It may not come as a surprise to some, but I do like to listen out for new songs of worship. Sometimes they are a barometer to what God might be doing in the church at any one time. Of course God also brings older songs or hymns to the front, but of late there have been a number of songs of growing importance to the church today. [Read more…] about Singing in a Strange Land
‘In the C10th a ruler in Cairo issued a decree to close all churches of the Coptic Christian community in the land and to forbid the church bells to ring. The churches were closed, the gates grew rusty and the pigeons took residence in the sanctuaries. Some of the faithful Copts travelled across the desert seeking monasteries in the wilderness so that they could meet for prayer and worship. However the majority of the Copts could not afford the time or money to travel on foot across the desert, so they were forced to stay in their homes on Sundays. After nine years, the ruler decided to see for himself how the Coptic Christians were faring. In disguise, he set out on a Sunday and walked in the streets of their quarters in Old Cairo. As he walked in the narrow streets, he heard the sound of their prayers, Bible readings and worship from every house that he passed. His reaction was another decree: “Open their churches and let them pray as they please. I thought I had closed the church in every street, only to find out that I opened a church in every house.”‘
We have all been caught up in the whirlwind that has been the last week. It began with being encouraged by the government guidelines to wash hands and keep ourselves safe, to much stricter measures curtailing our freedoms in a way not seen since the second world war.
But for Sandra and I, it’s all become quite personal. [Read more…] about It’s all got personal … for everyone
As I write, the worries surrounding the coronavirus fill our media, lifting our levels of anxiety to fever pitch by regular updates sent straight to our smartphones. Though I am a fan of my iphone (other brands are available) it can dominate my thinking if I’m not careful. [Read more…] about May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace …