Lievens “Job” Job 1:21   Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised. We have looked at how Elijah declared that he was the only one left, yet there were 7,000 others he knew nothing about. We have seen how David […]

*this was originally part of a longer address preached online to the Regent College community in March 2020 in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. “I am the only one left” 1 Kings 19:10,14 da Volterra’s ‘The Prophet Elijah in the Wilderness’ Many of us may be familiar with “Mountain and valley” spiritual experiences. There are […]

1Sam.22:1 Then David escaped to the cave of Adullam Ps 57:1 I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings          until the disaster has passed. Lorrain’s “David at the Cave of Adullam In these days of the Covid-19 pandemic, when a quarter of the world is in lockdown, when our […]

A final blog on the spiritual challenges facing empty-nesters       The issue of Affection   In loving them too much, we paradoxically love them incompletely. Ultimately, if we are looking at spiritual cooling at any stage of life, it inevitably comes down to the issue of the human heart. The ultimate question is […]

Vereshchagin’s “Hannah praying” “I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief” (1Samuel, 1:16)” No sooner is the book of Ruth complete than we are launched into the story of her famous descendent, King David. But the books that tell us of his rise from obscurity to national leadership actually begin with […]

Tissot’s ‘Ruth Gleaning” “…they died, and Naomi was left.” ….“the Lord has made my life very bitter” (Ruth 1:5,20) I grew up in N Ireland during some of the worst of the civil conflict there. Yet, looking back, although it was serious and hardly any families were left unaffected over the 30 years, the violence […]

Exodus 3:1-2:  He led the flock to the far side of the wilderness…. there the angel of the Lord appeared to him. van Loo’s ‘Moses and the burning bush’ Places of isolation feature large in many of the Bible’s pivotal stories. Here it is the wilderness. Moses had clearly experienced God’s hand on his life […]

The issue of abdication: It’s not (just) the church’s job In the previous blog we looked at the issue of Distractions There has been an increased recognition within my own tradition of the home being the primary locus of Christian instruction and teaching. We have seen how, if parents abdicate the spiritual nurture of their […]

Genesis 37:23-24; 39:20-22 “So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the ornate robe he was wearing—  and they took him and threw him into the cistern.” Friedrich Overbeck: Joseph being sold We may think of Joseph as one of the Bible’s ‘success stories’; wealth, status, and eventually vindicated in front […]

Alone: Reflections on God, faith and isolation. At the moment most of us find ourselves in a strange place of greater or lesser isolation in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic.  As we all go further in to this unknown, and face the real probability of being unable to celebrate Easter together as the family […]

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