NEW

Anglican Futures: Anglican Alphabet Spaghetti

Anglican Futures Anglican Alphabetti Spaghetti A dummies guide to the plethora of organisations and acronyms linked to faithful Anglicans in the UK and Europe. I once spent some time around military personel.  Everything had its own TLA (Three Letter Acronym) right...

Canterbury Tales: Favourite Bible Stories Retold by Archbishop Justin Welby

Canterbury Tales Favourite Bible stories retold by Archbishop Justin Welby The Good Samaritan A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead, halfway...

Anglican Mission in England Elects Two Suffragan Bishops

Anglican Mission in England Elects Two Suffragan Bishops The Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) met in Synod on 18 June.  While there, they elected two suffragan bishops to aid Bishop Andy Lines in providing episcopal oversight for the overall work.  Bishop Lines also...

Pride Flags Causing Conflict at Christian School

Pride Flags Cause Conflict at Christian School Conflict has broken out in a Christian school in Oxfordshire over the display of “Pride” flags. The institution in question is Kingham Hill School.  The same Trust (Kingham Hill Trust) oversees Oak Hill College, an...

Prayer Book Society Raising Funds to Put BCPs in the Hands of Choristers

Prayer Book Society Raising Funds to Put BCPs in the Hands of Choristers The Prayer Book Society, which will soon celebrate its 50th Anniversary, is raising funds to put a special edition BCP into the hands of junior choristers around the nation.   The idea came to...

Book Review: Reimagining Britain by Justin Welby

Reimagining Britain Foundations for Hope Justin Welby Bloomsbury, 2018, new edn. 2021 (ISBN: 978-1-4729-8497-5, 322pp, £12.99) The Archbishop of Canterbury has made several notable political interventions recently, including over ‘partygate’ and the Rwanda deportation...

Birthday of Anglicanism in America

Birthday of Anglicanism in America By the Revd Canon Chuck Collins June 16, 1607 was the birthday of Anglicanism in America. On this day Captain John Smith and 104 others celebrated the Lord’s Supper when they arrived safely in Jamestown, Virginia. Jamestown was the...

Barnabas Fund Report: Two ChiBok Girls Found

Barnabas Fund Reports Two Chibok Girls Found After 8 Years 24 June 2022 Two women, who were among hundreds of schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram from the Nigerian town of Chibok eight years ago, have been found. Hauwa Joseph was discovered among a group of other...

New Bishop-elect for the Diocese of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory

Church of Ireland News New Bishop Elected for Cashel, Ferns & Ossory The Church of Ireland diocese of Cashel, Ferns, and Ossory now has a bishop-elect.  The Venerable Adrian Wilkinson, Archdeacon of Cork, Cloyne, and Ross was elected to succeed the Rt Revd Michael...

Editorial: Lessons to be Learned from the American Pro-Life Movement

Editorial Lessons to be Learned from American Pro-Life Movement Friday, 24 June 2022, the Feast of St John the Baptist, will be a date which will live in infamy amongst the supporters of abortion.  On that date, the US Supreme Court, overturned the precedent set by...

Pilgrim’s Process: The Presence of God

Pilgrim’s Process

The Presence of God

By The Revd Dr Peter Sanlon

There are times when a pilgrim feels God is distant – the Psalmist writes of seasons of God’s apparent absence due to suffering, turmoil, depression, fear, sin and opposition. When for any reason God seems distant from us, we should search our hearts and actions to see if any of the blame lies with us, and pray ‘Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.’ (Ps. 51:11) This seeking of the Lord and desire for His presence is part of the normal spiritual dynamic of a pilgrim.

We tend to get very upset at sensing the loss of God’s presence in changed or extreme circumstances. However perhaps we should be more worried at the common problem of pilgrims settling into a situation where they as a general condition, do not feel any personal genuine experience of God’s presence. Truths from the Bible can be affirmed at an intellectual level; church is attended; error can be corrected and superficial virtue practised – but God is not felt to be present and not overly missed. That is a serious problem for any pilgrim.

When we fall into a routine pattern of not feeling we need to sense and know God is near – then we should recognise an urgent need to ‘return to the Lord’ (Zech. 1:3).

Jesus warned the religious leaders of his day that there is a difference between knowing the continue to the Bible and actually coming to Him. ‘You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life … yet you refuse to come to me.’ (Jn. 6:39-40) God is actively seeking for people who will ‘worship him in Spirit and Truth’ (Jn. 4:23). The question is – when we feel God is distant from us, will we respond to his searching for us? Will we plead with God to draw near us and make Himself known to us?

It is difficult with all the pressures of daily life, but for some of us it may be helpful to set aside half a day or longer to turn off digital devices, meditate on scripture and give significant time to asking God to be present and near. As we journey through a world with much sadness and suffering, we all need to know God’s presence with us. ‘Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.’ (James 4:8)

Rev. Dr. Peter Sanlon is rector of Emmanuel Anglican Church, Tunbridge Wells: www.emmanuelanglican.uk

Previous

Next