Do you feel like you are in a time of transition? Does it seem that circumstances are changing and shaking all around you, relationships are being tested and things are happening so fast that it seems hard to keep up with it all?
If you are nodding your head or saying "yes" to one or more of the above you are not alone. In fact you are amongst many, not just in the UK, but around the globe.
For some this is happening in more than one area. Family, friendships, work situations and churches; it can seem quite unsettling to say the least. So what can we hold onto during these times and what should we look out for?
The meeting is on a Sunday within a church building in London, England. There is a small band on the stage leading corporate songs and a presentation screen with lyrics. During the service there is an inspiring talk, a moment of silence and reflection and even an offering. But this is not church as we know it, this is church without God. Since its launch three years ago Sunday Assembly has grown to around 70 hubs all over the world – each running weekly meetings.
This may sound puzzling to Christians or even shocking at first. The Sunday Assembly’s original motif in 2013 of 'atheist church' was designed to do just that and maximise media interest (it worked). The Sunday Assembly (SA) aspiration was – ‘We don't do God or religion but we do 100% celebration of life’. They wanted to provide a place of positive social connection that was fun, aspirational and inspiring.
In our times horrific killings in the name of ‘so called Islamic State’ (IS)are appearing in the news with incredible regularity. If not directly linked to this particular terrorist group they are often perpetrated by vulnerable, mentally unstable individuals who have certainly been influenced by IS. Ideologically they crave a totalitarian Islamic State, their method is to destroy and terrorise all that oppose them. These acts of murder are all the more heinous because they are randomly targeted at defenceless civilians; families on the beach, or watching a fireworks display. But that’s the point, they want secular European society and government to know that we are all the enemy.
Even though Lefevre stood abreast of all other teachers and professors in his day, his faith combined with his perpetual humility and desire for the truth continued to propel him, and he never ceased to grow in knowledge. Lefevre deeply loved the church, and he grew up firmly attached to her dogma, rituals and worship. As a gift, Lefevre decided to embark upon writing a history of the lives of previous saints and to aid in his study, turned his attention to those canonised in the Bible rather than just those that had been canonised by the Catholic Church. Having studied almost every other subject, in 1507, and at an age well into his seventies, Lefevre finally turned his attention to the study of the Bible as another original source that he was yet to conquer. Little did he realise that he would be the one who was about to be conquered by it. The dramatic change it would provoke would not just be in his own life but the life of His beloved France.