A Statement on the 2019 General Election

The following statement was issued last week to members of the congregation I serve Dear Friends in Christ, It is highly unusual for the Church to comment on political matters. The Lutheran Church confesses that God rules the world by two different means. With His ‘left hand’, He rules all people by the law through…

Not Hungry Enough

Like most modern-day Westerners, I have had a materially comfortable life. I'm not unlike Captain MacWhirr in Joseph Conrad's Typhoon, who had never been given a glimpse of immeasurable strength and of immoderate wrath, the wrath that passes exhausted but never appeased – the wrath and fury of the passionate sea. He knew it existed,…

Jesus, Thy Boundless Love to Me

A hymn by Paul Gerhardt (1607–76). The loose translation is by John Wesley (1703–91), who changed the meter of the poem significantly. Gerhardt's original consists of nine lines (87 87 87 4 68), and is traditionally set to the tune 'Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ', which was first published in 1535. In Wesley's…

Simojoki Family Concert 2019

Another year, another Simojoki family lunchtime concert at Holy Trinity church in Fareham. You can listen to the whole thing here: Programme: Simojoki Family: Fantazia Upon One Note (Z. 745) — H. Purcell (1659–95) Markus Simojoki: Menuet I & II from Partita No. 1 (BWV 825) — J.S. Bach (1685–1750) Sarah, Daniel & Tapani Simojoki:…

New Testament Passages Referring to Baptism

I put this list together for teaching purposes. It may be useful for others. [I have excluded references to the baptism of John the Baptist, since that pre-dates the resurrection of Christ] You can download a pdf version by clicking here. I—Explicitly mentioned (using the words baptise or baptism), in a teaching context Matthew 3:11…

Simojoki Family Concert 2018

Almost exactly a year since last year's event, the "Simojoki Family Consort", as we were style, was privileged to give another lunchtime concert at Holy Trinity church in Fareham. It was also the world premier performance of the Furzehall Quartet! You can listen to the whole thing here: The performance was also captured on video…

Election and the Christian Life

The doctrine of election is not primarily the abstruse, difficult article of faith that most Christians – indeed, most theologians – are intimidated by (at best). Rather, in the Scriptures it is given as a source of confidence for the Christian, and a foundation of the Christian life. Like this: … we must always take…

Prayer for the Government and Those Under Authority

From Johann Gerhard (1582–1637), Meditations on Divine Mercy Omnipotent, eternal, and merciful God, Lord of hosts, You remove kings and set up kings (Daniel 2:21). All powers in heaven and on earth are from You (Colossians 1:16). In heaven, the angels worship You, archangels praise You, thrones revere You. Governing authorities are subject to You…

F.G. Hedberg on the New Life in Christ

So when the Apostle says that we have both died and been raised together with Christ in baptism (Col 2:12), his meaning is clearly nothing but this: We have been so truly joined to the body of the Christ who once died for our trespasses and was raised for our justification (Rom 4:25) that, on…

Simojoki Family Concert

This happened today: A lunchtime concert at Holy Trinity church in Fareham. Music by Frank Bridge, Joseph Haydn and J.S. Bach. I'm very proud of the children (not to mention Sarah!), not just for their wonderful playing in today's concert, but all the hard work that has enabled them to develop their God-given talents. Hanna…