Prejudices! Jesus came up against them throughout the course of His entire ministry – just as many of us do – especially if we find ourselves seeking to challenge vested interests! It’s usually pretty easy to recognise prejudices when they surface in other people, you will be familiar with the kind of people whose whole demeanour exudes the “don’t confuse me with facts: my mind’s made up!” The trouble is – prejudices are not just about other people: we’ve all got them. It’s just not always quite so easy to recognise our own – but it is really important that we do track them down and Continue reading
Two themes have inspired me to write this article: firstly, that the Lord encouraged – (challenged would not be too strong a word for it!) – to let Him seek out my own prejudices – and the other is that I have just spent much of the past weekend praying for Ireland in the light of the papal visit.
It may be no coincidence that this theme of prejudice has been ‘buzzing’ away in me at this time when Ireland has been so much in the news; and this at a time when it is so important that past prejudices do not dominate future developments in that country.
This has been a major time of uncovering for Ireland, when the results of the deeply held prejudices are being brought out into the open: for example in the infamous Magdalen Laundry homes, and the cruel sanctions imposed on unmarried, in the homes for unmarried mothers when they were separated from their babies.
Last Saturday night, over 80,000 people gathered in Croker Park, Dublin, for a Festival of Families, with testimonies from around the world. That is a beautiful thought for approaching the darker aspects of Ireland that have been to the fore in the last few days in many people’s thoughts and prayer. Continue reading
Prejudices and abuse are not confined to institutions, and certainly not to any one religion, denomination or political stance.
When Ros and I travelled around Pakistan in the 1980’s we were saddened by the suffering of the large number of ‘bonded labourers’ (effectively modern day slaves) who were ‘employed’ in making bricks, but who can never escape their indebtedness to their employers.
See the important work that Barnabas Fund is doing in combatting this, together with an opportunity to contribute towards helping to ransom such a worker. Continue reading
Linda wrote this beautiful song from Psalm 67 as a cry to the Lord to be gracious and to show great mercy. She originally wrote this song in French, but has also released an English version of it.
It is a superb song, and a particularly fitting one to help us pray for many situations where there is an enormous need for God’s mercy to be poured out.
Where are the places that mean most to you? Do you find refreshment and inspiration just revisiting them in spirit, or through photos? How blessed we are to live in Malvern; if the South Downs were my first love, and the Lake District a very close second, I have grown to love these hills very much too. All this speaks of the German concept of heimat. ‘Wherein the individual is able to experience safety and the reliability of its existence, as well as a place of a deeper trust.’ Continue reading