Thought for the Day

A one-minute read to inspire or challenge. Written by members of the church and updated every few days.

27th November 2023

It is strange how sometimes separate conversations with friends and family link up!  A friend shared this cartoonist’s illustration of ubuntu with me:

Then, in a separate conversation, I was encouraged to look up Desmond Tutu’s descriptions of the concept of ubuntu: You cannot be human on your own. We are human only through relationship. We are made for this delicate network of interdependence. I need you in order for me to believe. I need for you to be you to the fullest. We are made for complementarity, to become fully human. Ubuntu says you are human because you participate in relationship. A person is a person through other persons.

It was suggested to me that a sense of our interconnectedness and common humanity is desperately needed in situations of conflict (e.g. Israel and Gaza). If principles of ubuntu are embraced as applying even to me and my enemy, surely this would help in finding the will to try to navigate through hatred and hurt towards alleviation of pain and suffering?

In her book “Slow Down, Show Up and Pray: Simple Shared Habits to Renew Wellbeing in Our Local Communities” Ruth Rice mentions a woman who had started coming to a Renew Wellbeing café (Nick Parsons’ Thought, 17 Nov 2023 has further information). Until finding the café, the woman sometimes didn’t hear her name spoken all week, outside the context of healthcare appointments. That story has stayed with me.

Maybe thinking on the concept of ubuntu will inspire us in our relationships with others, and in taking simple steps towards a world where acts of friendship can help to dispel loneliness.

Ruth Allen

24th November 2023

We have a small weather station in our back garden which wirelessly transmits its data to a receiver in the sitting room. On top of the station are three connected cups that spin in the breeze, sending a measurement of wind speed to us indoors. Our then four-year old granddaughter spotted this device and, not […]

22nd November 2023

Strange. Instant TV news coverage of the Israel-Hamas war brings – by the hour and almost as it happens – the horrors in Gaza right into our living rooms. On the other hand, because so many of those fighting and suffering are not ‘us’, separated from us by geography and often differing by religion and […]

20th November 2023

In the Genesis 3 account of Adam’s rebellion against the rules of good order in Eden, in a passage challenging to ardent feminists, it is through Eve that the serpent secures human disobedience with its fateful consequences. By vivid contrast, Mary’s response to Gabriel’s announcement that she is to bear a child who will be […]

17th November 2023

Open to God, Open for all. We are rightly and properly proud at Tyndale that we are open to all who come in to the building; it is a sanctuary in more ways than one. This week I have received a little reminder that I must not let my pride in what God does through […]

15th November 2023

At this time of year we are invited to celebrate Bible Sunday, now more relevant than ever as our hearts are wrung for the suffering in the lands where the biblical events actually took place and pray for people there to receive the assurance and comfort the Bible can give. Bible Sunday brings us news […]

10th November 2023

I was five when I was sent to the local Anglican Sunday School. Michael-up-the-road (also aged 5) and I caught the bus to the village, went to Sunday School and came home again unescorted – unthinkable now! Then my mother discovered that we were taught that God sat on a big cloud watching us and […]

8th November 2023

In recent BBC TV news reports from the Middle East, key facts have been superimposed on an aerial photograph showing the border between Gaza and neighbouring Israel running down the middle of the screen. To the left, Gaza, appearing pinkish-white with the vague shapes of buildings; to the right, Israel, the land covered with a […]

3rd November 2023

The other day I had the honour to hear a sermon on that grotesque story in the book of Judges (Ch19-21) of a Levite and his concubine. It is a story of sexual violence and mutilation. The sermon was one of the most powerful that I have ever heard. The preacher asked the question, “Why […]

1st November 2023

Few people have written about the long tragedy in Israel-Palestine with such insight, compassion and realism as the late Kenneth Cragg, sometime Anglican bishop in Jerusalem and a lifelong scholar on the roles of Judaism, Islam and Christianity with their competing claims to ‘the Holy Land’. Successive attempts at purely ‘political’ solutions are self-defeating because […]

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