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A Voice From The Isles

A Voice From The Isles
Giving to Live

Episode date: October 15, 2012
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I was talking to a fellow Chaplain at Manchester University this week and one of the things we were discussing was his teasing of a lady who helps there about her nostalgia for wonderful summers when she was a girl.  Of course it is sunny days we tend to recall, not the ones trapping us indoors by rain.  I also remember the past as being different.  In some parts of the south Manchester suburbs I can really remember when it was all fields. When I started teaching we had to explain the internet to students; now we just use it. Meeting friends for a quiet drink used to require a day or two’s notice; now I can get a text message…

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A Voice From The Isles

A Voice From The Isles
Meeting God at the Icon

Episode date: October 22, 2012
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Today we remember the Fathers of the Second Council of Nicaea, the 7th and last of the Ecumenical Councils, held in Nicaea, Turkey in 787. This was the council that decided unanimously that an icon is a sign of the presence of God. Now, the word “icon” is taken from the Greek word for “image”; and what the 350 bishops who attended this council were considering was a very important question: Who is Christ? Their answer still rings out to us today: Christ is both God and man. It is precisely because God became man that it is fit and proper that the image of Christ should be painted. The Council concluded that “the incarnation of the…

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Close to Home

Close to Home
I Choose Joy

Episode date: October 24, 2012
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I spent the weekend in Portland, Oregon where I was treated ever so kindly by the warm and hospitable ladies of St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church. Have you ever been to Portland before? I hadn’t. If you’re into awesomeness, you’d love it. I felt healthier just looking at all the bike trails, walking trails, vegetarian restaurants and organic grocery stores lining its scenic landscape. I’d like to go back someday and take my time exploring more of Portland’s fascinating regional treasures.

This particular trip was a whirlwind. I arrived on a Friday afternoon and flew back home early Sunday morning. Those brief…

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A Voice From The Isles

A Voice From The Isles
Spot Changes for a Leopard

Episode date: October 26, 2012
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“Can a leopard change its spots?” This saying originally comes from the Bible and has passed into English proverbial lore as surely as many other things from the Bible have. It comes from the prophecy of Jeremiah and it bears witness to the sombre realism of much of that book. It is perhaps but a short step from honest realism to weary cynicism. I suspect that most people today in our culture truly believe that a leopard cannot change its spots. Of course, they are right in one sense. Just as any animal cannot change its markings by its own will, (even the chameleon has no control over its colour changes), so, perhaps, most humans cannot…

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A Voice From The Isles

A Voice From The Isles
Draw Near With Faith And Love

Episode date: November 08, 2012
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Let us consider the case of the woman recorded in today’s Gospel.  The incident occurs whilst Christ is on His way to see Jairus’s daughter.  The fact is not unimportant as we shall see in a moment.  The woman had been bleeding for 12 years, and quite apart from the illness that underlay her symptoms, she would have suffered tremendous social consequences. She was ritually unclean and so could not participate in any religious activity. This was made worse by the rule that to come into contact with a woman who was bleeding was to become ritually unclean. As a result she would have been shunned. This is why she came…

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