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Out of the question

by
14 March 2014

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Your answers

Many bishops are wearing black clerical shirts. What, then, stops priests wearing purple?

All bishops are priests, but not all priests are bishops. Purple was traditionally worn by the top people. Priests can wear any colour, but should read the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, and remember Jesus said: "Whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself will be exalted" (Matthew 23.12).

(Canon) John Goodchild
Liverpool
 

What, in John 1, is "the Word" [Answers, 21 February]?

I have always found it helpful to remember the comment of Matthew Fox in Original Blessing that the original meaning of the Hebrew used in the Old Testament (and echoed in John) for "the word" is "dabhar", which means far more than simply the written or spoken word, but rather the "divine, creative energy" of God. A substitution of that phrase whenever encountering the word "Word" can be illuminating: e.g., "The [divine, creative energy of God] became flesh."

(The Revd) Ferial Etherington  Flookburgh, Cumbria

[Thanks also to the Revd H. W. Webb, of West Wittering, Chichester, for an almost identical answer. Editor]
 

Your questions

What happens in a parish when both churchwardens are not standing for re-election and no-one can be found who is prepared to stand for election? P. C.

Why are there so many "difficult" (i.e. spiteful, rude, or unforgiving) people in churches? V. W.
 

Address for answers and more questions: Out of the Question, Church Times, 3rd floor, Invicta House, 108-114 Golden Lane, London EC1Y 0TG.

questions@churchtimes.co.uk

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