healing and health
Many people were first introduced to robots when they saw the film Star Wars, although some form of robot had been in the making for over 100 years. R2-D2 and C-3PO were the winsome characters that caught the attention of everyone who saw the film. In Star Wars these characters came from the imagination of artists; today similar characters actually exist and they are similarly convincing. For example there is a hospital that uses physical therapy robots to deliver commands to young patients who resist the instructions of the nurse. It is reported that the young patients consider the robots as their friends and are now eager to go to physical therapy to see their ‘friends’... read more
I got caught up in the Channel 4 mini series ‘Top Boy’. I know the estate in Hackney where the plot unfurls. We get glimpses of two young lads, neither of them destined to be ‘top boy’ in the drug dealers’ world. One of the lads has a drawn ‘peeked’ face that speaks of poverty. He lives for his staffie, whom one day he finds ‘strung up’ by those aspiring to be ‘top boy’ because he failed to deliver on one of his tasks... read more
Richmond’s Hope and Faith in Community Scotland recently hosted a Child Bereavement Conference at Cranhill Development Trust. Held on 1st October 2014 the conference offered an opportunity to find out more about the work of Richmond’s Hope with the view to the possibility of partnership working to start up a local bereavement service in Glasgow. Richmond’s Hope received funding to work in partnership with Faith in Community Scotland to support the development of child bereavement services in Glasgow and the surrounding area... read more
A few years ago I was working with a class and its teacher preparing an Easter drama for the upcoming assembly. Great care had been taken to identify pupils for each speaking part. The time came to have a practice in the church. Things seemed to be going well. Then Chris, a restless energetic boy, suddenly piped up, ‘We need someone to be Jesus!’
He had in fact correctly spotted a gap in the casting... read more
It’s an amazing story – an itinerant peasant wanders the pathways of Galilee, proposing a new way of living (the Kingdom of God) to those he encounters. But this becomes such a threat to the rulers of the land that they execute him and the hopes of his followers come to naught.
Yet, they couldn’t forget him. His contemporaries told the stories of his compelling life and teachings so passionately that they were passed on from generation to generation. The stories spread and more people became followers of a now evolving movement. People heard and retold the stories according to their own needs, interests and insights. In a quite remarkable way they absorbed these stories not in an objective way as history but in a contemporary way that helped define who they were. Jesus became part of their lives. Metaphorically, you might say he lived on in their hearts... read more
Last week I broke my watch. It was a cheap replacement to my good watch that I managed to drop and break a few months ago. Breaking watches is not something I normally do. I began to think on it, as you do.
I like wearing a watch – to check the time – to make sure I am “on time.” I don’t like to be late.
As I read through the lectionary texts for this week I was thinking about time and so it seemed that time was reflected back through these readings... read more
I’m devoted to Bible study, an interest that comes from my parents who, while I was growing up, spent time every day reading and discussing the Scripture. It seemed as if they knew more about the first century than they did the twentieth in which they lived. Perhaps that is not such a good thing. Would it not be better in Bible study to use half of the time discussing what is the meaning of this Biblical passage for our life today?.. read more
This last week I have been afflicted by some sort of infection which has caused me to feel as if I’ve been going for it non-stop in the gym – every muscle aches and is painful, and a sore throat to boot. Ibuprofen and Amoxicillin seems to have helped and it seems to be on its way out now – thank God. It has made me reflect on the pain that some people live with everyday – chronic pain that does not go away and that pain killers do not touch. 34% of my parish have a long term limiting illness, and over 15% are on prescribed medication for anxiety and depression. A good friend of ours will go under the surgeon’s knife today to remove a brain tumor. And the sun is shining, the garden is growing, the bluebells are still out and life is making itself felt. I struggle with the concept of original sin for humans, even more so that creation has gone awry since the Fall. Yet I must admit when faced with such huge indications that all is not well in our world, with what seems to be the demonic power of addictions, original sin has its value, for we do seem to be imprisoned... read more
So the destruction of the Red Road flats is not to feature in the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. I’m glad. It’s not only the arguments about folks’ lives and memories that made the idea crass and insensitive for me, but that it seemed to draw attention to the failure of regeneration policy in general. Authorities are very good at knocking down, but not so good at reimagining a place with the people who live there in mind.
I wonder if we are really getting the most out of the season of Lent, or are we missing an important dimension of the season. Are we really paying attention to the controversy that God has with his people (The Lord has a controversy with his people and he will contend with Israel. Micah 6: 2b). Do we, with confidence, look too soon at the resurrection like a child who peeks during hide and seek and thus we by-pass the importance of the Lenten season? It is important to learn that Jesus was an anathema to many in Israel... read more