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Exit Stage Left

As I drove this morning I heard a story on the radio about the playwright, thespian and composer, Noël Coward. He had taken his good friend, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, then Queen and now fondly remembered as the Queen Mother, to the theatre to see his play, Blithe Spirit.  That night, the play was not performed as he had envisioned it. Embarrassed that his friend wasn’t seeing it at its best, he took matters into his own hands; after act one he demanded the lead role step down and replaced him with himself. I’m sure the second act benefited from having Noël in...
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Until

It’s one of those weeks where looking at the news presents us with a seemingly endless array of pain, injustice and suffering. Thousands lie under rubble in Nepal, repentant and reformed people face death by firing squad, rioting and looting troubles America, and at home politicians fight over who is to blame for poverty and food banks. It’s easy to forget that all of this exists only until. A few weeks ago my Pastor, Jon Cook, asked me to encourage our community at Heart and Soul night as we gathered to share communion. I started to think over every word in the traditional passage of scripture and the...
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Flatpack Jesus

I’m not one for superlatives, but that trip to IKEA was life changing. I know what you’re thinking – and yes, the ninety-five pence scented candles are quite something – but it wasn’t that. It wasn’t that I bought some new wall art or a budget side table. Four years ago today God changed my life, He used a Swedish furniture shop as the venue and the local church as the method. Four years ago today God changed my life, He used a Swedish furniture shop as the venue and the local church as the method. It’s difficult to explain the circumstances...
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Wounded

While I was in Paris last spring I had the pleasure of visiting the Musée d’Orsay to see a few exhibitions, including a retrospective of the work of Gustave Doré. One of the biggest pieces in the collection they were showing was his extravagant oil painting; Christ leaving the Praetorium. There, in the centre of the canvas, is a figure draped in the purest white; a halo offers a luminescent glow around a crown of thorns that seems to have barely left a scratch on the perfect hair it sits upon. The label may have said it was a painting of...
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Hosanna…

February 7th 1964. Pan Am flight 101, from London to New York, touches down on the tarmac at John F. Kennedy Airport. Amongst the passengers on the flight are four lads from Liverpool, heading to the big apple to launch their music career in America, and in the terminal are thousands of screaming fans. The Beatles had arrived. When I think of Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday I imagine similar scenes of hysteria. People are going wild. Here is Jesus, understated and humble, riding on the back of a donkey, and then surrounding Him are screaming crowds. They’re taking their...
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