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Category Archives: Spiritual Vocab

The Priesthood of All Believers

Something to think about on a Monday morning

Theology Everywhere

by Catrin Harland

Last week, Roger Walton suggested that the very Methodist idea of social holiness, while perhaps originally concerned with the internal life of Methodist community, typically also finds meaningful expression within the sphere of social justice.

Another phrase with strong resonance for Methodists is ‘the Priesthood of all believers’. Being a ‘priesthood’ is rightly seen as emphasising a sense of community, but without losing that dimension, I want to suggest that this idea has often been too inward-focused, concerned to too great a degree with internal relationships, including between lay and ordained. Understood in the context of its biblical roots, I would suggest, it is a concept which has more missional potential, and should turn us outwards.

Luther, in speaking of the church as a priesthood[1], drew on 1 Peter 2:5 and 9. These, in turn, seem to derive in part from Exodus 19:6, where Israel’s…

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Posted by on July 11, 2016 in Ministry, Spiritual Vocab

 

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Reading of the “Word”

Recently I have been thinking about the way in which I read the Bible. Firstly I see the Bible as a book shelf, not as a single volume but as a collection of works drawn together to show the relationship between God and humanity and the response of humanity to God. Within this I do see that the Bible is inspired by God – but I don’t think that God sat there and dictated it word for word. I am aware that the Bible is made up of letter; history; legal books; advice and proverbs; poetry; prophetic writings; political challenges; humour; and the Gospels – the accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus.

 

However I have found that there are five general ways in general that I read the Bible, in no particular order:

  1. Pastoral reading – this is the reading that I do to prepare sermons, this is for me reading the Bible to hear most of all what it has to say in the situation in which I am to preach, as well as the general message to the current age.
  2. Academic reading – this is the reading to come to know the background of the text, the delving into the history of it, and what at times the Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic meant or could have meant
  3. Devotional reading – this for me is my reading of the Bible in daily prayer; often to a set pattern and trying to keep the discipline of reading the sections set.
  4. Getting to know reading – this is for me reading to come to know the Bible better; it links to me devotional reading, but at times will move away from it. This is an attempted to come to know the body of Bible better.
  5. Personal reading – this is the reading that I do my self, when I open the Bible and simply mediate upon the word with no other purpose but to dwell upon it and listen to it.

So why think about the way in which I read the Bible, in part this is the question of how to approach the text before me. Some of the tools used will cross over and not be individual to one way of reading. However the way of looking at the text will change, what am I trying to get from – if anything – the text.

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2015 in Ministry, Spiritual Vocab

 

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Time, and it’s use

First apologies for the lack of updates of late, but here is one.

So about a month ago, I heard on the radio about a new nutrient pill, that meant one didn’t have to “waste time” eating. On the radio program “A Point of View” John Gray spoke about the fact that people want to be busy all the time, and have our time filled. Now about the same time on Seedbed they had something about Why Worship is a Royal Waste of Time. Now this spoke about worship being there for its own sake, and not to generally do other things.

Now looking at these two things together, first that people want their lives to be filled and with no space in them, but then worship is not a “productive” use of time. I ponder if the filling of time is a good thing, should all be measured in how many time units are allocated to things, or do some things have a different measure on them.

But also is this one of the ways that the church is counter-cultural?

 
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Posted by on December 18, 2014 in Ministry, Spiritual Vocab

 

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Hear the words

One of the things that I find helpful in worship is to listen. Now some may say, yes but that is what we all do. But for me it is a case of listening to readings and other long sections of text, to listen and take in the words. And to not be reading them. Now I know different people engage with information and so forth differently, however I do like listening to readings in church. I find that I will often hear things that I may never of noticed when reading (this even happens during services, that in hearing the words something new to come to light).

However I do wonder if we lose something when everyone has their head in a book as the person up front reads out what they are also reading. I’d also say that I like worship that uses set texts – in fact I raised on it. A Greek Orthodox Priest on this topic spoke of the words being learnt from childhood, that they become part of us and we don’t need to follow them in a book. And to this I say Amen.

Christian say we follow the living Word, so let us have to words dwell in us.

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2014 in Mystery, Spiritual Vocab

 

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A Living History: Recovering The Beauty Of Liturgy

A Living History: Recovering The Beauty Of Liturgy.

An interesting view of things, and one I tend to agree with

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2014 in Ministry, Mystery, Spiritual Vocab

 

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How many churches could be like this?

Some one pointed me in the direction of the following, it is the church speaking, and comes from the work of the The Unappreciated Pastor on The Huffington Post, and is called “Hello, my name is Church

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2014 in Seen by the outside, Spiritual Vocab

 

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Expectantly waiting to glimpse God’s glory

Expectantly waiting to glimpse God’s glory

Wait with expectation
for what may come
to glimpse God’s glory
as it comes.
 
To be passed by
and to see the
presence here among us
as it goes ever on.
 
Is God among us?
Do we see God passing
in the darkness?
Do we glimpse the glory?
 
In expectation let us
wait to glimpse the glory
it is here with us
if only we can see it.

 

This poem was written in response to the Presidential address of Rev’d Ruth Gee, the Presidents of Conference for the Methodist Church in Britain, 2013-14.

 

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2013 in Ministry, Poetry, Spiritual Vocab

 

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