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Where is God in All This?

Part of the Communion In Times Of Coronavirus series of gentle reflections
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Inderjit Bhogal, 2020

In my view the first two verses of the Bible are the key to unlock the rest of it. These two verses are a summary, and what follows in the rest of the Bible illustrates this summary.

Use the wisdom of these two verses to reflect on where you find yourself now. I offer a few thoughts.

“In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, and the spirit of God swept over the face of the waters”

Genesis 1:1-2

This is the beginning, not the end.

There is a formless void, darkness, and what is termed “the deep”. God does not create this. It is just there. But God dwells in the midst of it all. This is where the spirit of God is, creating something new.

The “deep” is described elsewhere in the Bible as a trembling, a disturbance, a stirring, or a storm within a person, in the mind, in circumstances or in the environment around us. It is a stirring, which can also be scary, but in which new things happen. See for example, Jeremiah 23:9, Daniel 7:2 and John 5:2.

In Sanskrit the word is “vritti”, which signifies a whirlpool. 

This is what is being described in the two opening verses of the Bible. And such scenarios are real throughout the Bible.

The stories of the Bible are reflections of a people, their journeys in life, and how they experienced and interpreted God in the midst of the harsh realities of their meanderings and troubles, conflicts and hurts, and the points at which they found meaning and hope.

The Word of God is discerned by the people of the Bible as they reflect on their often terrifying and troubling experiences. Their reflections reveal God who is with them in their travel and travail as the still and secure and creative presence at the heart of it all. Biblical witness illuminates and unfolds this insight.

The life of God flows in the “deep”, and is the ground of all creation. God weaves darkness and the deep into all creation, makes new things, and calls human beings to share in this work, to protect and take good care of life and all created things, and to do all things with wisdom (Genesis 1:26-28).

A true devotee of God (a disciple of Christ, a guru) will reflect the nature and likeness of God: staying without fear and serving in the midst of darkness and the “deep”, interpreting this as a place of sacredness, not scaredness, being creative not destructive, healing not hurting, hospitable not hostile, holding out hope not despair, modelling holiness.

In Christ we see how we too can reflect and share in the life of the divine by being fully human and embracing immersion in life (incarnation), seeking healing, hospitality and the fulness of life for all (ministry), bearing the costs of suffering (crucifixion), and always keeping hope alive (resurrection).

In life we discover God, in our humanity we embrace divinity, and in our time on earth we touch eternity.

Live confidently and help others to do so.

Inderjit Bhogal, 24 March 2020 (Fortieth Anniversary of the Assassination of Saint Oscar Romero)

This article can be downloaded for use here
All documents on this topic are located here

Just an Hour a Day

Part of the Communion In Times Of Coronavirus series of gentle reflections
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Inderjit Bhogal, 2020
Construct one hour a day like this. This is your hour. After this, you can spend time as you wish to, and with others to support them.

TEN MINUTES: SIT IN SILENCE

Silence. This does not mean no noise. It means you sit comfortably and just listen to yourself, and in all that is happening to you discern the voice and word of God. It doesn’t matter if your mind wanders or goes off in a tangent. Note what comes in to your mind

TEN MINUTES: WRITE

Write down some of your thoughts from the moments of silence, or other words. Just write. This is not to share with others, it is for you.

TEN MINUTES: READ

Read something. It could be a few pages of a book…your Newspaper…

TEN MINUTES: REFLECT AND PRAY

Read a short passage from the Bible. It could just be one verse. Reflect on this. What does this portion of scripture say to you? You may wish to write down a sentence or two to capture your reflection. Pause for a prayer. This could simply be to say the “Lord’s Prayer” with full attention

TEN MINUTES: LISTEN TO MUSIC

Listen to your favourite music. Or tune in to your favourite music station on radio, e.g Classic FM or whatever

TEN MINUTES: GARDENING

Just ten minutes to complete this special hour. A bit of weeding. Or as Jesus suggested, “consider the flowers and the birds” in your Garden. If you don’t have a Garden, tend indoor plants, or just “consider” them

Eat and drink in moderation. Reduce consumption generally.

Live radiantly.

Inderjit Bhogal

20 March 2020

This article can be downloaded for use here
All documents on this topic are located here

Holy Communion

Part of the Communion in Times of Coronavirus series of gentle reflections
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Inderjit Bhogal, 2020
NOTE: While it is not safe to gather physically, use phones and social media to stay connected and in communion.

I dislike the term “self-isolate“. We don’t want anyone to isolate or exclude anyone. Of course we want everyone to take care of themselves and others. We are all used to the idea of staying at home for the sake of health.

We want to watch over one another with love. The commandment to love God, and your neighbour as yourself is best practised in reverse order. Love yourself first. You are number one.

Be a sanctuary to yourself.

Be a sanctuary to yourself. This is not a selfish thought. If you can love yourself and be gentle with yourself you will better be able to love and look after and provide sanctuary to your neighbour. As we are advised on aeroplanes, in case of emergency put your own mask on first before you assist others. If you don’t you will not be able to help others. If you love yourself and your neighbour, you are expressing your love of and for God. This is true spiritual devotion.

And remember that Jesus only ever mentioned one number. He said “where two or three are gathered together in my name I am there in the midst of them”. Be in touch and in communion with two or three. This is the beginning and deepest form of Church and communion and community. Such contact is manageable. Worship centres are closing. Organise your congregation/community/group to be in conversation and communion with each other in 2s and 3s. Do not practice isolation. And live in the confidence that God is with us and desires fulness of life for all. Do not doubt that you have communion and sanctuary in God. Blessings and Peace.

Inderjit Bhogal

17 March 2020 

This article can be downloaded for use here
All documents on this topic are located here

Greeting and Sharing Peace

Part of the Communion In Times Of Coronavirus series of gentle reflections
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Inderjit Bhogal, 2020

There are a number of ways to greet being suggested in the context of Coronavirus. Most Indians use the traditional folded hands greeting.

To greet anyone, if you are able to do this, fold old your hands together at chest level, and bow gently. This action says “I honour you” and that of God in you with deep respect. This action can be used to share peace in the context of worship and prayer. You can greet male and female, young and old like this. This greeting also acknowledges different cultures.

Inderjit Bhogal

11 March 2020

This article can be downloaded for use here
All documents on this topic are located here

The British 10km 2020 – All We Can Annual Fundraising

Hello supporters,

It’s more important than ever to support the most marginalised communities of the world, especially in the context of Covid-19.

The run is ON, though it may be postponed due to Coronavirus, therefore our fundraising efforts continue.  We will make the run when possible, even if it starts from our doorstep!

The 2017 All We Can Running Team

Liamarjit and Inderjit Bhogal will be completing a 10km run – somewhere…probably not London as originally planned. We are supporting All We Can, the Methodist relief and development charity responding in times of crisis, to humanitarian emergencies caused by natural disasters, conflict and political instability all over the world.

 

Please sponsor us if you can using the links below:

Our fundraising page: Link to follow
Watch our progress and find out more information about the team, the charity and the event

Our Sponsorship form
A direct link will follow to make a donation!!

Many Thanks

Inderjit

 

Documents & Resources – Communion in Times of Coronavirus

Part of the Communion in Times of Coronavirus series of gentle reflections
Click here for more

Here are short reflections for personal reflection and consideration regarding Communion in Times of Coronavirus.

  1. Greeting and sharing peace – 11/03/2020
  2. Don’t Isolate – 17/03/2020
  3. Just an Hour a Day – 29/03/2020
  4. Where is God in all this – 24/03/2020
  5. Be a Sanctuary to Yourself – 27/03/2020
  6. A Creed and Confirmation of Faith – 29/03/2020
  7. He Restores My Soul (Psalm 23:3) – 06/04/2020
  8. Live Your Life in a Manner Worthy of The Gospel (Philippians 1:27) – 10/04/2020
  9. Good Friday – 10/04/2020
  10. Easter Meditation – 12/04/2020
  11. Virtual Sanctuary – Building Welcome, Maintaining Connection with Refugees – 29/04/2020
  12. Three Pieces of Ancient Wisdom Still Relevant Today – 30/04/2020
  13. Wisdom for Anxious Days – 03/05/2020
  14. Lessons from Ray Davey: Corrymeela Reflection and Prayer – 08/05/2020
  15. Wisdom of Breath – 10/05/2020
  16. Stillness – 17/05/2020
  17. Attention – 24/05/2020
  18. Wisdom of Hope – 28/05/2020
  19. Six Words to Live By – 14/06/2020
  20. Wisdom In Jesus’ Prayer – 12/07/2020
  21. Beatitudes: Or Be Attitudes – 19/07/2020

Sanctuary For All – Study Guide for Churches and Individuals [2019 Revision]

The latest version of Sanctuary for All dated May 2019 is now available here. I have updated some figures and information. There is also more detailed reflections on being a Church of Sanctuary in Appendix 3. This resource is also available on the Churches Together in Britain & Ireland website. You are encouraged to mark the annual Sanctuary Sunday which is the Sunday at the end of Refugee Week (23 June 2019).

This is a resource that can be used by Churches, small groups or individuals to reflect on the theme of Welcome, Hospitality and Sanctuary.

It can also be used as material for house groups or study groups during Lent or Advent.

This is a revised edition, published May 2019

Click the link below to access, view and download the document:

Hospitality and Sanctuary for All 2019 – CTBI Version

The British 10km 2018 – All We Can Annual Fundraising

Hello supporters,

I hope you are enjoying the weather.  It’s tough on training!

The 2017 All We Can Running Team

Patrick Stonehewer, Jessica Bond, Rachel Lampard, Peter Barber, Liamarjit Bhogal and Inderjit Bhogal will be joining the British 10km run in London. We are supporting All We Can, the Methodist relief and development charity responding in times of crisis, to humanitarian emergencies caused by natural disasters, conflict and political instability all over the world.

Please sponsor us if you can using the links below:

Our fundraising page:
https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/inderjitbhogal10km2018
Watch our progress and find out more information about the team, the charity and the event

Our Sponsorship form
A direct link to make a donation!! It couldn’t be easier.

Many Thanks

Inderjit