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This past Tuesday I went to the  National Assembly and witnessed the passing of the Secrecy Bill.  To see MP’s voting as slaves to their party rather than as servants of the people was sad—the notable     inspiring exception being Gloria Borman.  But as Upton Sinclair said: “It is difficult to get a man [sic] to […]

In the sermon last week we reflected on Gospel Economics as revealed to us through Jesus’ parable of the talents found in Matthew 25.  The popular interpretation of this parable encourages us to not waste the gifts that God has given us and advises us to work hard.  Simply put: “God helps those who help […]

It is that time of year again—when we work on CMM’s budget for next year.  It is my hope that the budget will somehow honour God’s dream and answer God’s prayer for the people of this city. I remember being taught that if you want to really see what a congregation believes in— just ask […]

What is the best way to stop your child becoming an atheist?  Here is someone’s answer.  Be warned, the sarcasm bites!  But maybe the bite will wake us up a bit….   “The best way to stop your child becoming an atheist is to not educate them, or expose them to critical thinking, logic or […]

During the time of Jesus the world population was around 300 million.  It reached a billion in around 1800.  the 2nd billion in 1927.  The 3rd billion in 1959.  The 4th in 1974.  The 5th in 1987.  The 6th in 1999 and now  tomorrow we reach 7 billion.   There is not doubt that the […]

This past week I planted my potted vegetable garden.  It is always an amazing experience to bury these tiny tiny seeds into the soils darkness.  It assaults my  logic to think that life—nourishing life—will stretch forth in two weeks time.  As I uttered my disbelief and doubt my farming friend Mario assured me: “Alan you […]

If you have access to the internet I recommend the following blog by Rachel Held Evans.  Here is one of her latest offerings that I have been challenged by:   “Some like to say that the bravest thing Christians can do is defend their faith, to stand their ground and refuse to change.   But […]

Quotes by the Dalai Lama…   “In our struggle for freedom, truth is the only weapon we possess.” “My religion is very simple.  My religion is kindness.” “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others.  And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries.  […]

My travel diary for the past week or so has been quite hectic.  I started out in Port Elizabeth presenting the 2nd Barry Marshall Memorial Lecture.  Some of you will remember that Barry, my friend and colleague, died two years ago while surfskiing in Algoa Bay.  I spent time with Elaine and felt her pain […]

I came away from the camp last weekend grateful for the opportunity to connect with people who I see  every week but don’t really know. It takes time to get to know someone.  Unhurried time to listen and to learn enables understanding and connection.  It therefore stands to reason that it takes time for authentic […]

It is a great pleasure to welcome  Beulah Durrheim to CMM this morning.  Beulah will be sharing the Good news today.  I am away (with 70 or so    others from the congregation) in Simon’s Town for our annual congregation camp.  We will be      worshipping this morning with a towering mountain behind us and rolling seas […]

If we need to learn anything 10 years on from 9/11 it is that Jesus spoke the truth when he said that “Satan cannot cast out Satan” [Mark3:23].  Translating those words into the 9/11 context we can now clearly see that violence cannot cast out violence.  Terror cannot cast out terror.  War cannot end war.  […]

Jesus Weeps!   Luke 19: 41-44   On hearing of the disastrous Charge of the Light Brigade in October 1854, a French General said: “An event has happened upon which it is difficult to comment and impossible to remain silent.”   That is how I feel today – in the light of the terrifying tragedy […]

I saw a yacht in the stormy seas the other day.  The wind sent spray everywhere as the yacht punched through the huge swells.  The sailors must have been drenched! It was fun and impressive to watch from my warm, dry car.  I started wondering about how amazing it was that the yacht did not […]

“Get real or get out!”  This is a slogan that is displayed in a drug rehab centre.  It is direct and to the point as one would expect in a place that exists for the sole purpose of  facilitating life-saving change within a person.  And if you think the slogan is a bit harsh, it […]

Confession simply understood is truth-full talk to God in the presence of a witness.  We confess not to get ourselves into heaven or to secure forgiveness.  This is grace-fully given to us by God already.  We confess in  order to be healed.  Confession is a healing act in so far as we place our brokenness […]

Last week we were reeling in shock as we heard the news of the killings in Norway.  A tragic testimony of what one person filled with fear and prejudice can achieve. The reporting of the events as they were unfolding in Norway were also disturbingly filled with their own fear and prejudice.  At first it […]

Lately I have been reminded of the privilege it is to be in the presence of  people who risk being real.  Real, as in being, genuine and authentic without the protective mechanisms of pretence at play.  Real—in all its rawness by those who open their hearts and not simply their mouths when they speak.  People […]

Not sure how many of you know that the first Church Service to be broadcast live by the SABC took place here in this sanctuary in 1925?  (See the plaque in the “Time Tunnel” next to the bathrooms).  It was cutting edge technology back then and this community was at the forefront.  Since then things […]

Welcome… Do these words by JRR Tolkien also resonate with you?  “It is the job that is never started that takes the longest to finish.” Yes there are things I just never get round to finishing because I never get round to starting them!  Yet I expect them to get finished and I am annoyed […]

Welcome! During Wednesday Church this past week we discussed the “Protection of Information Bill” presently before parliament and how in its current form threatens our fledgling democracy.  We decided to make a giant banner that we will hang from the bell tower declaring: “The Truth will keep us Free” In our discussion we discovered that […]

Welcome! This past week, veteran journalist, Max du Preez  wrote: “Just saw an old man chasing pigeons away in Long Street Cape Town so he could grab the bread crusts thrown out for them.  Shame on all of us.” This past week I saw a body covered tight with a stretched blanket, a mummy-like-mound lying […]

At Wednesday Church we reflected on the Charter for Compassion http://charterforcompassion.org/site/.  I really encourage you to go through it—it warrants our reflection—perhaps use it as the basis for your daily devotions this week—paragraph by paragraph. More than our reflection however, it calls for our commitment.  A commitment to live deliberately compassionate lives.  I believe this […]

Where the internet has long been a powerful medium for written work, it’s only in recent years, with the rise of the YouTubes and podcast delivery platforms of the world, have audio and video risen to prominence. And we feel, dependent on the message being shared, certain things are best heard, or seen, or written. […]