As a child, I read the whole of C.S Lewis’s Narnia series avidly; the series was a gift from my parents when I was around eight. I became submerged in a parallel universe. Now as an adult, I recently sat in a classroom with my fifteen and sixteen year old students, watching the BBC version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Now I clearly see the deeply Christian allegory of a Creator who had been gone for a while but returned and died to fulfil his own laws. The dawn of the creation of our own planet was more than our physical emergence.
In 2001, I co -led a group of 16 people on a mission trip to Kenya where, through the help of the Newbold College community, we financed and helped to build a church/ community centre. We finally arrived in Imbo, a village quite near to lake Victoria, after a tumultuous fourteen-hour drive. My first impressions of Kenya were idyllic. Zebras crossed the streets, beautifully made mud huts were asymmetrically situated and the sun beat down on the dusty roads. However, the reality of the situation was more complex than my first romantic musings.
El séptimo capítulo de Romanos es una continuación del discurso de Pablo respecto a la relación de los cristianos con ley, la realidad del pecado y la gracia de Dios. En el judaísmo del primer siglo, todos estaban familiarizados con la ley que, para muchos, se había convertido en un nudo corredizo alrededor de su cuello, un conjunto de reglas inflexibles que sólo puso de relieve cuán lejos una persona podía estar de los santos preceptos de Dios. ¡Qué diferente era ese cuadro de nuestra propia sociedad occidental!
The seventh chapter of Romans is a continuation of Paul’s discourse on the Christians relation to the law, the reality of sin and the grace of God. In first-century Judaism everyone was familiar with the law and for many it had become a noose around their neck, an unyielding set of rules that only highlighted how far a person was from God’s holy precepts. How different this picture is from our own western society.
Números 15 es un capítulo relativamente pacífico, dado el espectacular fracaso en derrotar a los amalecitas y a los cananeos en el capítulo 14 y, más aún, la rebelión y la retribución divina en el capítulo 16. Cuando los hijos de Israel se asentaron en sus cuarenta años en el desierto, se les dieron mandamientos que les aseguraron un futuro prometido, y recalcaron la forma en que Dios quiere que su pueblo viva.
Numbers 15 is a relatively peaceable chapter, given the spectacular failure to defeat the Amalekites and Canaanites in chapter 14 and even more rebellion and divine retribution in chapter 16. As the Children of Israel settle down into their forty years in the desert, they are given commandments which reassure them of a promised future, and reinforce how God wants His people to live.