View the interview here
The Spirit of Pentecost Today (Acts 2)
One word could just about sum up many of the news stories this week. Whether it’s to do with the Home Secretary’s driving ability, Boris Johnson’s integrity, Brexit’s waning popularity, global warming’s intensity, EV battery sustainability, or Apple’s security. The word is ‘revelation’. We are fascinated with exclusives, when secrets are revealed in the media – except it seems when they are, our own. Those deeply personal things that matter to us the most – our children, our family, our bodies, our emails, our text messages, our age, our photos, our income, our bank accounts, we keep these private, and in many cases wisely so. The more important, the more personal, the more sensitive the information, the more likely, we will want to keep them private, confidential, or concealed. And many people feel the same way about their religious faith. Its personal. Its private. And it remains concealed. How ironic then that Jesus commanded us to do the very opposite.
On Easter Sunday we celebrated the birth of the Church. At Pentecost we celebrate the baptism of the Church. Let us explore acts 2 under three headings: the context, the message and the experience of Pentecost.Continue reading
The Lord’s Prayer for You (John 17)
Did you ever watch the 1960’s BBC crime drama Maigret? Created by Georges Simenon, the pipe smoking Chief Inspector Jules Maigret is one of the greatest fictional detectives of all time. From Montmartre to the remote French countryside, in 12 episodes, shot in black and white, Maigret encounters the dark side of the human psyche. Yet, somehow he manages to maintain both compassion and a sense of humour as he explores the complex motives that lie behind every crime. The popular 1960’s series with Rupert Davies as Inspector Maigret, was adapted once again in 1992 with Michael Gambon in the lead role. More recently the drama was adapted a third time in 2016. What made the new series stand out from previous ones, however, was the choice of lead character. The role of Maigret was played by Rowan Atkinson. Rowan portrayed Maigret very well indeed, but I kept expecting him to turn to the camera, open his eyes wide and grin like Mr Bean. That is the challenge for an actor portraying a serious role when he is already associated with a very funny one. Rowan is in fact a very good hypocrite.Continue reading
The Nakba 75: An Israeli Perspective
The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) remembers the Nakba on its 75th anniversary by giving voice to critical Israeli Jews who speak about Zionism, the ongoing ethnic cleansing and how it is time for all Israelis and Jews to acknowledge the Nakba and take responsibility for it. With Jeff Halper, Livnat Konopny, Anat Matar, Gideon Levy, Rachel Beitarie, Tom Pessah, and Haim Bresheeth.
In this second video Jeff Halper elaborates on the tragedy of the Nakba
Speakers at the Nakba 75 National March
The Nakba 75 National March
Photos taken at the Nakba 75 National March held in Westminster, London on Saturday 13th May. Further photos may be viewed hereContinue reading
John Stott : The Place of Israel
John Stott will long be remembered as a pastor and teacher and inspirational leader within the Anglican evangelical community for over 65 years. Less well known is the courageous stand John took on the need for justice and peace in the Middle East. John kindly wrote the foreword to In the Footsteps of Jesus and the Apostles and allowed his sermon on ‘the Place of Israel‘ to be included in Zion’s Christian Soldiers He also wrote this gracious commendation of Christian Zionism
“I am glad to commend Stephen Sizer’s ground-breaking critique of Christian Zionism. His comprehensive overview of its roots, its theological basis and its political consequences is very timely. I myself believe that Zionism, both political and Christian, is incompatible with biblical faith. Stephen’s book has helped to reinforce this conviction.”
To make John’s views on the Place of Israel more widely known I am reproducing his sermon here: Continue reading
The Three Blessings of Jesus (at the Wedding at Cana) John 2:1-11
I want to bring out three ways Jesus brought blessing to a couple on their wedding day, three ways in which I believe he longs to bless each of our lives today also.
1. The Blessing Of Jesus’ Presence
“On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.” (John 2:1-2)
Jesus and his disciples had been invited to a wedding. In Israel they do things properly. The wedding reception lasts a week. Everything stops in the community and everyone joins in. When you think of Jesus what do you imagine His schedule looked like? Can you imagine Jesus relaxed, laughing and enjoying himself at a wedding reception surrounded by people in festive mood, for a whole week? No watch, no mobile phone, no emails, no post, no distractions, just a week of eating and drinking good food and wine celebrating the shared joy of a new marriage in the community. Can you? If not then you need to re-read the New Testament and revise your image of Jesus.Continue reading
From Orphans to Heirs (John 14:15-21)
I can kind of empathise a little with John Wesley, the 18th Century Anglican cleric, theologian, and evangelist, who founded the Methodist movement within the Church of England. When they locked him out of churches, denying him a pulpit because of his biblical theology, he preached in the open air instead, in cemeteries, fields and marketplaces. Given the vagaries of English weather, I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to expound the Scriptures each week as well. In my case, through the marvel of the internet. Ironically, I am now reaching many more people than before my suspension, especially since being appointed Chaplain to the former Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem. My Zionist critics, however, continue to try and isolate me by intimidating others. Although we never publicised details of our local church family, my critics found out and targeted the leaders and members. To avoid embarrassment to them, we withdrew our membership. So, at the moment we are technically spiritual orphans.Continue reading
Overcoming Christian Zionism in the Quest of Justice
The launch of the Sabeel Booklet on Overcoming Christian Zionism in the Quest of Justice will take place on May 9th 6pm Jerusalem Time.
Please join us on the 9th of May 4pm London, 6pm Jerusalem, 11am New York, 8am Los Angeles.
Listen to the reflections of Rev. Don Wagner and The Revd Dr Stephen Sizer on the Launching of Sabeel Booklet on Overcoming Christian Zionism in the Quest of Justice
Please do register for this important session.