He tabernacled among us too

In the Year that…

Oh dear – the last time I blogged was Christmas, and now it’s Easter!! For all my protestations of being a Reformed guy who doesn’t adhere to the Church calendar, it looks like my blogging does! 🙂 OK so its all tongue in cheek.

The last few months have been fairly hectic. I’ve thought of something to blog often, but clearly, never got round to it. So hopefully this is me back for a while before my next break!

I hope 2010 has been good to everyone, whoever and wherever you are. Certainly, for many of us, the gleam of the new year has worn off and for some, the fears of 2010 have delivered more faithfully than the hopes offered. We’ve seen, heard and read of some sickening events – whether it be the Haitian Earthquake, the Chilean Earthquake – one so severe it actually altered the planet’s position in space and the ensuing Tsunami, which was thankfully mild by comparison to the Boxing Day Tsunami following Chile’s last big quake.

The continuing war in Afghanistan, and the high level of Insurgency in Iraq have continued to catch the headlines as the death tolls – both of civillians and combatants – continue to rise relentlessly.

The global economic crisis has ruined more communities and wrecked more lives in the opening months of 2010, with unemployment, reposession and debt continuing to rise.

There have been massacres in Nigeria and now in the Democratic Republic of the Congo under the savage ‘Lord’s Resistance Army’.

So 2010, the start of a new decade in a young milennium is shaping up to be pretty much the same as the ones that have come before. I guess one of the differences is, our confidence seems pretty low. So its a good thing to remember that “In the year that…” all these things have already happened, that “I saw the Lord seated on the throne, high and lifted up” – that in spite of all the terrors, God is still in control. If that wasn’t the case, it would truly be a scary thing. I don’t have any other answers other than the belief that we have a Living God who cares about the universe and about individuals and who is in control of it all – even in this scarred and fallen world.


Happy New Year – 2010

Well here in Scotland the Noughties have fallen away, never to be seen again, and we’ve entered 2010 (or the nameless decade – the Teens?! Not yet surely!) Its a reflective time and I hope to post more reflections later. However, I want to share one of the writings that has impacted me most in the last decade, though I’ve known it for longer. It was written back in the fulcrum of the Reformation in Geneva by Jean (John) Calvin. He’s often condemned by those who do not understand him of causing much of what is wrong in modern Scottish culture and beyond, the remnants of a certain dourness. He’s decried for an academic, cold and unforgiving religion. However, while Calvin has many flaws, it is clear that his theology is academic and intellectual, but also personal, warm and intense. He penned the following himself and I think it is one of the greatest paragraphs ever written:

“Faith believes that God is real; hope awaits for the moment when he will demonstrate his reality. Faith believes that God is our father; hope believes that he will always behave as a father towards us. Faith believes that we have been given eternal life; hope awaits the day when it will be revealed. Faith …is the founation upon which hope rests; hope nourishes and shelters faith.” (Genevan Catechism)