Sunday, October 28, 2018

Visions of an Angry Prophet



I recently came across the idea of a life verse: that is, the idea that there is a Bible verse for each of us which encapsulates who we are, and guides our journey of faith. I rolled my eyes. Straightaway, two verses hit me. From Jonah: “It is indeed right for me to be angry, even unto death.” And from Psalm 139: “You knit me in my mother’s womb; I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” 

A reflection given to the BUV, 20 October 2018, and expanded for Sanctuary, 28 October 2018. Read here, or listen here.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Suffering: Who's to blame?



There is a story in the gospel according to John which begins like this: Jesus was walking along when he saw a man who had been blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Teacher, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” These days, we’re not quite so quick to blame people for being differently abled or ill. And yet when my mother, Ruth, had multiple sclerosis, I lost count of the number of people who became frustrated, even angry, with her. “But she’s such a good person!” they said, “How can she be so sick?” “But we’re praying!” they said, “Why isn’t she getting better? Is she praying, too?”

Read more here, or listen here.

Monday, October 8, 2018

A Tale of Three Donkeys


The story of Balaam and his donkey shows what big asses we can be.

Read here, or listen here.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Holy Gossip



Is all gossip bad? Or could there be a gift in gossip? Read here, or listen here.

A response to James 3:1-12 given to Sanctuary, 16 September 2018 (BP19)

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Church without Boundaries



Churches and religious organisations regularly exclude people from full participation, but following Jesus means demolishing all boundaries and seeking Christ beyond the walls of the church. Read here, or listen here.

A message for a congregation preparing to commit to the next twelve months, drawing from Mark 7:24-30. Sanctuary, 9 September 2018 (Year B Proper 18, BP18).

Sunday, September 2, 2018

You Are Not Defiled



In tonight’s reading, religious leaders criticise Jesus’ disciples for failing to wash their hands in the correct ritual way before they eat. Jesus pushes back, hard, and goes on to say that we are not defiled by what we eat and drink. Instead, it’s the things we say and do which can defile us. But what if his disciples were criticised, not for failing to keep kosher, but for failing to maintain "Biblical family values"? For a region hard-hit by clergy abuse, here's a new take on a old story ... Listen here, or read here.

A reflection on Mark 7:1-8, 14-23 given to Sanctuary on 2 September 2018 (BP17; Year B Proper 17) © Alison Sampson, 2018. Image shows Emmaus (2000) by Emmanuel Garibay, found here.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Senator Anning vs Christo-Cannibalism, and the New Community of Love



For many years, our family shared Christmas lunch with friends and strangers. We’d put the word out, and eat with whoever wanted. One year, it was huge. Friends, and friends of friends, and friends of friends of friends, all turned up at our door. Some of them I knew and loved; others, I hadn’t met before. But gradually I came to realise: almost everyone there was gay. And almost everyone came from a religious family, which had rejected them because of their sexuality ...

Read here, or listen here.

A reflection on John 6:51-58, given to Sanctuary on 19 August 2018 (BP15; Year B Proper 15) © Alison Sampson, 2018.
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