Monday, August 10, 2015

Mary, Malaria, MacDonald, Migrants, Sacred and Spiritual Links - Monday 10th August 2015

A superbly thoughtful Protestant reflection on Mary in the context of Coptic Orthodoxy is here. Spoiler Alert: your prayer life might never be the same again after reading this!

Tessa and Nick in Uganda alert us to the continuing terribleness of virulent malaria.

George MacDonald is a name not much heard of these days, but you can read up on him here. He had a profound (and anti-Calvinist) understanding of the love of God.

Migrants are all the news, especially in Britain where a recent Songs of Praise spot from the tent church in Calais has been controversial. But what does the Vatican say about migrants? Here.

The following links have been supplied by a UK colleague:

#1 and #2 Vaughan Roberts has been preaching on challenges to ministry at Moore College; #3 more talks are available from Clayton TV and the Keswick Ministries site; #4 and #5 Peter Carrell and Stephen Trott give their thoughts on the Sunday Scripture readings; #6 and #7 transfiguration bells and music from the North and the South; #10 Thankfully the South Sudanese pastors have been released after a more minor conviction but it what looks like a pattern from prior cases, they are now being prevented from leaving the country.  Please pray for their safety and freedom along with other persecuted Christians.

Prayers for you for the coming week.

1. Paul and Silas at Philippi [Acts 16:6-34] - Vaughan Roberts - Moore Theological College Chapel Audio

2. Interview and Q&A with Vaughan Roberts about coming to faith and ministry at Moore on Vimeo

3. More Talks from the Keswick Convention 2015 - Clayton TV [see listing on left for the Keswick Lectures from Ian Randall, Mark Greene and Michael Ramsden]
and there are more talks from the 2015 convention to download here

4. Preaching Ideas and Commentary - Rev Peter Carrell

5. The Sunday Readings - Rev Stephen Trott

6. The bells of the monastery of the Transfiguration, on the Solovki Islands in Northern Russia - BBC Radio 4

7. Choral Evensong from Southern Cathedrals Festival in Salisbury Cathedral and sung by the choirs of Chichester, Salisbury and Winchester Cathedrals - BBC Radio 3

8. Sunday Hour - BBC Radio 2

9. Archived Choral services over the Summer from the chapels of King's College Cambridge
and St John's College, Cambridge
and Trinity College, Cambridge
and New College, Oxford

Please pray for Rev Yat Michael and Rev Peter Reith released from threat of death in Sudan at a hearing on 5th August but being stopped from travelling, much as happened in the case of Meriam Ibrahim; for the persecuted church in Syria and Iraq, in China; and for the Diocese of South Carolina.

10. Topical Prayers - Church of England
Syria: Dozens of Assyrian Christians Kidnapped or Detained By ISIS - Christianity Today
Sudan: 'I'm Born Again': Sudan Frees Pastors Facing Death Penalty - Christianity Today
Khartoum bans South Sudanese pastors from leaving - Sudan Tribune
All Souls Langham Place has some suggestions
China: China Sees Red: Christian Protest Puts Hundreds of Crosses Back in Public - Christianity Today
South Carolina:Prayers from Lent and Beyond

11. Sunday Programme with Edward Stourton - BBC Radio 4

Food for thought
12. Suez Canal New Project …A New Hope for Egypt - Bishop Mouneer Anis
Gates to Goliath's city discovered - Christian Today
Religion and law round-up – 9th August - Frank Cranmer
They Didn't Think It Through No 19, Sunday Trading - David Keen
Church spires in danger from corrosion, rotten timber and … woodpeckers - Guardian

13. Evangelism - Mark Ritchie - Soul Survivor

14. The Transfiguration - Sufjan Stevens


Father Ron Smith said...

Thanks, Peter, for posting this protestant's view of the Orthodox Liturgy and its reference to Mary, the mother of Christ. Here is an interesting comment made by the writer:

"That is: In times of need, I am very eager to ask my friends to pray for me. If I believe that the prayers of a living Christian can make a difference with God, why should I not also seek the prayers of still-living Christians in heaven?"

This is all part and parcel of the Catholic/Orthodox understand of the co-inherence of the Communion of Saints - both here and in heaven. What's to criticise about seeking the intercession of those closer in proximity to Christ that we are at this point in time? Of course, if you have a problem with the Community of Saints; then I guess this would be a problem.

We, at St. Michael and All Angels, Christchurch, will be honouring Our Lady, Mother of Christ, in the Liturgy on Sunday - in common with all catholic Christians.

phlegon said...

Interested in your note on George MacDonald - I found his works very helpful - children fiction e.g. At the Back of the North Wind (equally they could be regarded as adult fiction); fantasies (Phantastes, Lilith); and "ordinary" fiction, very capably edited versions by Michael Phillips. If you want to read unedited ones (apart from the children fiction) be prepared for a super-Dickens style. The theme of the grace and goodness of God in ordinary and difficult circumstances seems to shine through, and whether one isn't or is Calvinist, there's a richness there. I think C S Lewis said something like his imagination was baptised by reading MacDonald. Jonathan Wood

Father Ron Smith said...

I looked afresh today (in the midst of a bout of bronchitis) on the article discussing George McDonald's book on the Love of God. Quoted here in the article is a phrase I found most affecting and delectable:

' “I don’t want God to love me, if he does not love everybody.” MacDonald would eventually come to reject Calvinism and embrace the universal love of an infinitely loving Father. His writings, both fiction and non-fiction, are penetrated by this love'

This sounds so Christ-like, I cannot but endorse the theological insight of the writer. We need more Christocentric writers like George McDonald. Then the world may become more like its Creator intended.