Category Archives: Faith

Jesus Wept

But who were the tears for?

The Raising Of Lazarus By Vincent van Gogh

It is related to us in John 11: 1-44,  that after Jesus was told that Lazarus, brother of Mary & Martha, was ill, that he did not go immediately to them in Judea; He stayed another 2 days in Jerusalem. Upon His arrival, we learn that Lazarus was already dead had been interred four days earlier. It seems then , from the timeline we are presented with, it was almost a week after being told about Lazarus, before Jesus went to see the ones’ he loved.

When Jesus arrived in Judea, He wep(John 11: 35) at the news of Lazarus’ death; but why?

Jesus knew that the power of the Father, through the Holy Spirit could resurrect Lazarus. Knowing this, it seems unlikely His tears were for Lazarus, so who were they for? Might they be tears of shame, that he allowed not only the suffering of Lazarus until death but also the suffering of Mary and Martha, all of which He could have prevented.

Perhaps His tears were for Mary and Martha, for what they had endured, after all untill He called Lazarus from the Tomb, they probably thought He’d let them all down.

Maybe it was because He new the resurrection of Lazarus would be in vain. Maybe he knew that Lazarus woud be executed in the future by the Pharisees (John 12: 10). He might have been hoping his delay would save Mary and Martha from even more pain and suffering, but when He got there emotion took over and He felt compassion for Mary and Martha and compelled to do something.

We’ll never know. I just offer a possibility.

Intercession Prayer for Sunday 7th May 2017

The Fourth Sunday of Easter.


Audio expires approximately after 90 days after posting.

Father of our Shepherd, Jesus Christ, You sent Him to Earth to care for your flock. To lead, not to heard. To open the gate to Your pasture, Not to round us up when we stray but to show us the way back to Your fold.

May this prayer encompass not only our words to You but, guided by Your Holy Spirit, that which you need us to hear today.

At Jesus baptism, You sent the blessing of Your Holy Spirit upon him as a dove. Send Your Spirit today to all those being baptised. Protect and sustain children as they grow, guide their parents, godparents and all who will care for them, that they may thrive.

Creator spirit, remind us of our own baptism and confirmation. Open our hearts and minds, to hear Your life giving word and be renewed by Your power.

Thank You Father that we live in a free democracy. We pray for the coming election. May the campaigns be fought on policy, not personality. On debate, not disparagement or dogma.

Source of truth and wisdom, guide us as we examine the options and remind us of our responsibility, to consider good and justice for all, not just our own needs and ends.

Heavenly Father, comfort all who grieve the death of a loved one or friend. Give strength to those who handle the formalities of death. Heal the unwell and injured in body or mind, according to their own need. and hear too the care of our own hears that we may say in silence within ourselves. 

Merciful Father, hear this prayer in the name of Your son, our Shepherd, Jesus Christ.

Amen.

Download and print this prayer.

Lost In Translation

Mind your language.

My native language is English. I can read sufficient Dutch to make sense of a lot of things, I write it a little, very poorly, and hardly speak it at all. Like many English people, I was, I suppose, quite arrogant for a long time about my language, with no knowledge of any other.

When we refer to language, we don’t always mean your language or mine where translation from one country’s language to another is necessary to understand one-another. Sometimes language can mean the form of words we use. For example when talking about someone’s manner of speaking I might say ‘he doesn’t beat about the bush’ . Someone else might say ‘he speaks his mind’ or ‘he has a direct manner’. Another person might simply say ‘he’s blunt’. It all means the same thing, expressed differently.

The same is equally true when we talk to someone about religion, for me Christianity but the language chosen is equally applicable to all religions. If you were not already A Christian, what would you think if I strolled up to you and said ‘can I talk to you about Jesus’ or Do you read the bible?’. Chances are, you would think me a bit odd and look for the first excuse to get away.

It’s not just what we say but also how we say something that can attract someone, or put them off entirely.I was put off The Bible early in my life by the, to me at that time, impenetrable, archaic language used in the King James Bible (given to me when I was 8 years old and which I still have). When we hope to introduce someone to Christianity, how we talk to them is important.

The same approach does not work for everyone, so be careful not just what you say, how you say it too. As usual I do not have answers, I just hope to get a bit of consideration started.

 

Interview With Mary Magdalene

Christ and Mary Magdalene by Rembrandt

Something a little different from me, so I hope you like the audio post that follows this introduction.

As with all my posts, the script is entirely by me. With thanks to my friend Jenny, who provided the voice of Mary Magdalene in the recording.

I present a fictional news interview with Mary Magdalene, set outside Jerusalem on what is now Easter Sunday.

 

Intercession Prayer for Sunday 2nd April 2017

The Fifth Sunday of Lent.

Audio prayer


Audio expires after approximately after 90 days.

Father God, young or old, rich or poor, we are all Your children. You welcome us into your home, so let us extend that welcome on Your behalf to those we reach in the name of Your son, Jesus Christ. We offer this prayer in His name.

Our Prime Minister has notified the European Union of Britain’s intent to withdraw. We pray that negotiation of departure be conducted with honesty and good will. May our separate futures be in peace, prosperity and harmony.

Though we chose a different path, Father let us remain welcoming to European citizens who chose to make their home here. Give us wisdom to see the benefits they bring to our wellbeing and prosperity.

We pray for everyone undertaking an initiative or challenge during this Lent. Support them in their efforts, guide and bless them through the lenten time.

John says Jesus shed tears with Mary and Martha as they grieved the death of their brother, Jesus’ friend Lazarus. Father God we ask that you strengthen anyone grieving today for the death of someone they loved. Support them by Your Holy Spirit as they adjust to their changed circumstances and life.

Today especially we pray for the souls of the 24 dead, their families and more than 70 injured by the terrorist bomb on Friday in Parachinar, in Pakistan.

Healing Father who cares for everyone unwell or in pain, we pray that in Your wisdom You comfort and strengthen them. Guide those who will care for them.

Father in Heaven, forgive what we have done that gave you sadness, and those things we should have done that would have brought you joy. Send Your Holy Spirit to guide us to bring Joy by Creating Connections with those who do not know you.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of Your son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen.

Download and print this prayer.

Yate Mothers’ Union Intercession Prayer

Season of Lent, 12-18 March 2017

Creator God, father of Lord Jesus Christ and creator of us all, we offer this prayer for the Mothers’ Union (MU) throughout the world, supporting family life everywhere.

Isaiah spoke of a voice calling in the the desert. Today is a different kind of desert. Now there is too many voices. It is hard for one to be heard amongst them, so let our actions speak for us. Lord let everyone see our efforts as we work for You. May our accomplishments in Your name be to honour Your son. Help us to act with grace, that through us those we affect by our actions may feel Your grace too.

In a world where there is injustice, give us strength to speak out for justice and peace. We do not ask for everyone to be equal. Father we ask that everyone has an equal opportunity, to help themselves, their families and their communities.

God of grace and justice who guides those who listen, guide and support our Mothers’ Union family around the world as we pray for:

Kajo – Keji, in South Sudan.
Tarime, in Tanzania.
Dutse and Akoko-Edo, in Nigeria.
Canterbury, In England.

We thank You for the freedom to worship You. We pray for those struggling to make Lent a time of spiritual growth. May they find Your peace in their hearts.¹

We pray for all MU members. May You be with us in every part of our lives, encouraging and leading, sheltering and strengthening us, so that we may work to Your praise and glory.²

Amen.


  1. Adapted from Families Worldwide daily prayer Thursday 16th March 2017.
  2. Adapted from Families Worldwide Issue 1.17 introduction.

Weaving

Woven Into The Fabric Of Life.

I heard a remark on the radio, the station and programme is immaterial, about how in some places around the world the religion is “woven into the fabric of daily life”. It was one of those little moments that unexpectedly gave me pause for thought with a big question about my Christianity; how is it woven into the fabric of my daily life.

The answer I got was that it isn’t, at least most of the time it’s not anyway; not to the degree it should be. Sure I observe Sunday’s and worship in Church, and on the weeks I write and read the intercession prayer, I am reminded more of Jesus’ example and teachings as a way to try and live. There are moments throughout every day when I’m reminded of my Christianity, but there are time too when I forget it.

What does, or should, it mean for Christianity to be woven into the fabric of life? I suppose the answer might be different for everyone, and I’d love to know others views.

Perhaps just having asked the question is a small step in the right direction.

For now, I guess I’ll just have to muddle along and pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit.