Prayer with left-over candles

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Here’s an idea for the Ending of the Year: collect all your left-over candles and place them around the room.

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Before the Ending of the day 14

 

The beautiful parish church of Great Bowden and a soft early spring evening where I attended Soul Space. It is a gentle end of the day gathering which invites me to sit and respond in quietness and modest faith. There are no demands that tell me how to feel or think; just a space offered for the possibility of prayer and worship.
As I arrive I am given a piece of paper and its first words are
CHRIST IS RISEN
WE ARE RISEN.
Really? Continue reading

Before the ending of the day 13

There was a garden in that place and a new tomb in which no one had been laid
John 19:41
I first visited the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem in 1988. I returned there to study at St George’s College ten years later and one afternoon re-visited the site and this describes what I saw. Continue reading

Conversation: Nicodemus

Untitled4John 3: 1-10; 7: 45-52; 19: 38-20: 1

 

I am always known as the one who met him at night.

I am not making excuses but it was just better that way.

I was too well-known in Jerusalem.

If it was known I had met Jesus I would have lost my reputation.

 

I was known for my caution.

I did not take sides.

Jesus gave me a problem.

He created division.

He polarised opinion.

He made it difficult for others;

especially people like me.

I tried to be a voice of calm

In stormy times;

but it was not easy.

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Conversation: The Centurion

Untitled2Mark 15: 33-39

 

Do not put thoughts into my head which are not there.

 

I am no Christian.

I am not about to go off and become one of his followers.

As far as I am concerned his death was impressive;

you might even say unusual.

But whatever a Christian may mean by ‘God’s son’

all I am saying is he died like a child snuggling in his mother’s arms –

and that you don’t see when death by crucifixion gets to work.

 

I could hear what he was saying in between the gabbling of his tormentors.

They are bunch of idiots.

You couldn’t tell whether they were for him or against him.

It was almost as if they wanted to worship him.

But they weren’t listening.

They were too busy making their own noise to hear him.

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Conversation: The Nameless Lover

Untitled1John 19:25-27

For a while it was the occasion we expected.

It became an experience that I will not forget.

The Passover meal was all but over

when suddenly he said one of those

surprising things that we never saw coming.

‘One of you will betray me’!

It was like a knife to the heart.

Betrayal?

Capture – yes.

Torture – yes.

Mockery – yes.

Murder – quite possibly.

But not betrayal, not by one of us.

And then I was involved in more than I wanted.

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Conversations … the story so far

300px-Mattias_Stom,_Christ_before_CaiaphasOver the last week I’ve been posting a series of reflections which seek to describe a possible response of some of the people who were intimately involved in the 24 hours before the death of Jesus. I first performed them as part of a Good Friday Service at Bath Abbey.

Each reflection is accompanied by suggestions for scripture reading and prayer.l1283861072

You can catch up on the stories so far here:

Judas Iscariot, Caiaphas, Pontius Pilate, Barabbas and Simon of Cyrene

The conversations have also been published in The Baptist Times.Giotto_-_Scrovegni_-_-31-_-_Kiss_of_Judas

Still to come …

The Nameless Lover, Mary Magdalene, The Centurion, Joseph of Arimathea, and Nicodemus.

Conversation: Simon of Cyrene

l1283861072Mark 15:20-32

My family told me they could see something had happened.

All they needed to do was look at my face.

The boys told me later in life they were terrified.

I looked like I had stared into the pit of hell.

 

It wasn’t what they were expecting.

My wife had been preparing for the Sabbath.

She had expected me home early.

This was going to be a special time,

more special than usual;

we were not only back in Israel from years of exile,

but celebrating a Sabbath in Passover

and what’s more

within sight and sound of the sacrifices

of Passover.

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Conversation: Barabbas

Untitled6Mark 15:6-15

 

Well that’s a turn up for the book.

Freedom.

A walk in the hills of Judea not a stagger to a cross.

But why me?

I know my people – full of talk and protest

but when it comes to it, do they do anything?

Of course not.

It takes the likes of me to actually do something.

 

You can’t just talk about the Romans behind closed doors.

Mumble, mumble.

Groan, groan.

Complain, complain.

That gets you nowhere.

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