A Spirituality blog from our Community

Archive for January, 2012

Thought for the Week 30/01/2012

From Chris Wakelin, Chaplaincy Treasurer:

This week’s Old Testament reading (Deuteronomy 18:15-20) reminds us of the dangers of being false prophets, perhaps allowing our own prejudices to affect how we represent God. At the same time it promises the people of Israel that there will come somebody who is able to speak authentically for God.

In the Gospel reading (Mark 1:21-8), Jesus does just that and we are told that the people were amazed by his teaching them “with authority” unlike the scribes. Later in the Gospels he criticises the scribes and the Pharisees for being certain of their own righteousness and of the sin of those who behaved differently to them.

I’ve always been rather suspicious of Christians (and others) who claim they “know” rather than “think” something to be true. This is especially so when opinion is sharply divided, as in the Creationist/Darwinian debate in the US or the ordination of women in the Anglican church. To me it is axiomatic that God never overides our freedom of choice – he doesn’t force us to be right, and as a result all our “knowledge” has to be provisional.

That isn’t to say we can’t be pretty sure about some things, such as God’s existence and his love for us, but perhaps we should always allow a little bit of room for ourselves to be wrong and God to reveal more of the truth to us.

As we’ve just come to the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, here’s a little bit of fun, with some truth in it alas: http://youtube/M0zIv2I37UU

See the Next Part of Theology and Doughnuts.



“Act as if everything depended upon you; trust as if everything depended on God.” – St. Ignatius of Loyola

Parables and the Kingdom of God

In the Synoptic Gospels Jesus is presented as often talking in parables. These are enigmatic stories and sayings, usually about what he called the Kingdom of God / Kingdom of Heaven. (more…)


“Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and can be erradicated by the actions of human beings.” – Nelson Mandela

Another Thought for the Week 23/01/2012

From Sabine Schwartz, Catholic Chaplain:

In this Sunday’s Gospel we hear Mark’s account how Jesus begins his teaching and calls his first disciples: Peter and Andrew, James and John. (more…)

Thought for the Week 23/01/2012

An actor with a very silly name

From Mark Laynesmith, Anglican Chaplain:

I am a late convert to Sherlock. For those of you even less with it that I am, Sherlock is the name for the recently revitalised Sherlock Holmes BBC series.

One of the main engines of the series is the frisson of unrequited love: John Watson is struck with awe and wonder for his friend Sherlock, but Sherlock continues to process case after case, with all the emotional intelligence of a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, oblivious to John’s affections or indeed the interest of Molly Hooper, a plain Jane forensic scientist.

Sherlock’s intellectual powers place him far above other mortals, but unwittingly also separate him from human company. *Spoiler alert!* (more…)



“Latine sonat, nihil scriptum in altum.”

(Anything written in Latin sounds profound.)

The Synoptic Gospels

The Baptism of Jesus

So we begin a new term and a New Testament of the Bible. Pivotal in the NT are the Gospels, which are subdivided into the Gospel of John and the Synoptic Gospels. In this session we shall focus on the latter, comparing the texts of Jesus’ baptism from the Gospels of  Mark, Luke and Matthew. (more…)



“Dreams are the illustrations to the book your soul is writing about you.” – Marsha Norman

Thought for the Week 16/01/2012

From Libby Holderness, Chaplaincy Administrator:

Isaiah 40:10-11
See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.

“It’s not about how much your students like you”. My Dad once said this to me as I was first starting out as a teacher. It brought me solace at the time as I was really nervous and anxious and never came across to my students very well. This in turn made them apprehensive and worried, so they didn’t seem to like me very much. He suffixed it by saying “it’s who you are as a teacher”. (more…)

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