Wednesday, 23 February 2011


This is the second time I have used a photo of this pig in my blogs. Perhaps I am getting like Lord Emsworth in PG Wodehouse’s Blanding Castles who is more interested in his pigs than people. I have to say this splendid chap is an Old Spot and a most friendly fellow.

When I was in Greece visiting Byzantine churches we were away from the city and our tutor gave me some pods from a tree and she said that they would be like the sort of thing the Prodigal Son would have fed to the pigs had he taken that job on his father’s estate.

I reread the story of the Prodigal Son the other day and I was most impressed with the honesty of the boy. Perhaps we would have liked something more like this repentant attitude from the bankers recently rather than the obfuscation we were often offered.

Which one of us does not fantasize about winning a fortune? Many who enter the lottery probably do so to have what the son briefly enjoyed. On my wall there is a list of people to pray for. To be honest they are mainly ‘elder brothers’ ie those who are committed to their Christian work. There are a few ‘prodigal sons’ ie those who have rather got lost. I have to say my prayer for the former is more enthusiastic than the latter. Reading of the joy of the father in the story perhaps I need to get a better balance in my prayers!

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Tongue tied

Sometimes as we get older as Christians we fall into the danger of becoming ‘sophisticated’ and think we are above some of the basics of the faith. I once went back to my old Anglican church and found them being very dismissive of a street evangelist. Yesterday, I went to see an open air campaigner evangelising in Leicester Square in Central London who uses a simple flip chart and paints. I thought about what John Chrysostom wrote-

Nothing is more frigid than a Christian who is indifferent to the salvation of others....Love means to want the best for others about the law of love, and the joy of obeying this law. Of course many people are shy about talking to others; in their case actions motivated by love will be a most eloquent testimony. But those who are not shy will want to express their joy at every opportunity. There is no need to use fine words or elegant phrases; even the most uneducated people can convey joyful love by the spirit which accompanies their words.