Is there a sudden appetite for ritual and tradition?

We can draw hasty and sometimes wrong conclusions to major phenomena -especially when the media magnifies them.  For example, there have been quite a few people suggesting that the period of mourning and the Royal Funeral demonstrated a great attitude for ritual and tradition. Here is one example in The Daily Telegraph Om a side… Continue reading Is there a sudden appetite for ritual and tradition?

Misplaced Honour (Mark 7:8-13)

The Pharisees have criticised Jesus’ disciples – and therefore by implication him – for failing to properly honour their traditions.  Failure to honour those traditions, the rules and regulations of the elders or forefathers might be seen as breaking the fifth commandment -a failure to honour parents. And if they dishonoured their elders and fathers,… Continue reading Misplaced Honour (Mark 7:8-13)

Defiled (Mark 7)

Jesus is challenged about his disciples’ failure to observe the ritual/ceremonial laws of the Old Testament. Hand washing prior to meals was required not for hygiene reasons or to slow down a pandemic but to represent symbolically the need to be spiritually clean. Jesus’ response is that it isn’t the external things that matter. Their… Continue reading Defiled (Mark 7)

Is unity possible between church traditions?

Photo by Magda Ehlers on

This is the second part of my response to Moses’ guest article on denominations. A key part of Moses’ argument seems to be that an appeal to “Evangelical Unity” does not work because that pushes us down to the lowest common denominator and that people may have more in common with their non-evangelical colleagues within… Continue reading Is unity possible between church traditions?

The Last Night of the Proms and missing the point

The controversy about the Last Night of the Proms rumbles on.  Apparently, Jerusalem, the National Anthem and a version of You’ll Never Walk Alone will be sung by choirs. Meanwhile, Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory will feature as orchestral pieces without singing.  That doesn’t sound too bad does it? The music is… Continue reading The Last Night of the Proms and missing the point

Meaningful traditions and empty rituals

On Saturday, it was the Queen’s official birthday. Her actual birthday is in April and so it has been the custom for her to have an official celebration in June enabling the pageantry of the Trooping of the Colour with less risk of bad weather. It makes sense and has become part of our customs… Continue reading Meaningful traditions and empty rituals