Fizz [Mark 2:13-22]

Jesus speaks about wine and wineskins, and not Irn Bru and aluminium cans. He is a man of his own time and culture, not ours. Yet within his time and culture he is radical, and so he speaks about the requirement for new wineskins and does not prefer the old ones even while he does …

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Constellation [Philippians 2:12-24]

It’s nothing much, really. Just a random array of glass beads whose reflection is itself reflected in a triangle of mirrors. But aren’t the patterns from a kaleidoscope wonderful? It’s nothing much, really. Just the light from chemical reactions in gas clouds millions of miles away. But isn’t the Milky Way astonishing? I still remember …

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Will there be no miracles here? [Hebrews 2:10-18]

The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is a bit of a hidden gem. Set just north of Edinburgh’s city centre in the picturesque and quiet Village of Dean, the gallery occupies two imposing neo-classical buildings facing each other on Belford Road. There are broad lawns which provide another setting for modern art installations. This …

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Annunciation and incarnation [Christmas Eve]

The Annunciation, Assisi, Italy Denise Levertov, the British-born American poet, was active during the latter half of the twentieth century. She came to Christian faith from agnosticism; her work embraced a variety of themes, some inspired by her faith in God. She wrote, in response to the sixth century Greek Akathistos Hymn ‘Hail, space for …

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Jesse's tree, Mary's song [Isaiah 11:1-10, Luke 1:46-55]

In the Church of St. Catherine within the larger Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, there is a large relief which expresses visually something of the reading from Isaiah. It is a Jesse Tree, gifted by Pope Benedict in 2009 while in the Holy Land. Jesse Tree, St Catherine's Church, Bethlehem It shows an olive …

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Ancient and up to the minute [2Kings 22]

“It’s shaping up to be a great Christmas in front of the TV, with a schedule full of reimagined classics and exciting new adaptations already announced,” the radiotimes.com website said this week. Dickens may take top spot with a retelling of A Christmas Carol (first published 1843), though Worzel Gummidge may give the old miser …

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