Articles

Disturbing the comfortable

“A people whose hearts go astray” Psalm 95 begins on a note of great comfort and joy and will end on a note of deep challenge.  Like all good preaching, it aims to comfort the disturbed and yet disturb the comfortable.  From verse…

Building faith to move mountains

“when your ancestors tested me, and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work” From time to time in the gospels, Jesus has a particular rebuke to the disciples.  He calls them men and women of little faith.  They are skeptical…

Bitter, Grumpy and Doubtful?

“as on that day at Meribah, as at Massah in the wilderness” The story of Meribah and Massah is told in Exodus 17.1-7.  It is the story of the water which flows from the Rock.  One of the things which binds the two halves of Psalm 95…

Listening and the conversion of St Paul

Five years ago today, on the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, I was consecrated Bishop of Sheffield.  It was on a freezing cold Sunday morning in York Minster with over 2,000 people present in that great church from all over the Diocese…

Uncomfortable words

“Harden not your hearts” The Psalm now commends to us something we need to avoid if we are to hear God’s voice today as we attend to scripture in private prayer and public worship.  Something more than stillness and attention is required. We…

The Voice

Today if you will listen to his voice This final part of the psalm presumes an ongoing conversation between the LORD and his people, between the LORD and each person who will hear him.  This is the conversation which began in the story…

God speaks

Today if you will listen to his voice We will look tomorrow at what it means to listen. But today we need to pause and think about the clearest and most profound truth which underlies these words: the presumption on which they are based. The…

Today if you will listen to his voice

Today if you will listen to his voice At the end of verse 7, Psalm 95 changes gear[1].  The final section of the psalm makes it unique in the psalter.  95.1-7a is a beautiful hymn of praise but like many others in the Psalms (see Psalm…

Guiding and providing

“the sheep of his hand” The image which lies beneath the verse 8 is the same image as Psalm 23: The LORDis my Shepherd.  It is an image associated with the story of the Exodus.  God leads his people out of slavery to freedom in the…