Category Archives: bible

Elizabeth – Unexpected News

Taken from my 2015 book Voices Through Advent and Christmas, available through Moorleys

Based on Luke 1:5-15

Well, Zechariah came home with a right tale today.

Well, I say that.  It would have been if he could have got it out, but for some reason he was having trouble speaking.  Oh men that go to the back of their caves when they’ve got something on their mind.  But what a tale it was.

Apparently (ahem), he’d seen an angel.  He was the Priest on duty, the one chosen to go into the Temple, and there it had happened.

Goodness knows Zechariah and I have not had the easiest life.  Our longing for children has never been satisfied.  We’ve tried everything and it’s just not happened, obviously not meant to be – though I don’t know what we’ve done to deserve such a curse.  And now it’s never going to happen.  I’m way past that now.

Except, that was the message Zechariah had got from this angel.  There will be a child, a boy.

For some reason we are to call him John, though there’s no John’s in the family.  Still if God’s going to do something this amazing, I guess we can let him name the baby too.  Because this is going to be no ordinary baby, he’s got something important to do for God.

I suppose all I can do is let God do what he needs to in and through me and the child I will carry.  Still can’t quite believe it.  Can’t get my head around it.  How will I cope with what God is asking of me?  I guess God only knows.

God of surprises and impossibilities,
may I be open to all you seek to do
in and through me.

May I hear your voice,
your call,
your challenge
and respond with my life. 

 https://youtu.be/4YPr0AD5MhQ

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Darkness #Advent

Taken from my 2015 book Voices Through Advent and Christmas, available through Moorleys

Responding to Isaiah 9:2-7 

We stumbled and floundered, we scrabbled and groped our way along.  How could we see, for there was no light?  Not where we were.  Something had happened, something was missing.  Someone had stifled all the light and left us.  Darkness all around.  Real darkness. Total black.

How can I get out of this?  Who will rescue me?  Lead me?  Help me?  Guide me?  Who can bring a light, shine it on my path, that I may see?  I can’t get myself out of here.  Where would I start?

Someone, please, come and save me.

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 Lord,
you know the depth of the darkness,
the place of despair,
where there is no hope and no way out.

Reach into my darkness I pray.

Bring your light,
that I may be able to see a way out,
your way,
guiding me,
onwards,
with you.

Forgive me Lord,
the times that I have made the world a dark place.
When I have snuffed out light,
taken hope,
dimmed the light of your presence;
when I have abused life
and goodness
and justice;
when I have turned my back on you
and on others;
when I have failed to see,
because I wasn’t looking;
when I have ignored your call;
when I have behaved
as if I am the only thing that matters.

 Forgive me Lord,
and bring light,
hope and peace,
to me
and to your world.

He’s Not Here Anymore

 

Saint Elizabeth Catholic Church (Columbus, Ohio) - stained glass, The Empty Tomb
By Nheyob (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Matthew 28:1-8, Mark 16:1-8, Luke 24:1-12

I had to go
to the place they’d laid him.
I had to go
and continue the task,
to honour
in death
the one we loved so much.

I came,
dragging my cares,
my fears,
my worries.
Wondering,
questioning;
as much about practicalities
as huge theological questions.

The kind of things you worry about,
to stop you worrying about the really huge questions.

But when we got there
our confusion turned to panic.
Someone had moved the stone,
that huge rock
rolled right away.

How could anyone have budged that?

It was the final stopper
on all Jesus had been,
the seal on all he had promised.

The end had come.
We had to face it.
And yet
it had gone.

Moved.

No longer a barrier.

Left behind was
the message,
he’s not here.

It isn’t over,
this isn’t the end.
God has had the final word.
Jesus is alive.

What next?
Who knows,
but Jesus remains with us
God in him.

God taking us
on this journey
on
into life,
hope,
power.

Into life where there was death,
hope where there was despair,
freedom where there things were held down,
power where there was powerlessness.

He isn’t here anymore,
he has risen.

When seemed as if it was all over,
that this was it,
done,
finished with,
dreams shattered,
hopes dashed,
it was only the beginning.

Thank you Lord
that you have other ideas,
a new hope,
a bright future,
new life
in you.

Taken from my book Voices Through Holy Week and Easter, available from Moorleys