Sunday, 21 April 2019


Mary Magdalene weeping c Janet,Driver

The shock of Jesus death must have been intense.Hopes dashed so soon...
Mary Magdalene is finally able to weep outside the tomb [St John ch 20 ]

Even then it takes time before she is able to recognise the Risen Christ...thinking at first he must be the gardener...but then “Rabbouni” joy breaks through

“Rabbouni” c Janet Driver

Shocking news of the Sri Lankan bombings in several churches, was just filtering through as we set off for our own church service. Seemingly senseless loss of life...throwing us back over 25 years ago to vivid memories of living & working in Colombo... ‘I remember the bomb shockwave which puffed out net curtains at a closed window, the curfews and roadblocks, armed military on the streets of Colombo...that was our norm. It shall not be in 2019’ [from Steph Driver’s tweet]
A friend, guessing how shocked I would feel, wrote saying that words fail...there is only silent prayer

Friday, 19 April 2019

Good Friday

Christ on the Cold Stone c 1500, Utrecht

Christ on the Cold Stone
“ The seated Christ summarises the entire Passion; he has exhausted the violence, the ignominy, the bestiality of man...Here is the abyss of suffering...” [ Emile Male, art historian ]

When I saw this statue some years ago it seemed to express the vulnerability of Jesus as he waits for his cross to be erected by the soldiers...awaiting the pain of his crucifixion.

 It comes back into my mind today, having watched the way climate change protesters also deliberately chose the way of non-violence & vulnerability this week... to enable us to see...

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Into the Wilderness...

What does this painting say to you ?

If you find it useful to begin your time of prayer with a painting, then you might like to try the daily Lenten Retreat emails from  The painting above was from Ash Wednesday, and today’s painting was a Carravaggio...

Its amazing how spending time with a painting can show you something you have never noticed before... I had always assumed that Matthew was the young man in this detail below...

But this time I thought ‘wait a mininute, he could almost have been anyone in this painting... mabe he is the most unlikely one !’  And I wonder, what does that tell me, now, at this moment in my life?
And you?

Friday, 1 March 2019

Confirmation & Transfiguration

“Spirit of God unseen as the wind,
gentle as is the dove...”

 c. Yvonne Bell
artist unknown

Transfiguration   by  Jyoti Sahi
I love this painting, because Jesus is shown mysteriously identified with all the exotic Indian plants... they grow within him, revealing his unity with the whole creation: “All things were made by him was life and the life was the light of humankind...”  [St John 1 v 1f] And the more you spend time genly looking at this painting, the more you see...people hidden within the branches...a waterfall flowing through Jesus [or is it somethimg else?]  Look for yourself...enlarge the image...what do you see ?

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Prodigal Son

Following the Holy Ground on Sunday 17th Feb...
Some of you might like to see the paintings from artists around the world again...

from India

by Siede Koder

Jesusmafa: Cameroon

It is possible to search  ‘The Return of the Prodigal Son by Rembrandt ‘ for a larger image of the painting. Go deeper with the book : The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen. [ ISBN:
0-232-52078-x  ] where he reflects on this painting in light of his own life journey.
The next Day of Silent Prayer will be the Saturday before Whitsun: 8th June 2019.

Saturday, 9 February 2019

Jesus’ early life

Jesus “seminar” with elders in Temple: Jesusmafa: Cameroon
We know very little about Jesus’ early life... 
But Luke’s Gospel gives this story of Jesus in the Temple amazing the teachers there with his questions and answers...
Just look at the expressions on their faces !  

And maybe the two people just outside remind us of Mary & Joseph searching everywhere for him... [ Luke 2 v41-52 ]
[ I hope the Jesusmafa website will return. A whole series of beautiful paintings were available to buy as posters, originally made by a group of villagers who acted out New Testament narratives so that an artist could paint them, giving an African interpretation & context. These were highly valued by people who remember their roots in Africa.]

Georges de la Tour: Jesus & Joseph
By contrast, this painting of Jesus & Joseph in the carpenter’s workshop ... though we have  no written mention of this ... gives a vivid feel of Jesus’ home background in Nazareth.