The (Western) Church
Today commemorates the 'Holy Innocents' - the event which under the command of Herod saw a number of boy children (two and under) put to death in an attempt to kill Jesus. It's was a day when the words of Jeremiah 31 (A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.) were fulfilled and speaks of the death of innocents through the action of the powers of darkness and oppression. So as we remember how dark forces acted against the coming into the world of the light that is Jesus - we ought also to spare a moment for the many innocents who have lost their lives in Syria and Nigeria and so many other places in our news of late.
Take a listen to to the Carol at the foot of this page and think of the words that relate to 'then' and 'now' too.
Time to make a stand, offer prayers and issue a plea for the light to be made manifest through... oh yeah, you and me!
Is enjoying alcohol to the extent that here in the UK we, the general public, are spending some £21bn each year to combat the effects of it! So much so that the head of the College of Emergency Medicine, Dr. Clifford Mann, has called for an end to the soft approach currently used and the adoption of arrests, fines and imprisonment as a means of curbing the situation.
It seems that some things may always be with us, and that Hogarth's fears then are very much the reality for many of us today. Surely a cause for shame, prayer and engagement by the Church.
Christian 'Phone Apps (PrayerMate)
Watch the video and if you think that this App will do something to help you pray just that little more efficiently and effectively (and we all want to pray well but yet somehow rarely do it seems) then visit Andy Geer's website and get yourself a copy - iPhone and Android versions available.
I have mine and I'll review it a bit later down the line when I've seen how it's worked for me.
Still - it's free, what do you have to lose?
Something to listen to
Heavenly Father, whose children suffered at the hands of Herod,
though they had done no wrong:
by the suffering of your Son and by the innocence of our lives frustrate all evil designs
and establish your reign of justice and peace;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.