It’s not easy following Jesus, yet we have been given all we need to do so

Time was when I was a half decent singer. Fifty years ago, I sang tenor and was fortunate to be part of the Bournemouth Sinfonietta Choir. This was a valuable source of relaxation for me because, as Curate of an Anglican Church in Poole, ministry life was pretty hectic!

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For many, the original Christian meaning of Christmas has been lost among the tinsel, revelry and mammon overkill. What still remains can be tinged by nostalgic ritual or even over-familiarity. Where is the birth of our Messiah among this? Where is the clear image of the miracle of the Incarnation? Is there a way to reclaim the core events and understanding among the noise that surrounds it? Or should we just wipe our hands of it and concede defeat to our secular society, which has hijacked it and converted it into a festival of over-indulgence?

British Jews and many other British nationals were shocked and dismayed with the outcome of last week’s general election in the UK.

Contrary to expectations, Prime Minister Theresa May emerged with a staggering defeat, and Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party — which dramatically increased its number of seats in parliament by almost 10% — ran almost neck and neck with the Conservative Party. May is now trying to maintain her minority government by aligning with the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland.

It is a horrifying prospect that Corbyn — a man who has publicly praised Hamas and Hezbollah as his “friends;” who attended a ceremony in Tunis commemorating the murderer of Israeli Olympic athletes; who was employed by the state-controlled Iranian TV to present programs; and who tolerated the proliferation of overt antisemitism in his party — nearly became prime minister.

How many will be saved. Is it a tiny remnant or a great multitude?

In the last edition of Sword I commented on the confusion within the church with regard to the fulfilment of end time prophecy. To clear that confusion I asked if the ‘The Prophetical Creed’ of Bishop J C Ryle might be used as a basis to build a consensus with regard to the revelation of things to come. A consensus which sets out what we are agreed upon and identifies those things on which we can hold different views.

When the unimaginable happens and your world turns upside-down, where can you find certainty?

In the middle of the Eighteenth Century, Lisbon was perhaps the wealthiest city in Europe, the third busiest port in the World and the centre of the mighty Portuguese empire. It was also one of the most “religious” Catholic cities in the World. Its seven hills were replete with churches, chapels and monasteries, dripping with trappings of wealth and prosperity, their altars adorned with gold, silver and precious gems..

(By Theophilus)

The God of Biblical epics now behaves in a more civilised manner,surely? 

As the Palestinians continue to avoid any possibility for peace, the Americans and Europeans weigh in with differing opinions

Your terrified jailer wants saving… how would you help him?

Issues around the meaning, message and method of salvation – and especially the direct questions of how one can be saved - is a major theme of the book of Acts. This question shapes much of Luke’s narrative, so how we understand and apply the teaching from Acts today will govern much of our mission and ministry.

by Hillel Fendel

Close to 50 members of Amish Christian communities in the U.S.and Switzerland visited Israel last week for one reason: To apologize to the Jewish People.

The Ministry of Tourism announced that Bishop Ben Girod, of the Amish community in Idaho, led the delegation in submitting an official apology for having rejected Israel and the Jews.

Dear Prime Minister, It was sickening to see that your government last week voted for the declaration of diplomatic war against Israel embodied in resolution 2334 passed by the UN Security Council. Bad enough that Britain didn’t use its position as a permanent SC member to vote against this vicious resolution and thereby stop it in its tracks. Worse, far worse was that your government voted for it. In doing so, Britain signed up to propositions that repudiate law, justice and truth. Now reports have surfaced that, yet more appallingly, Britain was actually instrumental in getting 2334 passed by helping draft the resolution and then stiffening New Zealand’s resolve in proposing it. I don’t know whether that is correct. I suspect it may well be. I think, nevertheless, that you spoke from the heart the other week when you told the Conservative Friends of Israel of your admiration for Israel as a “remarkable country” and a “beacon of tolerance” and your warm feelings towards the Jewish people. 

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