The Dalai Lama walks into a pizza shop and asks, "Can you make me one with everything?"
No, no, no, No, NO! That wasn't Thought For The Day! This is Thought For The Day.
Who's got the biggest statue of Jesus? Is it in Peru? Or is it in Rio, shown here tastefully lit up in the colours of the Brazilian football team? Or is it in Bolivia or even Poland?
All this showing off to see who's got the biggest Christ, isn't real Christianity. Real Christianity, true Christianity, my Christianity, is about being humble. We Christians are some of the humblest people there are. When it comes to humbleness, nobody can out-humble a Christian. And we're so modest about it too.
Jesus was the humblest of all. "I'm God," he would say in his very humble way, and he proved it by rising from the dead and then going up into the sky on a cloud, making the real Jesus by far the tallest Jesus seen so far.
Good morning Sarah, good morning Justin, and good morning to you all.
University students are beginning to celebrate the end of their exams. For some, the result will not be all they had hoped for. I can sympathise with that. Sixty years ago, a mental breakdown took me from anticipating a first to barely scraping through. Being gay, any relationship was a criminal offence. As a Marxist, I had no Invisible Magic Friend to turn to. Even my parents had threatened suicide.
It's only when you've experienced failure, what it's like to be at rock bottom, when your pride has been stripped and revealed as false, that you learn mercy and compassion. You have to make mistakes in order to learn how to do things right. Sometimes this involves many false starts. It took my first two relationships to learn that you must love people as they are, rather than as you would want them to be.
And to the students with a first class degree in politics and economics who still can't get a job - well at least you're clever enough to know why you can't get a job.
Gen Stanley McChrystal has been fired by President Obama. The general will no doubt have been surprised to learn that rubbishing your boss in the national press is not generally a good idea.
Having a swipe at the management is fairly common in offices up and down the country. This can be a useful safety valve that helps release tension and promote bonding between those lesser mortals who do not bear the burden of management responsibility. But as well as being a good and useful and positive thing, it can also be a bad and detrimental and negative thing. It's not nice. It's being nasty about other human beings. It devalues your superiors. You really ought to show a bit more respect for those in authority. After all, authority is a jolly good thing.
You'll have to pay for it you know. Oh, yes. When the visible bit of the Invisible Magic Friend comes back to judge us all, and just like for the last 2,000 years that could be any day now, you'll have to explain why you called your boss an overpaid, ignorant, lazy, arrogant, bullying, useless clown. You're subverting the established order, being revolutionary, taking an independent point of you. It is the height of arrogance on your part to think that someone as humble as you could be as good as your betters. Just who do you think you are? Such attitudes are unacceptable and must be crushed, as General Stanley McChrystal has now learned.
Brian here, in Southampton, an associate lecturer at the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity where we envision and equip Christians, and the leaders, churches and organisations that serve them, with the biblical framework, practical resources and models to engage biblically, relevantly and vigorously with the issues they face in today’s world. Hi.
Can you summarise a life in six words? "Andy Murray nearly won at tennis?" or "JD Salinger wrote a good book" or "Saint Tony wants to invade Iran."
Most of us, well most of "you" actually, will never be remembered - not even having been on Thought For The Day. Most of us (i.e. you) will simply disappear down the plughole of history; your insignificant, pointless little lives forgotten by all. We spiritual people have freed ourselves from ambition by recognising how irrelevant you all are. We also recognise that the universe couldn't possibly continue without us and therefore there must be an afterlife.
Mother Teresa who became so famous for helping the poor, achieved stardom by not being a star. If you gave up all ambition then who knows, maybe you too would become famous.
Happy feast of Epiphany everyone! The true meaning of Epiphany is that it's all about humility. You all need to be a bit more humble. I'm going to be humble now by showing that I don't know all the answers. We don't know where the wise men came from or even if there were three of them, but they most definitely, definitely came and were certainly very wise indeed and I say that in all humility.
The three wise men were astrologers. That's not the kind of astrologers that you get in tabloid newspapers - that would be silly, no they were the kind of astrologers that studied the heavens. Being so very wise, the three wise men definitely followed a star in the sky. Rather than take them round in a circle as you might expect, it led them to where the baby Jesus, who just definitely happens to definitely be the visible bit of the Invisible Magic Friend, was definitely being born.
What, you might be wondering, is the relevance of all this to today's news? We're at the start of several months of electioneering, where one of three wise men will be elected to run the country. They need a bit of humility too, like me. They need to be wise, like the three wise men were. They should do this, not by consulting widely, acting carefully and weighing up the needs of the country as a whole, but by studying the stars, kneeling before Jesus the prince of the universe and asking him what to do.