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The first shall be last and the last shall be first

The first will be last and the last will be first.
In our Gospel reading today, the landowner hires some labourers and then pays those who have only been around for about an hour the same total wage as those who had been working all day.
Do you consider that fair?Let’s do a show of hands.Who thinks that is fair payment for the workers?Who thinks that this this is totally unfair and should be challenged?
It is easy to sit back and say yes but God’s ways are different from our ways, so just get over it.Well, the trouble with that is that we don’t learn anything and there is a real risk that we just harbour a slowly growing sense that God is a harsh taskmaster who just does what he wants, because we are just the paid hands after all.I think that is a shame because we then get a warped image of what God is wanting for us from the relationship, and it doesn’t tie with other areas of scripture where God seems to be saying he wants to embrace us in an intimacy that is to a lot of people frighte…

Putting God first, what does it mean?

Romans 8:1-11
Does anyone else find the letter to Romans a bit difficult to get to grips with?I remember having to do my very first exegesis on a verse in Romans as part of my training and I got it totally wrong.From these things one can learn. – Hopefully, anyway.I will let you judge for yourselves.
The first thing for me in looking at scripture readings for services is never to look in isolation at the reading, because for the simple reason is that it is attached to chapters either side and forms an important part of the whole.If you were reading a letter, or lets say an email from a friend or colleague, would you take a sentence out of the email and seek meaning from that without looking at the rest of the message.What if there was a sentence that said, “Leave immediately”.What could that mean.It may make more sense of course if you took it in context if the email said, “Make sure that in the event of fire.” What if you took just the words, taking them out of context so that you just …

Who is Your God?

Who is your God?
Who is your God?.
We live in a world that has seemingly lost its sense of balance and rhythm.Cities are awake for 24 hours a day.The internet never stops.Media companies vie with each other to bombard us with news, alternative news and fake news, controlling how we think, what we like or dislike, and how we are likely to vote.Perhaps something to bear in mind as we prepare for another General Election on 8th June
I don’t know about you, but I find the internet to be a sometimes very challenging experience.Hugely useful on the one hand – keeping up to date with the latest evidence in the world of medicine, physiotherapy and drugs would be much, much harder without access to Pubmed, Medline and things like secure emails.I can check all the NICE guidelines at the click of a mouse, not that I would really want to look at ALL of them.
On the other side of the coin, it can also be extremely addictive.How many people have used their computer or phone to look up something only to…

Trust in God, Trust also in me

Do not let your hearts be troubled, believe in God, believe also in me (NRSV) John 14:1, that’s is how today’s reading starts.
This is a tough reading to get to grips with, it’s often a reading that is read at funerals, as I guess it seems to offer comfort to people that Jesus is saying that he has prepared a place for us.However it contains much more than comfort, and is as powerful for the now as it is for comforting for the future.I think to fully understand what is happening here one needs to look at what has happening.Chapter 14 is part of the four chapters long farewell discourse by Jesus at the last supper.For John the last supper is a key event in Jesus’ life, otherwise why would we get as much as four chapters.
So, we are at the last supper; Jesus has just washed everyone’s feet, showing them that they were to emulate a style of leadership and living that was at odds with the world around them.Indeed, Jesus’ actions and message echoes that given in Matthew Ch 20 when after Jame…