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Join us online for a pre-recorded Morning Worship service at 10.30 am each Sunday or Virtual Coffee Shop on Tuesdays at 11 am. Read a Thought for the Day or what has been Shared With Us by church members.

Thought for the Day

24th February 2021

The latest version of the so-called ‘Q Anon’ conspiracy theory followed by many Trump supporters has it that he will be inaugurated as America’s true President on March 4th. A related theory says that the snow in Texas last week was fake…

Bizarre… It’s easy to pour scorn, but such theories have one thing in common with an aspect of religious belief – ‘cognitive dissonance’ – when the thing you believe is going to happen doesn’t, you don’t stop believing, you reconfigure your beliefs.

As for Q Anon, so for lots of predictions about the end of the world. When the world hasn’t ended, the theories come up with another date…

Cognitive dissonance can be applied to prophets such as Isaiah and Micah. The return of the Exiles to Israel happened, but was hardly the glorious return predicted by, for instance, Isaiah (Chapter 35).

Gradually such predictions have been taken up into the world of poetic, glorious predictions of God’s new age, when, at the last, God will rule for ever (Revelation 21).

Conspiracy theories have to mutate as evidence in this world keeps showing them up as untrue.

But then… along comes Jesus and starts predicting his own death (Mark 8:31) and his resurrection. You can see how some of his followers were unimpressed. They surely quite liked the idea of Jesus ‘rising again after three days’, not so much the death that preceded it – especially not when Jesus called for them to accept such a death as theirs as well.

Most conspiracy theories offer comfort, but without much cost. Christian belief does as well, but it asks something of us first…

Michael Docker

22nd February 2021

I was vaccinated a few days ago. Seems as if things have been moving very swiftly, in some parts of Bristol at least, so that my surgery contacted me somewhat ahead of schedule (my age group was due to be contacted from this last Monday). ‘Britain at its best’ – lots of cheery volunteers; a […]

19th February 2021

I know, as a Christian, I should be concerned about climate change, fossils fuels, war and oppression etc but those are “in the large” and I am living “in the small”, particularly at present. As children, my sister and I used to make fun of the popular Sunday School hymn “Jesus bids us shine with […]

17th February 2021

Today we have the second of a two-part reflection on the Lord’s Prayer. The first part was published on 27th January. The disciples as God’s children are instructed to address their prayer to their Heavenly Father, and the word used here is not a formal title but the form of address used within a family […]

15th February 2021

Two years ago at worship in Tyndale I told the story of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, the French village which Margaret and I had visited while on holiday, and which during the German occupation 1940–45 had given refuge to Jewish children in danger from the Nazis. The children lived with local families and were mingled with other […]

10th February 2021

Weary. Now there is a word for these days. Faint, tiresome, powerless, exhausted… weary. Weary of the pandemic filling every aspect of our lives. Tired of having our normal social activities curtailed. Exhausted by the effort of trying to keep up with the ever-changing confusion of rules. Powerless in the face of loved ones falling […]

8th February 2021

I started teaching again last week, with a Zoom seminar on Franz Kafka. Kafka is a notoriously ‘difficult’ author, whose works have been interpreted from every conceivable critical angle without anyone coming up with a definitive interpretation. And while this excites some of my students, others – especially those who are used to giving (only!) […]

5th February 2021

Take a Day at a Time There are some words of Jesus that I’ve been pondering over in recent days. “Do not be anxious about tomorrow, tomorrow will look after itself. Each day has troubles enough of its own.” It’s not surprising that we are anxious as we look to the future. Will Covid-19 be […]

3rd February 2021

I remembered Auntie Bertha recently. It was my birthday, when I often remember her. As a child I always had a present from her. She wasn’t really my aunt. In my generation our parents referred to their friends as aunts and uncles. Also she was my regular baby-sitter. A middle-aged lady, much loved, who rode […]

1st February 2021

There is so much negativity and sadness around at the moment. You cannot get away from the worrying news / political fighting / cold wet days and nights and overall it seems a little gloomy. The resumption of normal life is getting closer but still seems out of our reach. On the whole I am […]