Posted by Steve Wilcox, 9 Apr 2020
Steve Wilcox offers six reasons why Christians can continue to have hope even in a time of pandemic.
Right now we’re in lock down: we can’t meet – friends, family, church family; we dread turning on the news or looking at the paper to see things getting worse and worse; we’ve had to cancel good plans; many of us are feeling isolated; worst of all we don’t know how long it will go on for.
Many people are choking in an atmosphere of anxiety and despair but as Christians we have lots of reasons to hope. Here are six to remember:
1. Our good and loving Father is in control
When something like this happens it’s easy to think that God’s lost control – that this is beyond him. But the Bible is clear that God is in control even over so called “natural” events. For example:
“Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?” (Lamentations 3:37-38).
“When a trumpet sounds in a city, do not the people tremble? When disaster comes to a city, has not the LORD caused it?” (Amos 3:6).
“Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth.” (Psalm 46:8).
These words are written to encourage us. Because God is in control. He’s not having an off day; he’s not been taken by surprise; he’s still on his throne.
We won’t always understand what he’s doing; things often won’t go the way we want. Christians as well as those who are not Christian will suffer and will die – some already have. But God is in control.
Photo by Photo by Joshua Sortino on Unsplash
Posted by Emma Scrivener, 9 Apr 2020
Our Lent series, The Blessed Life, concludes with Jesus’s final words spoken on the cross.
When you think of God, what do you picture?
We all want beauty; something so bright we fall to our knees before it. Something bigger than us; the kind that makes us shield our eyes but look and look and look again. We never grow out of this yearning; but it takes different forms. The newborn reaches for her mother’s earring. The toddler is transfixed by Christmas lights. Teens scroll furiously through pages of Insta-perfection.
The Bible says we’re made to worship and it’s beauty that captures our hearts. But be careful what you gaze upon: Those who worship idols become like them (Psalm 115:8). Worship strength and you’ll have no truck with weakness. Worship physical beauty and you’ll spend everything on your appearance. Worship relationships and you’ll be destroyed when others let you down.
The question is always ‘Who is God?’ And it’s a question you must answer whether you subscribe to ‘a religious outlook’ or not. But how should we answer? The Bible gives a surprising route to knowing God: the cross!
Posted by Lee Gatiss, 8 Apr 2020
Lee Gatiss offers a selection of prayers appropriate for use this Easter time and beyond.
A Collect for Maundy Thursday
whose glorious Son washed the feet of his disciples
and loved them to the uttermost:
give us your needful grace
to love our neighbours as ourselves,
in these days of worry and isolation,
that we may bear witness by the power of his Spirit
to the love of him who died for us all
to rescue us from the wrath to come,