Showing posts from December, 2011

A New Years Thought or Three

So begins a New Year, 2012. 2011 was a tough one for many in NZ, most notably Christchurch residents who experienced the pain of loss and destruction. None of us know what 2012 will hold. That is the thing about life, it is tenuous. As Isaiah says, “the grass withers and the flower fade.” We humans are always a heart-beat from life’s cessation. New Years are great times to pause and reflect. While New Years resolution’s are perhaps not the answer, because they are legalistic and often serve to bring guilt, restating one’s core commitments at the beginning of a new year is not a bad thing.

Perhaps the core question is whether we are living for God? Have other things crept in, things that deflect us from service of the King? The really dangerous things are the idols of the more subtle variety. Usually, they are connected to our strengths. For example, one is a great thinker—so often it is one’s own hubris and love of thought and one’s own ideas (or those of another venerated thinker) …

Remembering "Our" First Christmas, 1814

This is a Christmas message I wrote on behalf of the Auckland Church Leaders which was published in the NZ Herald on pages A6-7 Dec 24 2011. 

A Christmas message from Auckland Church Leaders

Remembering “Our” First Christmas, 1814

Christmas is a unique time. For some it is a time for family and friends, festive cheer, gifts and a good excuse for a holiday. For others, it is a time of sadness as they remember lost loved ones, or face deprivation and abuse. For yet others, it is regarded as just a fairytale. For Christians, Jesus is the reason for the season—a precious time when believers all over the world pause, remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus who we believe to be the saviour of the world.

Not many at the time of Christ’s birth realised its significance or anticipated its impact. The story is set in obscurity far from the seats of ancient power. It is shrouded in mystery with accounts of prophetic predictions, angelic visitations, a pregnant unmarried virgin, a child placed i…