A Creed for Our Times

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

We believe God dwells in our midst

The refuge and shelter of our souls,

In whom is our sanctuary and in whom we live and have our being, and eternal life.

We believe the life of God flows in us and restores our soul.

We believe that the Spirit of God is upon us,

In darkness, and light, storms and stirrings,

In which God weaves with darkness and the “deep” to make life and love,

and calls us to protect all creation and life with carefulness, and to do all things with wisdom.

We believe Christ reveals the life of God, and how we can share in it,

By being fully human, embracing beauty and brokenness in life,

By seeking wholeness and the fulness of life for all,

Bearing the cost of suffering, and always keeping hope alive. 

We commit ourselves to so live our lives in God that we reflect the likeness of Christ,

See the image of God in all people, those like us and those different from us,

Love ourselves that we may love our neighbour as our self, and,

Always act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God.

Inderjit Bhogal, 29 March 2020

NOTE: You can use the word “mercy” or “tenderly” in the final line, which ever works best for you.

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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)

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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

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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

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