of the Trinity. 

Renihan handles the biblical materials underlying God's Unity, Trinity and Decree with insight and care. His treatment of these topics is enriched by the Great Tradition of Christian thought, especially writers of the Reformation and Puritan periods. The author's prose is limpid and precise, yet his tone  tone is meditative and devotional. A fine work of 'first theology' that demands a response of joyful doxology of the reader:
Glory be to God the Father. Glory be to God the Son. Glory be to God the Holy Spirit. 
Glory be to the only, living, true, and triune God.

Monday, December 12, 2022

‘Glory to the New-born King'

So says the chorus of a favourite carol, Hark! the Herald Angels Sing. But why should glory be ascribed to the new-born Jesus? After all, he would have looked much like every other baby. Cute, yes, but worthy of the angels’ praise? I know artists often portray the infant in the manger as if he glowed in the dark with heavenly splendour, but that has no basis in fact. If anything, the Bible stresses how ordinary looking was Jesus. He ‘took the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men’ wrote the apostle Paul. As with any other baby, Jesus was weak and totally helpless, ‘tears and smiles like us he knew’.

Yet Christians believe that he who as an infant was cradled in his mother Mary’s arms, was also the eternal Word of God who upheld the universe by his divine power. He is fully God, the Father’s only Son as well as fully human. That is why angels worshipped the new-born King. They recognised him as their Maker made flesh. Another reason for worship is what Jesus was sent into the world to do. As the angel of the Lord explained to startled shepherds keeping watch over their flock by night, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.’

God became man in Jesus because we needed a Saviour. That tells us something about the human condition. The Bible tells us, ‘all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God’. We are incapable of saving ourselves from sin, otherwise God would have left us to get on with it. Jesus came to live a life of perfect obedience to God on our behalf. He then laid down his life as a sacrifice for sin. His death was sufficient to rescue the world from sin. That’s because it was the Son of God in human form who suffered in our place at the cross.

Jesus is the King of love. He was born in the royal city of David. He was crucified as ‘King of the Jews’ to win us a place in God’s eternal kingdom. He rose from the dead and was exalted to the right hand of the Father, where he reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords. He is able to save completely those who put their trust in him.  Will you join the angels in singing, ‘glory to the new-born King!’?

Christmas Services at Providence & Ebenezer

* For the Christmas/New Year editions of several parish magazines 

Wednesday, November 02, 2022

History on Fast Forward

I’m old enough to remember life before music could be downloaded or streamed. I can even remember when CDs were a novelty, rather than old hat. Apart from a few cassettes most of my teenage music purchases were on vinyl and had to be played on a record player. Records had two sizes and speeds. Albums had to be played on 33rpm, singles on 45rpm. If you forgot to flip the switch from 45rpm when listening to an album it would play at high speed and at a higher pitch than was intended. You could produce the same effect by pressing the ‘play’ and ‘fast forward’ buttons at the same time on a cassette player. That was our idea of fun in the 1970’s and 80s. We didn’t have TikTok and stuff back then.

Right now it seems like the album of history is being played at 45rpm. It’s a pain if you have to submit a monthly article like this one, which sometimes includes comment on current affairs. As I write this just before the deadline, Kwasi Kwarteng has been sacked as Chancellor and Jeremy Hunt has been appointed in his place. Prime Minister Liz Truss has vowed to carry on, but who knows who’ll be PM by the time you read this in November? In September Boris Johnson stood down, Liz Truss took over and then the Queen died. Now we’re all having to get used to singing, ‘God save our gracious King’. It’s all happening too fast.

It’s much better when history proceeds at a glacial pace and nothing much seems to be going on. But time is hurtling by at a dizzying speed. The key thing is to have the wisdom to know what do to with the brief span allotted to us. We live in a day of great gospel opportunity. God has sent his Son the Lord Jesus to die for our sins and rise again from the dead. Jesus now calls us to put our faith in him that we may be forgiven and have the hope of eternal life. History seems to be stuck on fast forward. In the words of the old hymn, ‘swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day’. So, hurry up and wait for what’s worth waiting for. Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near.

*For November edition of various parish mags