There is nothing new about pandemics - they have occurred all through history. In our own news we have already had comparisons with the so-called 'Spanish Flu' in 1918 which killed millions around the world. The Black Death in London 1665 killed an estimated 15% of the population. It was even worse 300 years earlier where it is estimated to have wiped out half of the mainland European population. We can go back to Roman times (or even further). A famous Roman era plague was the 'Cyprian' plague, named after a prominent Christian bishop who literally wrote "this it - this is the end of the world!". That was because 5,000 people were dying every day in Rome alone. Of course he was wrong about it being the end of the world, but it was a time where the compassion of Christians was noted across the empire.
Sunday, 26 April 2020
Sunday, 19 April 2020
Have you seen the news stories of people spotting wildlife in their gardens? The story of the wild goats coming into Llandudno in Wales - enjoying the freedom while there is no traffic. The Times showed a majestic view of the Himalayas from a town in the Punjab region, noting that for many residents it was the first time they had seen the mountains from their town, because until now it had always been covered in smog! Its as if normal creation is being given a time in which it can breathe again.
Sunday, 12 April 2020
Normally we skip Easter Saturday - having done a walk of witness on Friday, and then celebrations on the Sunday. Yet this year with lockdown impinging on our Easter it gives us an opportunity to think a bit more on the Saturday in between.
As well as asking each other the obvious 'How are you?', also ask your brothers and sisters in Christ this Soul Question:
What is your own sense of God - do you feel He is close or distant?
Sunday, 5 April 2020
We should remember that in Paul's day it could be very isolating. He would stay in a place only for months and then move on, leaving the new believers behind! They had no Zoom, no Whatsapp, no postal system - only the occasional parchment that needed to be delivered by hand! Yet when those parchments were written, they started with God and who He is. The 2nd Corinthian version declares that God is compassionate, that God is a God of comfort. Paul declares this even when the circumstances are hard, when it doesn't feel comfortable. These statements are like stabilisers on a bike or the keel of a sailing boat.
Challenge: Pray for one another, pray for others in your street