Five loaves, two fishes and a pocketful of prayers make a church

God provides abundance where people see scarcity, delights in gathering people to feed them, and comes up with endlessly surprising ways to do so—even during lockdown. (Listen.)

Here we are in lockdown again, and life is feeling small. We don’t see enough people; we don’t share enough meals; we don’t get enough exercise; the walls are beginning to close in. Even when lockdown eases, we know from previous experience that it will take time and energy to reengage with the world. We’ll have new restrictions to navigate and new fears to manage. And after all these months of infrequent socialising, some of us will decide that it’s all too hard; we’ll choose to stay home. Continue reading “Five loaves, two fishes and a pocketful of prayers make a church”

Unless a seed falls and dies …

“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it can only be a single seed. But if it dies, it bears much fruit.” A guided meditation. (Listen.)

To make the most of this, set aside a little time, and allow plenty of time between the questions. When you are ready, relax your body; uncross your legs; uncomplicate your heart. Ask God to help you surrender to whatever it is that God wants to do in you or say to you today. Breathe slowly and deeply in, then out: remembering the Holy Spirit, the Sacred Breath, which moves between us now. Now imagine: You are holding a seed. Look at it carefully. What colour is it? What shape? Is it large or small, rough or smooth? In your mind’s eye, turn it around.

Continue reading “Unless a seed falls and dies …”

Our lives, broken and shared

The Risen Christ is recognised when he takes bread, gives thanks, and shares it; just as when we take our own lives, give thanks, and feed others. (Listen.)

They recognise him when he takes bread, gives thanks, breaks it, and gives it away. He has always done this. When he was born, he was laid in a feeding trough. When he grew up, he catalysed picnics and ate at sinners’ tables and barbecued fish on the beach for his friends. He took bread and wine and made them special: and those who ate with him knew an abundance and a welcome they had never known before. Continue reading “Our lives, broken and shared”

#22: Seek first God’s kingdom: #40ways40days

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear … For it is the peoples of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.’ (Luke 12:22, 30-31)

I chose this passage because it speaks so much to the bundle of fears, hopes and desires we each grapple with, and need to come back to time and time again. This passage has been a game changer for Greg and I, and I am both grateful for it and struggle with it at various points in my life. Just before this passage there are contrasting stories. First, of a man who kept building bigger and bigger barns for himself, and who was ever more focused on securing his own wealth at the expense of and in the absence of others, which is contrasted with a story of the birds of the field who are provided for by God. Continue reading “#22: Seek first God’s kingdom: #40ways40days”

#21: Guard against greed: #40ways40days

Jesus said to them, ‘Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.’ (Luke 12:15)

A few years ago, I encountered the Marie Kondo method of tidying up. You take every single item that you have in your house, and you hold it closely, and you ask yourself, ‘Does this spark joy?’ If it doesn’t, you thank it for its service, and you get rid of it. The problem is that almost every item does spark joy: it triggers a memory, or it reminds me of someone I love. Continue reading “#21: Guard against greed: #40ways40days”

Satisfying the Hunger Within

Listen here.

What are you hungry for? What are you craving? Food? Friendship? The dulling of the pain? An end to loneliness? The lighting up of the darkness? The warm embrace of love? To be hungry is to be human. To feed ourselves is to be human. And we live in a ravenous age. We are all barraged daily with advertising for things which promise to sate our hunger, to quench our thirst, to satisfy our desires, to heal the pain, to end the craving, to fill the emptiness within. Continue reading “Satisfying the Hunger Within”

Going deeper at work with Jesus

Listen here.

Close your eyes, and consider your workplace: the place where you put regular time and effort; the place which demands your experience and skill. It might your home, where you raise children, cook and clean. It might be a classroom, where you teach or learn. It might be an office, where you negotiate and communicate. It might be a garden, where you help things grow. It might be a courtroom, or a library, or a factory, or a studio, or a hospital. Wherever it is, whatever you do: consider your workplace. Imagine yourself there. Continue reading “Going deeper at work with Jesus”

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