Moments When God Spoke

Moments When God Spoke
The Lion King
My expectation upended. The lion is announced and appears, and I look for a powerful creature. Expect the heavens to shake. What do I see? A lamb. Little, vulnerable, sacrificial. The weakness of God powerful in an unexpected way. This lamb giving everything for me, for us, for the universe. Leading us to life-giving, healing, refreshing springs, wiping away every tear.
Revelation 5 vv 4-6, Revelation 7 v 17

Moments When God Spoke
The One
There. Right there. At the beginning of all things. Before anything stirred. Before light and breath. Before movement and the dawn of time. Nothing above or below him. The one in whom nothing became something. Empty became full. Void became fullness. The starting line, the imagineer, the original visionary, the foundation on which everything is built. True, trustworthy, dedicated, kind and courageous.
Colossians 1 15-23

Moments When God Spoke
Kyrie Eleison
Today. In the moments and the seconds, minutes and hours. In the pauses and the rushes. In the tantrums and the tiresome happenings. In things we consider spiritual and in things we don’t. In all that inspires us and all that drags us down. In our getting it wrong and our getting it right. In our listening and talking, loving and snubbing. Have mercy. Please give us strength, patience and inspiration. Amen.
Numbers 6 vv 24-26, Isaiah 26 v 3

Moments When God Spoke
Stop! In the Name of Love
Some stories must be read to the finish,
Without that our understanding could diminish.
Like Abraham laying his son on bonfire wood,
The future not at all looking good,
But what plays out? What do we find?
God says stop! Has something else in mind.
In that brutal age where killing is rife,
He doesn’t want death, but hearts, minds and Life.
And centuries later, a perfect son
Would give himself, so the world could be won.
Genesis 22 vv 11-14, John 19 vv 28-30, James 2 vv 21-24

Moments When God Spoke
Gotta Get a Message to You
Travelling like a fast-moving shadow across an ornate wall of pride and pretence, the finger of God exposes the weak charade of the powerful. The same finger that, years later, moves quietly and calmly through the sand, bringing life and freedom
to the judged and oppressed.
Daniel 5, John 8 vv 1-11

Moments When God Spoke
You’re the One That I Want
Shepherd, provider, one who understands and strengthens us. Ever-present guide, ever-present friend, in the light and the dark, in the gloom of the valleys and the laughter on the mountains. Comfort in our fear, protector, forgiver and tutor. Not distant, never distant, but here in the grit and the dirt. Promising a future and a hope, generous and welcoming. For the strays, strugglers and stragglers.
Psalm 23

Moments When God Spoke
Never Enough
‘Send Lazarus back from the dead,’ a poor rich man cries out, ‘so that my brothers will see how important compassion is…’ But Jesus replied, ‘Even if a Lazarus does rise from the dead, it won’t be enough. Some won’t let go of their fixed ideas and open their minds to the gentle, transforming voice of God’s spirit.’
Luke 16 vv 19-31, John 11 vv 38-50

Moments When God Spoke
Living on a Prayer
Our father, who is not a distant God, whose name brings life, whose kingdom is not tyrannical, whose will is to rescue and help, please provide all we need today. Some of us find it difficult to follow, believe, trust and bear witness. It’s uphill work. But you have walked all our hills, and particularly one bearing a cross of forgiveness. Help us forgive those who hurt us when it’s often difficult, and steer us towards the light, when darkness often threatens. Thank you.
Luke 11 vv 2-4

Moments When God Spoke
Balaam stares open-mouthed at the animal – the one who can see more than he can. There is more going on, another realm, another battle being fought, but Balaam is too focussed on other things. Takes a ‘dumb animal’ to make him wise. Sometimes the voice of God comes to us in totally unexpected ways.
Numbers 22 vv 21-31

Moments When God Spoke
Don’t Give Up
Not necessarily easy to be doing the day-by-day chores, the helping others, the practical caring, the listening, the shoulder-to-lean-on, the clearing up, the nurturing and encouraging. Not easy to see these things as radical and revolutionary when others have the dramatic, crowd-pleasing, attention-grabbing roles. Yet His perspective is not ours, His ways different. ‘Well done, good and faithful precious ones.’
Acts 6 vv 1-7, John 13 v 4

Moments When God Spoke
I Love It When You Call
We talk to so many others, about so many things, so many times. The Lover meanwhile waits patiently. Looking for that gap, waiting in the quiet places. Trusting that His time will come, when we will give Him our undivided attention, when we will bring our conversation to Him. The thing that He loves.
Song of Songs 8 v 13

Moments When God Spoke
You’re the Best Thing
Imagine a good, good father. Understanding, patient and kind. Good-hearted, smiling, full of hope. Interested, listening, with time for us. Knowing us, calling our name, loving to hear from us. Aware of our dreams, personalities, weaknesses and strengths. Imagine a good, good Father. And us his children.
1 John 3 v 1

Moments When God Spoke
Your Love
Love in all its forms. Romantic, sacrificial, practical, inspiring, moving, funny, wonderful, awe-inspiring, tiny, unknown, public, private, noisy, silent, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, random, impetuous, costly, planned, energetically, wearily, plodding, dedicated. Love in all its forms, more than words, the language of action, expressed in a billion practical dialects.
1 John 3 v 18

Moments When God Spoke
Follow You, Follow Me
‘Follow me,’ he said. To those he met, those he bumped into, those who were hungry, those who needed help, those who were lost, heartbroken, wondering, questioning. Those who noticed him, those who were curious, those who were waiting. Not the superheroes or the sorted or the good-enoughs, not the uber-religious or super-spiritual. ‘Follow me,’ he still says. To us.
Mark 2 v 17, Luke 5 vv 8-10

Moments When God Spoke
Heal the World
A building in place, the structure set. Stone and metal and wood, done and dusted. Now to the heart of things. To the one who made stone and metal and wood. A night-time vision and a heartfelt call. ‘I’m listening,’ He says, ‘with forgiveness and healing in my repertoire. I’m longing for a new start for the land, for the nation, for individuals.’
2 Chronicles 7 vv 11-15

Moments When God Spoke
One Day at a Time
It’s not a big jug, and there is only a shallow pool of oil at the bottom of it. Barely enough for the woman and her son. But the prophet seems confident. So she pours the precious oil and makes the bread. And as she shares what little they have something happens. Each day there is more oil. Each day there is bread
to be made. They don’t fade away.
1 Kings 17 vv 8-16

Moments When God Spoke
Others come and go. But he has made a promise. He does not falter, does not get distracted, does not find some other more interesting project. He is with us. Has faced so much trouble and conflict and difficulty himself, he knows what life is like. He is intensely interested, wholeheartedly caring. And though we sometimes struggle to hang in there, he does not.
Hebrews 13 v 5, Psalm 118 vv 5-9, 2 Timothy 2 v 13

Moments When God Spoke
I Can Help
‘Come to me all you who are weak, weighed down, struggling with life. Others put the kind of burdens on you that wear you down, expectations and pressure and hurt that saps your life. My way is different. I know you are a strange mixture of wonder and despair, faith and doubt, hope and sorrow. I understand that. I understand you. I can help.’
Matthew 11 vv 28-30

Moments When God Spoke
Mr Blue Sky
As the waters slipped away, a neon sign in the sky, colours warming their way through the mottled clouds. Not a weather forecast, but a reminder – this is not the solution. In the future there’ll be another way. Redemption instead of wipe-out. We’ll call them Easter and Pentecost. An isolated man on a cross, a dawn-busting, death-cracking miracle. And the baton passed from one bumbling follower to the next.
Genesis 9 vv 12-16, 1 Peter 3 vv 18-22, Ezekiel 36 vv 25-27

Moments When God Spoke
Slow Down, You Move Too Fast
What is gained by doing nothing? Stopping. Pausing. Breathing. Even for a few seconds. So much to achieve, so much to get done, so many reasons to keep moving. Yet another voice calls, speaking another language. To step into His quiet sunlight, to wait, to watch, to listen. To come out from behind our hurrying. To let something of God rub off on us.
Psalm 46 v 10, 1 Kings 19 vv 12-13

Moments When God Spoke
Your Song
He pens a song about the bottom line, his foundation, the thing upon which all else stands. This world no blip, no galactic smudge. Amidst the trouble and sadness, the wonder and laughter, someone we may look to for strength, help, inspiration and guidance. The One who set it all in motion, the One who stepped into our shoes, lived life, feels our pain.
Psalm 46 vv 1-2 & 7

Moments When God Spoke
Love Can Build a Bridge
He creates a little cartoon for them, to make them laugh. A ridiculous situation. And hopefully they’ll see themselves in the picture. And remember the next time they are tempted to criticise. The next time they spot a tiny offensive speck in someone else’s eye, and forget they have a massive tree trunk
sticking out of their own.
Luke 6 vv 41-42

Moments When God Spoke
Give Me Shelter
In the hard times, in life’s deep waters and the floods of fear and uncertainty. In the fires of pressure and stress, and the rivers of difficulty. You are there. Having given everything for us. Dying to give us life. Knowing us inside-out. Loving to hear from us, to see our faces. Knowing our name. We are Yours.
Isaiah 43 vv 1-4

Moments When God Spoke
Make Your Own Kind of Music
So many different personalities, so many different stories. Vital pieces of the jigsaw, precious, valuable. Rahab and Sarah, seeing only a small part of the picture, yet remembered and noted for their place in the great tapestry. No one a mere walk-on part in history’s great play, everyone has their own small starring role. Known. Called. Unique.
Hebrews 11 vv 11 and 31

Moments When God Spoke
The Voice
That desert voice, that tender whisper, often heard in the unexpected places. In the places without distractions, in the moments when the important
and pleasant disruptions have melted, like fallen ice cream in the hot sun. Those kind and calming words, so often drowned out by life’s white noise, sometimes become a little louder, a little more audible, in those snatches of wilderness time.
Hosea 2 v 14, Matthew 4 vv 1-4

Moments When God Spoke
Happy Birthday!
From those dark beginnings in Bethlehem, through days of shepherds, kings, fishermen, widows, children, tax collectors, radical women, enthusiastic disciples, the sick, the poor, the unexpected… the trail leads to this day. A street party like no other. A wedding between God and people. A brand new start. A new birth. And a continuing story.
A Pentecost epiphany.
Acts Chapter 2

Moments When God Spoke
He knows their default option is to panic. To fall back on habits of worry. The fears form a never ending queue in the corridors of their minds. So it’s something he often says. Something to reset the default. ‘Don’t be afraid.’
Luke 12 vv 27-32, Daniel 10 vv 18-19, Isaiah 41 v 10

Moments When God Spoke
Wake Up!
A story, just a story about sheep and shepherds, rich and poor. Yet so much more. A pearl in a shell, waiting to be cracked open. More than a gripping tale, or a bestseller… a cautionary yarn. A map for bringing the king to a vital crossroads.
2 Samuel 12 vv 1-6

Moments When God Spoke
It comes in the most unexpected way. Doesn’t seem holy or spiritual at all. Weird, comical, strange. Yet these are the words of life. The words that will change everything for him. Coming when he least expects it. Right out of the blue.
Numbers 22 vv 21-35

Moments When God Spoke
Through the Barricades
He won’t settle for less, this thing is global, he’s come for the world, even if it overturns local expectations. No borders, no barriers in this kingdom. With a welcoming smile he shatters their closeted views, and has to sidestep the groundswell as the crowd contemplate a quick and convenient execution.
Luke 4 v 24-27

Moments When God Spoke
You’re My Best Friend
It feels as if there are cruel splinters gouging every inch of his skin. His strength is running out of him with every step, like water from a precious, broken jar. The burden on him as heavy as the world itself. And yet… he still has time, as he always has time, to stop and face the person speaking to him, giving his full attention in spite of everything, listening and looking at them with endless kindness in his eyes.
Luke 23 vv 27-34

Moments When God Spoke
Sowing the Seeds of Love
He’s crossing boundaries, breaking down those walls, talking to someone who others might well despise. But to him it’s business as usual. Bringing life to dark places. Choosing those that others would relegate as unsuitable. His friends return with a few sandwiches. She returns with the whole town.
John 4 vv 1-42

Moments When God Spoke
It’s shocking, mind-bending stuff. In his world-view everything seems flipped. The rich are somehow poor, and the poor folks are rich. He’s turning everything on its head. The haves have-not, and the have-nots have. He refuses to buy into the popular aspirations. Offers a whole other way.
Luke 6 vv 20-26

Moments When God Spoke
Stairway to Heaven
Jacob had his ladder, stretching into infinity. So much extension, angels could climb the thing. Well, there’s a new ladder in town, connecting heaven and earth, this one not made of wood, but of flesh and blood.
John 1 vv 47-51

Moments When God Spoke
Don’t Look Back in Anger
His anger broils inside of him. He’s like a kettle about to explode on the hob. The slur on his pride has lit the blue touch paper in his soul. His spoiled agenda lies like ravaged litter at his feet. And from somewhere that still small voice, that sound of silence, tries to soothe him. ‘Can’t I be forgiving? Is it so bad that I sent you to bring healing rather than hurt? Can’t I care about these lost people? These sheep without a shepherd?’
Jonah 4 vv 1-11

Moments When God Spoke
The Only Way Is Up
They have to keep letting go, can’t control him. See their own agendas floating away with him. They want to box him in, steer him somehow. But the wind blows where it will, and they must wait to catch that divine breeze. Follow the trail of his footsteps.
Acts 1 vv 6-7, Luke 24 vv 50-52

Moments When God Spoke
Two Hearts
Two hearts. One beating, pulsating. Alive with colour, passion, energy, wonder, chaos, order, questions, doubts, positive fury, kindness, hope. The other an ex-heart. Stony. Immovable. Brittle. Cold. But not out of reach. Not beyond help. Full of potential.
Waiting to be resurrected.
Ezekiel 34 vv 25-26

Moments When God Spoke
Where The Streets Have No Name
It may not be the best of times, yet it will change everything. In that empty place they will hear the whisper, sense the divine calling. The voice that will breathe new life into them. That barren place will be a garden of hope. Life’s U-turn. They will start again, having lost sight of all that distracts them they will set their face towards the one who can lead them through the gateway of hope.
Hosea 2 vv 14-15

Moments When God Spoke
Wasn’t Expecting That
We don’t know where he came from, but we know what he did, this anointed stranger, clutching bread and wine in his fists. And we thought Abraham was the only God-follower in town. Suddenly – boom! A priest-king (and there’s only one other in the Bible) steps from the shadows with a blessing and the kind of food and drink for a unique supper. God comes out of left-field and speaks through the unexpected.
Genesis 14 vv 17-20, Hebrews 7 vv 15-17

Moments When God Spoke
On Your Radio
Today. The channel always broadcasting. The radio forever alive with divine static. I tune in and out for the moments, the seconds, demanding that God fill me in with the snatch of time I allot to him, yet how much have I missed. How many of his songs have passed me by? The eternal broadcast.
Life’s enriching symphony. The words of eternal life.
Luke 19 vv 39-40; Job 37 vv 1-5

Moments When God Spoke
Nothing Compares 2U
John feels the heat on his head as he bows low, daren’t lift his face in case it’s the end of everything. In his mind the glow from the divine figure in front of him is melting the very ground he crouches on. But then he feels something else. A hand. Tenderly pressing his shoulder. And he hears the figure speak. ‘Don’t be afraid. There’s no need to fear…’
Revelation 1 vv 10-18

Moments When God Spoke
Wind of Change
Bones. Everywhere. Discarded bits of bodies. Useless now, waiting for the long years and the weather to diminish them. Then a prophet wanders through the valley with the voice of God ringing in his ears. ‘Wake up!’ he yells. ‘Enough of the hanging about without a vision. Get up! Do something.’ And the clattering of dry bones mixes with the melding of fresh muscle, and a strange sound of stirring
echoes through the land.
Ezekiel 37 vv 1-14

Moments When God Spoke
The Sound of Silence
The prophet expects the blazing and the explosion of thunder, the startling yellow fracture, splitting the sky. The Creator turning up with the weather. Instead, a moment easily missed. Often overlooked. Silence. A pause. A gap. Elijah catches his breath. God is here. Not in the ground-jolting storm, but in this small moment. God is with him.
1 Kings 19 vv 8-13

Moments When God Spoke
If I Had a Hammer
Everyone must think he’s daft, swinging a hammer and slicing that saw through chunks of wood. The weather’s warm and he can do nothing but sweat as he labours away. But he knows he’s heard from God, knows that the message was important. So, he works and he sweats and he builds. Hoping that his silliness will wake others up. Praying that his foolishness will bring a bit of wisdom.
Genesis 6 vv 11-22

Moments When God Spoke
Starry Starry Night
The whisper won’t stop, the nudge keeps coming. Night after night he looks up at the stars. The reminder that shouts at him whenever he walks out of his tent. A million descendants. That’s the promise and they have to hold onto it. Reality may offer other stories, but this narrative won’t go away.
Genesis 15 vv 1-5

Moments When God Spoke
Fast Love
She’s worried now. More than worried. Paces the corridors of the palace, inwardly looking to the heavens. From nowhere an idea sneaks into
her head. It rattles around like a marble in a tin and it refuses to go away. Some might call it a hunch, but she knows it’s more than that. So many lives hang in the balance, hers included, but this could change everything. So she decides to follow it through. She sends out the message and puts aside her menu for the next three days.
Esther 4 vv 13-17

Moments When God Spoke
Starting Over
She can feel the grit on her eyeballs, has to blink a few times to regain her focus. Slowly her gaze falls on the pile of discarded rocks. They are everywhere. Everywhere but in the fists of those men shuffling away. She looks into the face of another man, the one smiling. No rock in his hand. He’s talking about forgiveness, and a fresh start. Is this really happening?
John 8 vv 3-11

Moments When God Spoke
Blinded by the Light
It’s as if he can feel the pain of all those defenceless folks that Saul is hurting. As if the bruises and the accusations are landing on him all over again. Calvary on repeat. ‘Why are you doing this?’ The voice in the dark sky whispers. ‘Why are you hunting me down? Trying to destroy me? Get up, find your way into the city and you’ll be surprised about my plans for you.’
Acts 9 vv 1-9

Moments When God Spoke
Dream a Little Dream
A stranger in a dream, a figure in a misty night-time vision, beckoning for help. Turns out to be so much more than just a sleepy imagining. As one door closes another one opens unexpectedly. It’s a call to take another road, an unexpected journey. The Voice calls to us in so many ways. Day or night.
Acts 16 vv 6-10

Moments When God Spoke
Gotta Get a Message to You
Well… there’s good news and bad. He’s been chosen to be a prophet, and a creative one at that. Building models, telling tales, cutting hair, baking, acting, miming, wall-demolishing… the bad news? No one will listen to him. What Ezekiel doesn’t know, what he cannot know, is that 2 ½ thousand years later 2 billion Christians will be reading his message…
Ezekiel 3 vv 1-11

Moments When God Spoke
I Want to Praise You Like I Should
The people want a quick answer, one that they are used to hearing. Something that they can achieve quickly and then forget about for a week. But Micah knows that they won’t like his response. ‘Worship?’ he says, ‘I’ll tell you about that. It’s about justice and mercy and humility. About attitudes and lifestyle. No song goes far enough. Hearts and wills and minds.‘
Micah 6 v 8

Moments When God Spoke
Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel
She’s told she needn’t be afraid, and so, like many of us, she immediately feels scared. But her fear does not stop her saying, ‘Yes’. She has no idea where this will lead, but as the bright angel fades, she knows God has spoken. She chooses to trust.
Luke 2 vv 26-38

Moments When God Spoke
The Streak
It’s extreme, he knows it is. But the situation is too grave, the wound within people too deep. And his God cares so much, longs to bring them back from the brink. So he sheds his clothes and trudges around howling. People may think him mad, but the reverse it true. They are mad to have forgotten the riches of the ways of God. They are naked and wild. They are wounded and wandering. This is their wake up call.
Micah 1 vv 8-9 & Micah 2 vv 12-13, Luke 12 v 21

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