Keeping up Appearances – Matthew in Advent day 6

In the 1990s British sitcom Keeping up Appearances, Hyacinth Bucket, who insists on her surname being pronounced Bouquet, is a snob despite her family being the kind of person she looks down on. The comedy comes from Mrs Bucket getting into embarrassing predicaments in each episode. Patricia Routledge and Clive Swift as Hyacinth and Richard …

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Sweating the small stuff – Matthew in Advent day 5

“If we do an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, we will be a blind and toothless nation.” Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Dr Martin Luther King Jr, waving to the crowd at a civil rights protest in Washington DC.Picture used under a Creative Commons licence. The Gospel of Matthew is written as a series of …

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Oath is a four letter swear word – Matthew in Advent day 4

It has become an increasingly common sight these days to see padlocks fastened to bridges where there is a metal handrail. While I find it sweet for couples to leave a momento of their love, the traditional way was to carve it into a tree trunk, this new way has problems, ornate wrought iron work …

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Heaven, mansion or shack? – Matthew in Advent day 2

A few years ago I attended a Christmas meal at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, home of the Dukes of Devonshire. Not dining with the Duke, unfortunately, nor in the dining room of the great house itself, but in rooms in a converted stables. Still this was a level of luxury that I am not accostomed …

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Apocalyptic – Matthew in Advent day 1

In the book "Why democracies die" by Harvard University political scientists Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, coup-d'etat is not the most likely way. That, they say, is when the views of the opposition are no longer tolerated,. This tolerance involves accepting the results of a free and fair election where the opposition has won, in contrast with advocacy for overthrow or spurious …

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