Pete Greig: A Sabbath Prayer

Today is Sunday the 29th of March and this week we have been focussing our prayers on those affected by the global coronavirus crisis.
We have explored Christ’s invitation to connect in a time of isolation, to go deep in a time of distraction, to have courage in a time of containment, to hope in a time of hype, to receive breath in a time of death and to love in a time of fear.

Now, on this Sabbath day, when many will not be able to gather in their church services as usual, we join together as One Church to pray verses from the Bible.

Pause
As I enter prayer now, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly, to re-centre my scattered senses upon the presence of God.

Pause and pray

Rejoice and Reflect
I rejoice in God’s protection today, joining with the ancient praise of all God’s people in the words of Psalm 46…

Pete Greig: Courage in a time of containment

Today is Saturday the 28th of March, in the fourth week of Lent.
This week we have been focusing our prayers on the Coronavirus crisis, and today we are going to explore Christ’s invitation to take courage in this time of containment.

Pause
As I enter prayer now, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly; to re-centre my scattered senses upon the presence of God.

Pause and pray

Prayer of Approach
Unshakeable God, you are my ever-present help in times of trouble. Amidst all the isolation, grief and fear caused by this crisis, renew in me your peace, restore to me your perspective, and reveal to me your presence as I spend this time with you now.

Rejoice and Reflect
I choose to rejoice in the reassurance of God’s smile today, joining with the ancient praise of all God’s people in the words of Psalm 4:1, 6-8…

Darlene Zschech: Forever My King

Darlene Zschech’s song “Forever My King.”  The way she sings can bring you right to the feet of Jesus.  And the bridge of the song: “Holy, holy, holy are You, God/Holy, holy, holy are You, God/The whole earth is filled with Your glory, Jesus/The whole earth is filled with Your glory, Jesus” is simply worship at its best.

Here’s a five minute video of Darlene telling the story behind the writing of the song.
Here’s Darlene singing the song live.

Pete Greig: Hope in a time of hype

Today is Friday the 27th of March. This week we are focusing our prayers on the Coronavirus crisis and today we are going to explore the hope of Christ in a time of hype.
Pause
As I enter prayer now, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly; to re-centre my scattered senses upon the presence of God.

Pause and pray

Prayer of Approach
Unshakeable God, you are my ever-present help in times of trouble. Amidst all the isolation, grief and fear caused by this crisis, renew in me your peace, restore to me your perspective, and reveal to me your presence as I spend this time with you now.

Rejoice and Reflect
I choose to rejoice in the hope of God’s unfailing love today, joining with the ancient praise of all God’s people in the words of Psalm 33:18-22…

Pete Greig: Depth in a time of distraction

It’s Thursday the 26th of March. Today we continue to focus our prayers on the Coronavirus crisis, exploring Christ’s invitation to depth in a time of distraction.
Pause
As I enter prayer now, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly; to re-centre my scattered senses upon the presence of God.

Pause and pray

Prayer of Approach
Unshakeable God, you are my ever-present help in times of trouble. Amidst all the isolation, grief and fear caused by this crisis, renew in me your peace, restore to me your perspective, and reveal to me your presence as I spend this time with you now.

Rejoice and Reflect
I choose to rejoice in the promise of God’s presence today, joining with the ancient praise of all God’s people in the words of Psalm 46:6,10-11…

J John: On Being Home Alone

Here are some wise thoughts from Canon J. John about staying at home.

In my last blog I wrote about us suddenly finding ourselves travelling through the unknown and unpleasant land of ‘Covidia’. Now on the path before us lies self-isolation or quarantine; of choosing or being forced to stay at home for weeks.

There are, of course, exceptions to this. Many people – including many readers – will not have the option of staying at home but will be out on the front line as doctors, nurses, health staff, police officers, pharmacists, supermarket workers and those in other vital roles. If this is you, can I, along with my readers, express our admiration and gratitude to you. We who are on the side-lines of this struggle, salute you and resolve to pray and support you through this time.

Now that self-isolation is what we now face, how do we handle it? Let me share three words that I hope will help.

Pete Greig: Breath in a time of death

It’s Wednesday the 25th of March. Today we continue to focus our prayers on the Coronavirus pandemic exploring the significance of breath in a time of death.

Pause

As I enter prayer now, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly; to re-centre my scattered senses upon the presence of God.

Pause and pray

Prayer of Approach
Unshakeable God, you are my ever-present help in times of trouble. Amidst all the isolation, grief and fear caused by this crisis, renew in me your peace, restore to me your perspective, and reveal to me your presence as I spend this time with you now.

Rejoice and Reflect
I choose to rejoice that God is firmly in control today, joining with the ancient praise of all God’s people in the words of Psalm 63:3-8…

David Bentley Hart: Why Do People Believe in Hell?

In this New York Times article by David Bentley Hart, he writes that the idea of eternal damnation is neither biblically, philosophically nor morally justified. But for many it retains a psychological allure.

Once the faith of his youth had faded into the serene agnosticism of his mature years, Charles Darwin found himself amazed that anyone could even wish Christianity to be true. Not, that is, the kindlier bits — “Love thy neighbour” and whatnot — but rather the notion that unbelievers (including relatives and friends) might be tormented in hell forever.

It’s a reasonable perplexity, really. And it raises a troubling question of social psychology. It’s comforting to imagine that Christians generally accept the notion of a hell of eternal misery not because they’re emotionally attached to it, but because they see it as a small, inevitable zone of darkness peripheral to a larger spiritual landscape that — viewed in its totality — they find ravishingly lovely. And this is true of many.

Continue reading “David Bentley Hart: Why Do People Believe in Hell?”