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A kinder, gentler, God?

Recently, my bible reading has been more 'in depth' than in the past. Specifically, when reading the New Testament, I have been following the cross-references to the Old Testament, and reading those passages as well.

What I'm about to say is probably 'old hat' to anyone else who has done the same exercise, but it has given me a fresh insight into how Jesus looks on the Old Testament. I think it's instructive how He (later followed by the likes of Paul) quotes from, and reinterprets, the Old Testament scriptures. For instance, in Luke 4:18-19, when Jesus sets out his mission by reading Isaiah 61:1-2 in the synagogue in Nazareth:

The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour
.

He goes on to say that this scripture was fulfilled in him. But it is notable that he chooses not to complete verse 2 of Isaiah 61, which says: “and the day of vengeance of our God.

St. Valentine’s Day

Today is St. Valentine’s Day. It's a great day for those 'in love', but an awful day for some folks...

This prayer is thanks to Mike Peatman, who posted it on Facebook. Somehow it resonated strongly with me - I’ve never been a fan of Valentine’s day.

We pray today for those in love, those off love, those in between. And for those who are lonelier today than other days.
We pray today for those whose frozen hearts cannot love & those who feel so unlovely that they can't love themselves.
We pray for the elderly man gazing today at a black and white photograph in a silver frame of a wedding in another time.
We pray for the mum, who quietly bought herself flowers yesterday. And the boy who dared to send a card but didn't get one back.
King of love come comfort and forgive us this cheap, gaudy, desperate, isolating thing we have made of you. Amen.

Pete Greig - Valentine’s Prayer

Thinking of Mike, and my Mum, and others I know who've lost the love of their lives. Those who've never felt loved. And those who've never received a Valentine's card. I was that boy - I never got one back.

Copyright Phil Hendry, 2016