Infinitely Diverse God: Through your Son Jesus, you showed love and regard for marginalised people. As we gather on this International Day against Homophobia, Bisexism, Intersexism and Transphobia, gather into your loving arms all those who feel they cannot gather with a church because of their sexuality or gender; all those who feel they must conceal their true self to be part of a church; and all those the church has rejected or lost. Gather them, Lord, because the church has failed: and bring us all into your loving communion, we pray. In the name of the one who came to reconcile all people: Jesus Christ, our Lord: Amen. Continue reading “Prayer for the church for IDAHOBIT”
Imagine being a hospital chaplain who cannot enter the room of a dying patient. This is the reality of coronavirus. Public health demands that patients die alone, yet patients still need people to journey with them, and to offer words of hope and comfort both to themselves and to their loved ones. Continue reading “Drawing close … from a distance”
O Holy One:
You welcome the clean of hand
and pure of heart.
As I wash my hands,
wash away my guilt also.
Cleanse me of all violence, greed, envy and hate;
any tendency to manipulate;
make my heart white as snow.
For you did create us to worship you:
this we know, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen Continue reading “Prayer for Handwashing II”
I don’t know about you, but in this house we’re washing our hands like we’ve never washed them before. We lather up, sing Amazing Grace (one verse), Sizohambe Naye (both verses) or God is loving and love is giving (twice through), then rinse and dry thoroughly. It’s lovely to sing as we scrub, but given shutdown has made it impossible for us to experience many of the usual physical rituals of our faith, I wondered how we could turn handwashing into a more intentional spiritual practice. Continue reading “A prayer for handwashing”
So kids are back at school and yet at home; and parents are at work and yet at home. Parents are now expected to supervise and support their children as they learn online, even while doing their own work – which in itself has become more challenging due to all the changes. Any plans we might have had for juggling work and kids through the school holidays are now being extended indefinitely by the COVID-19 shutdown; while for others, work has suddenly dried up. And so, one way or another, stress levels are heading through the roof. Continue reading “Like the child who bursts into a Zoom call”
When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha said to him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world. (John 11:17-27) Continue reading “#40: Resurrection life”
In this story, Jesus ‘had compassion’ on the crowds. At least, that’s how it’s usually, politely, translated. A more accurate translation is that his ‘guts wrenched.’: Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest. (Matthew 9:35-38) Continue reading “#30: Entering another’s pain”
Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise. Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. (James 5:13-16) Continue reading “#29: Prayer and medicine”
In this time of global pandemic, closed borders, economic collapse, isolation, and loneliness, ordinary people like us are needed to do God’s priestly work. (Listen.)
It wasn’t Donald, as he boasted and blustered and bribed his way to the top. It wasn’t Vlad, with his iron fist and steely will and heart of stone. It wasn’t Boris, as he manipulated fear and stirred up trouble and tore people apart. And it wasn’t Scottie from marketing, with his smooth talking smugness at his own success. Instead, it was the one everyone forgot, the one rambling the hillsides, the one who stank of sheep. Continue reading “Not Donald, not Boris, but you and me”