REFLECTION by Christine
The impossible becoming possible
I recently preached on the story
of the Woman with the haemorrhage in Luke 8. My message
was that Jesus can make the impossible possible. It was so
for that woman.
She had been hiding in shame and
fear for years. She was labelled as ritually unclean. She
was shunned, ostracised and unable to take her proper
place in society. She had sought help yet her condition
One day things change. She hears
about Jesus and the things he does and a flicker of hope
stirs within her. She leaves the security of her lonely
home. She takes the risk of being recognised. She has to
get to Jesus.
manages to push her way through a great crowd clustering
around him only to be confronted with the barrier of his
disciples shielding him. She just manages to stretch out
her arm to touch his cloak.
ZIP! ELECTRICITY! POWER!
Who touched me?
Bewildered disciples! Jesus looks at her in
amazement. He knew the risks she had taken; how she had
been bent double by so-called disease, inadequacy and
She stood up straight and looked
into the face of Jesus. The impossible had become possible
for her. It can for you.
REFLECTION by Tom
Anger in God
Julian speaks of there being ‘no anger in
God’, however the difference between Julian’s theology and
(for example) Calvin is
Julian’s theology arises from her
personal spiritual direction ministry aimed at helping
individuals cope in a context of plague and natural
disasters which have driven people to despair (giving rise
to the Peasant’s Revolt and its terrible consequences).
God is not angry with those traumatised people who
came to her (there is no anger in God).
Calvin’s is political and about
establishing order and stability in a world which has been
torn apart by the Reformation. His theology is national
(even international). In a corporate context of disorder,
injustice, vengeful war and oppression God is angry. For
Calvinists in his time it was retributive anger. I see it
as restorative anger (Volf).
This different take on theology is needed to
sustains the faith of those oppressed and persecuted.
There is lots of this in the Psalms (78.38, 85.5,
88. & & 16,
89. 38 & 46).
Theology arises from context. In
the above the first is personal directed to a hurting
individual; the second is corporate and political.
It is complicated in addition by the gender issues
which further shape the interpretation.