Day Three: for the mighty will fall

Psalm 79 Micah 4:6-13 Revelation 18:1-10 “It’s so difficult, isn’t it? To see what’s going on when you’re in the absolute middle of something? It’s only with hindsight we can see things for what they are.”                            S.J. Watson The prophet Micah speaks of the agony and the…

Day Two: Where Is Our God?

Psalm 79 Micah 4:1-5 Revelation 15:1-8 A retired accountant opens fire on a crowd of festival-goers from his hotel room in Las Vegas – over 50 dead and 500 taken to hospital emergency rooms for treatment …. Buildings collapse in Mexico as the earth shakes. Thousands of homes are destroyed and over 360 people are pulverised and smothered by the…

Day 1: Turn us again

Psalm 80:1-8, 18-20 Isaiah 64:1-9 Mark 13:24-37 1 Corinthians 1:3-9 One of my favourite memories of my children’s Montessori preschool remains their particular way of celebrating birthdays. Once a year, each child had the opportunity to sit in the centre of a circle of their peers while their teacher ambled around them, spinning a large globe in her hand. All…

From Advent to Epiphany

For many, Christmas has – at best – a tenuous connection to the Christ child. Some Christians refuse to celebrate the season because of the pagan practices that have influenced it and/or its historical inaccuracy. Others really struggle with how to keep the season centred around the coming of Immanuel in the midst of our frenetic, consumer-driver world in which…

Of this I am sure

*a reflection based on Ecclesiastes 12 and John 12:44-50* I want you to think for a moment of something you’re sure of; something you know deep down inside to be absolutely infallible, 100% certain and true. Perhaps you want to share it with your neighbour or your friend …. If you don’t, or if you hesitated for a moment, I…

It’s nothing but smoke

* contemplating in community Ecclesiastes 1:2-11 and James 1:2-11* You will need: a central altar or table, a black table cloth, a large candle (with three wicks is helpful to invoke visually the image of a Triune God), smaller tea lights (sufficient for the group), a lighter or matches, copies of the service, one per participant. Ritual actions indicated in…

Costly choices

A reflection based on “beyond the lectionary” readings: Job 1:6-22 2 Corinthians 8:1-6 John 8:31-38 The decision to follow Jesus is one often made in response to a moving, tangible experience of God’s grace – without too much thought or concern about what may follow; but, if taken seriously, it is a choice that has serious and abiding implications, and…

Job 1:6-22 – a prayer journey with children

The book of Job seldom features in our conversations with children – or adults for that matter – because its subject matter is so difficult to make sense of. Job 1:22 is a verse which makes us question our understanding of God’s goodness and our (carefully-nursed) illusion that the Christian life is a comfortable one. Naked I came from my…

With what do we measure?

A reflection based on readings from “Beyond the lectionary:” 1 Kings 3:16-28 1 Corinthians 14:6-12 John 7:19-24 With what do we measure? An easier question to answer might be “with what don’t we measure?” for, from an early age, we begin to learn the language of comparison. Our parents applaud enthusiastically when we manage to place the triangle, the circle,…

A Gathering Prayer

Following on from the gathering in – with string idea that I recently shared is a prayer based loosely on Psalm 119:49-56 which connects us with the countless generations of men, women, and children who have experienced the faithfulness of God in the triumphs and the struggles of their lives. The naming of these saints in Scripture deliberately includes people of different…