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Deep Cleaning

The Jews of Jesus’ time took the old expression “cleanliness is next to Godliness” pretty literally. Swine and other non-Kosher foods were considered ‘unclean’. Sinners were also condemned as ‘unclean’. Consequently, the fact that Moses commanded lepers to shout out that they were ‘unclean’ to warn other people about their condition had some serious moral connotations. It wasn’t bad enough that they had a chronic illness and had to live on the outskirts of society to prevent it from spreading.

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Rejoicing in the promise

The Third Sunday of Advent is traditionally known as Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is a Latin command meaning: “Rejoice!” Of course we might expect to rejoice at Christmas. But that’s still over a week away, so why are we supposed to rejoice now? Well, partly it’s a reminder that Christmas is the anniversary of a joyous event that’s already happened. Our celebration doesn’t really have to wait because it’s not like we’re actually still waiting for Christ to be born.

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Always Active

Listening to Gardeners' Question Time on Radio 4 last weekend we were treated to a very clear response to a simple question, which was 'Shall I put my garden to bed?' Christine Walkden, one of the panellists, gave her answer with a delivery that was forceful and passionate.

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Straight Talking

This Sunday we meet the startling and uncompromising figure of John the Baptist. John appears out of the desert with a hard-hitting call to turn away from sin and so prepare for the coming of the Messiah. At times we come across straight talking people who don’t shrink from telling the truth. We usually find them rude and unsettling. But there was something which rang true with the words of John the Baptist. Here was a man who lived what he preached.

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