Tagged: family

Welcome to my family


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Mark 3.20-end

You don’t have to do much to get labelled as a troublemaker, a subversive, or even an enemy of the people. No matter that you may have done nothing wrong, or even if you have done something for the wider good – just rock the boat a little bit, threaten the status quo, and in goes the knife, and before long as far as some are concerned you’re an enemy of the people.

Henrik Ibsen’s famous play of that name is about an ordinary man, Dr Stockmann, who discovers that the expensive new spa in his home town is using poisoned water. He naively thinks people will want to know. But his brother, the mayor, thinks otherwise – and points out that the town could be bankrupted if the news leaks out. The truth isn’t important – the vested interests of the town’s business people carry far more weight.

And so the mayor leans on the editor of the local newspaper and the editor, rather than repeat the truth, vilifies Dr Stockmann as an enemy of the people, to the extent that at a public meeting he is almost lynched.  All he did was tell the truth – an important truth – that the water was poisoned. Continue reading

What I said this Sunday – Epiphany 3


This week the gospel reading was Matthew’s account of the calling of the first four disciples. I got the congregation to think about the reaction they might have got from their families.

Matthew 4.12-23

Family is the most important thing in the world! Perhaps that’s one of the most famous things that Princess Diana ever said. And it’s a sentiment that many people would echo, though perhaps sometimes we are not always as honest as we might be about the real nature of family life today. One of my favourite quotes about family is this from George Carlin, an American comedian who died in 2008, and who was a little more realistic: The other night I ate in a real nice family restaurant. Every table had an argument going. Continue reading