Machuca, Romero, Chile and Venezuela: About momios and sifrinos commentarist Oscar Heck writes:  Before you read this article, I would like to make a comment. Opening comment: This article is mostly about class segregation in Venezuela, Chile … and by extension, most Latin American countries … and many counties in the world.   In my view, class segregation, privileges and abuses are, in great part the results of European aristocratic and USA capitalist business/economic/social models.  For example, France, England, Portugal, Spain, Holland, Belgium and Germany spread their class segregation philosophy throughout the rest of the world (to the USA included) between the years 1500 and 1900 … whereas, the […]

Harvest Festival / Thanksgiving

The Pilgrim Fathers were absolutely correct in their assessment of the meaning of their harvest. It was and is thanksgiving. They, of course, were just glad to have survived, and this is how it is for many in the world today, but that does not in any way diminish the thanksgiving aspect of harvest. You and I are more fortunate than most, and we have a lot to be thankful for. We may have occasional shortages of specific foods, but generally we don’t go hungry for long. Harvest is not, as many think, only what can be gleaned from the […]

The conversion experience

Many times various people and groups of people have asked me if I am saved.  They speak to me as though they have something that has been withheld from me, either deliberately or by accident. Saved, but saved for what or from what? The answer they would give, is to be saved to the safety of God’s kingdom. Most who ask the question have in mind that the entry is limited to a specific number. However this raises more questions than it answers. What number and to what age does the number refer. Is it to this generation, this moment […]

Passing it on

When you go to the cinema, do you go for the realism films or the fantasy films? I do have a tendency for the former, because today most of the fantasy stories are about inter-galactic warfare, and I was never a great Star-trek Star-wars fan. You may be different. It certainly wouldn’t do for us all to be the same. If you have a taste for the visionary, may the force be with you, then you will warm to the lesson we had this morning from Isaiah in which, in this baker’s dozen of verses, we get a microcosm of […]

Venezuela’s individually powerful people

Hygiene is a fairly recent phenomenon among humans. Some practiced it earlier than others. The Scandinavians were a lot cleaner than the British and it is recorded that the British inhabitants of York complained that young girls were more likely to date the recent Viking and Danish invaders than the local Brits. The reason was because the Vikings and Danes had a weekly bath and so smelled a lot sweeter than the Brits who did not bath at all. In the Middle Ages, we got better and the custom was to bath once a year in the Spring when the […]

Whose job was it?

I was once told that the art of management was to see that someone else did the jobs you specified. It is a long time since I went to a course on management and I don’t know if that is the style that is advocated today, but I do know that it was not the way that Jesus practiced, and because of that it hasn’t been my way either. One day, not long after I came here, there was a flood in the hall. One set of caretakers had gone and the new ones had not yet arrived. I took […]

The Easter day

The Easter story begins in the dark in the gospel narratives. ‘When it was yet dark.’ Maybe it was dark when the women went to the tomb, but even if it had not been, the writer would have made it so. Not that the writer is interested in changing the story for its own sake, or that he wanted to deceive us. On the contrary, he was interested in telling us the truth as he had experienced it. He was not writing a history of events in the style of a modern history book. That was neither his style nor […]

A new path that was to change the world

Some years ago there was a craze for war games, when grown men stalked around the woods with paint guns. As far as I know, the craze may still be alive, you perhaps know better than I. If you have never taken part in such games, I am sure you know the routine — pellets of paint are shot from guns powered by compressed air. If someone gets you with a paint blob, then you are out. It is a more sophisticated form of the game of tag that children play at school. A friend of mine, who has two […]

Forgiveness, challenge and commission

Jesus is dead and Peter and others have returned to Galilee to take up their old life again. The accounts of the New Testament are contradictory as to where the disciples went and why. However, it is possible, and not unlikely, that they went back to Galilee, at least for a while. According to John the risen Christ finds them there and feeds them by the lake. The disciples are the fishermen, and yet it is Christ who feeds them. It sounds a bit like going to a superb restaurant and taking your own picnic. There is also the question […]

The shepherd/king is our entrance to the future

In the dreams of our sleep time, as opposed to the dreams of our aspirations, we often play a number of parts at the same time in the same dream sequence. Remember also that we do not always identify who people are in our dreams, because their faces are not always recognizable, and yet we often know who they are or who they are supposed to be. I remember a dream of mine in which I was the person laying out a picnic for a family in which I was also the father — so I had two roles in […]