July 24, 2020

Am I the only one to get confused when wearing a mask? Recently I had my face mask on when I went for a cup of coffee. I tried to pay by using my phone, but it would not process. What was the problem? My phone’s security works by facial recognition and the mask obscured my face! I felt flustered and peered intently at the phone, thinking it would click in. People in the socially distanced line behind me were sniggering as they watched, and I too began to laugh.

Masks have a fascinating history and were worn for all sorts of reasons, and they still are. I remember watching a movie which featured a masquerade, a party where people wore elaborate masks to conceal who they were. The idea goes back to the theatres of ancient Greece and elsewhere, where actors would don a mask to get into character. Typically, they’d use a mask that featured a recognisable attribute of the role they were playing.

A friend of mine, who knew I was a Christian, asked me about God. What is he like? Would he please come out from behind his mask and identify himself? My friend was being sarcastic, but I had an answer. Jesus came, I said to him, to show us who God is, to reveal how God is love.

It’s something worth noting. If we want to know what God is like, how he thinks and how he cares for us, we look to the life of Jesus.

Jesus is God unmasked.

James Henderson info@because.uk.com

Want a drink?

January 30, 2015

Who would you like to have a drink with?

Would you believe that in the UK there was a recent poll about this? The drink in question was what is called a “wee dram” – a small glass of whisky. The replies featured a well-known list of celebrities, and was topped by a former James Bond actor of Scottish descent…now, who would that be, do you think?

Perhaps you don’t like whisky, but prefer a deep red wine or a lively Sauvingon Blanc or a frothy, wheat beer. What about a 7 star Greek brandy or some rum from the Caribbean? Or no alcohol at all: just a cup of Yorkshire tea, an Earl Grey, a smooth Ethiopian coffee, hot chocolate, or a herb infusion of spearmint, tarragon and lemongrass. Or is it a fizzy drink, or how about a glass of cool, refreshing mountain stream water? It doesn’t really matter. We live in a world of options.

Jesus talked about a choice he had made. It involved a drink and those with whom he would like to share it. He had just finished a meal with his friends. They had enjoyed some red wine together. And then Jesus made a surprising statement. He said he would not drink wine again until he took some new wine with them in the Kingdom of God. What did he mean? All kinds of books, articles and theses have been written about this, and also sermons composed around it. Personally, I don’t find it that difficult to fathom. To me it’s simple: Jesus is looking forward to having a drink with us. It’ll be his new wine – something we’ve never tasted before, something so wonderful that we’ll want more of it.

Who does Jesus want to have a drink with?