Family

Family
Our most recent family pic with only Andrew missing

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Epiphany Sunday: Eureka


A few Sundays in the year have special names, such as Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday, Ascension Sunday, Pentecost Sunday, Trinity Sunday, Christ the King Sunday, etc. This Sunday is called Epiphany and you might well ask...so what? Epiphany is the Sunday closest to January 6th, the

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas: Heaven Surprises Earth

Let me begin by wishing you a hopeful, loveful, joyful and peaceful Christmas. Today we celebrate the (ongoing) event of God surprising earth with Heaven. In Christ, God surprised earth with Heaven. Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, shepherds, wise men, Herod, a stable, Bethlehem ... God surprised them all with Heaven. I hope God surprises you with Heaven because of Christmas 2015.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Some new "all age" Christmas Songs

My colleague and hymn writer Brenton Prigge, visit him at NewHymn, has written 2 lovely Christmas songs which will work well for All-Age worship or any intergenerational setting.

Ring the bells, Sing and tell
Words by Brenton Prigge © 2015
May be sung to Jingle Bells

Friday, December 18, 2015

Advent 4: Peace that passes all understanding

Advent reaches its completion in gathered worship today. Here at Meadow Way our Advent journey has taken us through the candles, the Light, of hope, then love, last week joy and finally this week, Peace. And I hope that the light of hope, love, joy and peace is shining a little brighter (or much brighter) onto and into the darkness of your and my areas of hopelessness, lovelessness, joylessness and unpeace. You see, the repeated celebration of Christmas only really makes sense and takes on meaning if you and I realise, recognise, confess, that we are the people walking in darkness who have seen a great light, we are the ones living in a land of deep darkness on whom a light has dawned.

Original "Hark the Herald Angels" from the Wesley Brothers

Hark, how all the welkin rings,
"Glory to the King of kings;
peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!"

Monday, December 14, 2015

Advent 4: Peace

This Sunday at Meadow Way we will relight the candles of HOPE, LOVE and JOY ... then we will light our final candle of Advent, the candle of PEACE.
As we prepare for the coming of Jesus, we remember that Jesus is our hope, our love, our joy and our peace.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Advent 3:Prayers and Teaching for Joy Sunday

Prayer for Third Sunday in Advent:
Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
Prayer for Sundays:
Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

My Sermon for this Sunday

Zephaniah 3:14-20   Isaiah 12:2-6   Philippians 4:4-7

We are in the season of Advent, the first season of the Christian year. The season of Advent is followed by the season of Christmas, then Epiphany, then Lent, Holy Week, then Easter which is followed by the longest season of the year, Pentecost. Advent is a time of remembering the coming of Christ. It is not about one coming, but rather about three comings: the first coming is the

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Advent 2


Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Prayer for World AIDS Day 2015

10 years of my ministry (1996-2006) were spent at the worldwide epicentre of the HIV/AIDS pandemic ... rural KwaZulu Natal in South Africa ... which had the highest per capita rates of new infections and number of deaths worldwide. That many of those deaths were completely preventable is the well documented story of denialism and quackery that were the institutionalized order of the day. Praise God that His will was eventually done in terms of justice and mercy. I have journeyed professionally and compassionately through the path of this scourge. In my 3rd year as a dental student (1980) our lecture in Virology (which we did together with the medical students) on the subject was a simple 4 or 5 lines of notes on this new disease !!! The rest, of course, is (ongoing) history.
Please pray the prayer below, which I republish from last year, as often as you can:

Gracious God and Father of all comfort, Creator of all life and Purveyor of all creation, Almighty God of the Universe to You belongs all life. Today, on World AIDS Day, we give you thanks and praise for Your mercy, grace, compassion and love which are beyond measure. In You is our Salvation and in You

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Advent is here: Happy New Year


Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (Sourced here)

Pastoral Message from Cedric

‘And He who sits upon the throne said ‘Behold I make things new” Rev 21:5

Happy New Year !!!!!?????

Advent marks the beginning of a new year in the Christian calendar. The liturgical year starts with the first Sunday in Advent, which in 2015 is 29 November, and then

Friday, November 6, 2015

Farewell Service at AMC

Sunday 18 October at AMC was my farewell service, combined with our Harvest and Thanksgiving Service for 2015. It was also the last in our series: Rugby World Cup: David and Jesus.

Elvis Poolesly

My farewell to our Young at Hearts group at Alberton Methodist Church


Friday, October 16, 2015

My Farewell Service: Harvest, Thanksgiving & Rugby World Cup

Image source

This Sunday at AMC is our Harvest and Thanksgiving Service, the last in our series based on the Rugby World Cup: David and Jesus, as well as being my Farewell Service as I take leave of AMC for MWC in Norwich.

Bible untouched in church for 400 years

From The Weekly Telegraph October 14-20
Is it just me who cringes at this sentence: "The vicar believes the bible has remained untouched at St Giles parish church for 400 years"   !!!!!!!
Must work this into my sermon on Sunday :-)

Vicar finds original copy of King James Bible in cupboard

An original copy of the King James Bible has been found in a cupboard in a Welsh church.
The Rev Dr Jason Bray, 61, was taking stock of his books when he found the 1611 volume, which is believed to be one of fewer than 200 that survive.
The vicar believes the Bible has remained untouched at St Giles parish church, in Wrexham, for 400 years.  The book is missing its frontispiece and several pages from the Old Testament but is otherwise in good condition.
Dr Bray said: “We basically found it when we were going through the cupboards.  I couldn’t believe it.  It has been authenticated, and as far as we know, has always been here.”
The King James Bible was the third translation of the Bible into English more than 100 years after the Tyndale Bible became the first English version to appear in print.
A first edition of the King James Bible found in Great St Mary’s church, Cambridge University, in 2011 was valued at about 3,000 pounds.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Poole's Pilgrimage


There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens (Ecc 3:1)

Blessed are those whose hearts are set on pilgrimage (Ps 84:5)

Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the Kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.” (Lk 18:29-30)

The peace which Christ gives you is to guide you in the decisions you make (Col3:15)


Well, the latest part of Poole's Pilgrimage is now getting quite close as we leave for Norwich in England on 2 November to take up our LORD's call to ministry at Meadow Way Chapel.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Tongue: Redeemed or Weapon of Mass Destruction



We continue our journey through James and come to perhaps the best-known part of James letter: the part where he talks about the tongue. If there is one thing about James and his theology that we should have learned by now, it is surely this: salvation faith must be matched by actions.

On Biko and Homo Naledi

I am so pleased that the initial "unveiling" of Homo Naledi has come at the same time as the remembrance and anniversary of Steve Biko's death. Steve Biko died on the floor of an empty cell in Pretoria Central Prison on the 12th of September 1977. I was 17 at the time and thus part of that generation of South African youth whose lives couldn't help but be influenced by him. My own personal tribute to this great man, once accused by the African National Congress of being a CIA spy, was my masters thesis Does Steve Biko have more to offer medical ethics than his death for which I received a distinction from Wits and have been asked to prepare for publication in the Journal of Developing World Bioethics and/or the South African Medical Journal.

One of my examiners summed up my work better than I could: 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

James and the Tongue

This week the lectionary has us looking at Mark 8:27-38 and James 3:1-12
While the lectionary readings aren't meant to be connected to each other, I am using Jesus harsh words to Peter as an example of what I will call "redemptive" use of the tongue and contrast that with James examples of "unredemptive" use of the tongue. Here are the readings:

The Type of Witness You and I are Called to be

As I prepare for answering the call of our Lord to leave the land of my birth and the country that God in His grace has used to be a blessing in my life (South Africa), I am reading up on the history of Christianity in Britain. It is very interesting ... introduced during Roman rule and then spread to Ireland. With the decline in Roman rule, a subsequent rise once again in paganism ... then Irish missionaries, who with little influence from far away Rome had introduced Celtic spirituality into the new religion, going to the picts of the West of Scotland and from there to Lindisfarne and Northhumbria on the North West of England.

Here one meets Aidan of Lindisfarne (died 31 August 651), an Irish monk and missionary credited with restoring Christianity to Northumbria. He founded a monastic cathedral on the island of Lindisfarne, served as its first bishop, and travelled ceaselessly throughout the countryside, spreading the gospel to both the Anglo-Saxon nobility and to the socially disenfranchised (including children and slaves). He is known as the Apostle of Northumbria and is recognised as a saint by the Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion and others.

Below are some extracts from my previously reviewed Celtic Daily Prayer, which look at Aidan through the eyes of those who met him and knew him directly. In him we see the type of person described by James, namely one whose faith is shown by his actions.  As we are working through James' Epistle at the moment (read my introduction here) I include these here because they are wonderful reminders, particularly for preachers of the gospel, of the type of witnesses we long to be.


KING OSWALD
I am Oswald, King of Northumbria.  I already knew Aidan before he came here; he was a young monk when I was a boy in exile on Iona.  I had been bitterly disappointed when Corman went home,  So, when Aidan and his monks arrived, I said, “Thank God you’ve come.  I’ll give you any bit of land you choose for your monastery.  I’ll help you in any way I can.  Just call on me.”
And so he did.  I even taught him the English language – me, who never taught anyone anything except how to hold a sword!  But Aidan supported me too.  He helped me to see how to be a practical Christian and turn my faith into action.  I’ll never forget the look on my hungry warriors’ faces when I gave our Easter dinner away to the poor!  But Aidan was thrilled.  He’s genuine through and through, is Aidan.  There’s no difference between what he teaches and what he is.


THE FIRST TRAVELLER
I am a British Christian.  My family were Christians when Ireland was still in pagan darkness.  I belong to the ancient church of this land.  I didn’t like the thought of this Irish missionary upstart.  I thought he was a puppet of the English king, whom I hate.
When I saw him coming down the lane I would have passed by in silence.  But something about him, something about the way he looked at me, made me stop.  “Are you a Christian?” he asked, gently.
“Of course,” I said, huffily.
“That’s good to hear,” he said. “Now will you try be a better one?”
I don’t know why I didn’t explode with anger, but I didn’t.  Suddenly I actually wanted to be a better Christian.  And suddenly I wanted to know Aidan better and hear what he had to say.


THE SECOND TRAVELLER
I am English; and I used to be pagan.  When I saw Aidan coming down the road I thought, “Here comes that foreigner the king thinks so highly of, with his strange religion.  But I don’t want any new-fangled ways.  The old gods are good enough for me.”
But Aidan stopped when he got to me and said, “Are you a Christian?”
“No,” I said, “and I don’t want to be either.”
Then he said, “Will you tell me what you do believe?”
And for some reason I wanted to talk to him; and we talked.  All that he said was new to me – about Jesus, who came to show us what God is like.  Then he said, “Would you like to hear more?  Would you go to a meeting n your village if I arranged one?”

I said, ”Yes.”  So I went, and what I heard convinced me.  Aidan’s monks convinced me too, by the sort of people they were.  They didn’t ask me for anything; they just wanted me to know the truth.  Now I am a Christian.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Midlife Appraisal

Mid-Life Appraisal
Picture Credit
At the start of 2014, roaming through my favourite bookshop in all the world, Hatchards in Piccadilly Street, London, I came across the book Celtic Daily Prayer (buy it here), which has turned out to be one of the best daily devotional books I have come across. It contains a great deal more than just two years worth of daily devotional material. One of its sections is entitled Mid-Life Appraisal and, in retrospect, I realise it was placed before me by our Lord to gently ease me toward one of the biggest decisions of Chris and my life together, namely to move from South Africa to the United Kingdom ... see my recent From the Pastor's Desk for more on that.

Remember your Baptism and what it means in your growth in personal holiness.

The Sacrament of Baptism
This sermon will be preached from the baptismal pool this Sunday based on Romans 6:3-11, highlighting that going under the water signifies our death and burial with Christ and thus reminding us of our (often little seen) death to sin; our rising from the baptismal waters signifies our resurrection with and in Christ, which shows itself in a life of personal holiness to the glory of God. Can I suggest that those being baptised and  those attending the service Remember your Baptism and what it means in your growth in personal holiness.

Friday, August 28, 2015

A Spiritual Check-Up from the "Epistle of Straw"

Picture credit

Two great theologians, Luther and Wesley, walk into a pub. The one says to the other: "Let's talk about James" ... as some of you might know, this joke doesn't have a funny ending! For Luther, brilliant reformation theologian, James is nothing more than an epistle of straw which he didn't believe even belongs in the Bible, for Wesley, brilliant revivalist theologian, this epistle "reproves that antinomian (we don't have to keep the law anymore) spirit, which had even then infected many, who had perverted the glorious doctrine of justification by faith into an occasion of licentiousness (ie lacking moral or legal restraint)."

Friday, August 21, 2015

Intimacy with God

This week's lectionary readings include Psalm 84. A few week's ago I was asked to preach at Meadow Way Chapel in Norwich and they asked me to use Psalm 84 as my text and to preach on Intimacy with God. I am thus preaching the same sermon this Sunday at AMC.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Has the Church Lost the Fear of the LORD?


Psalm 111
Can I start this evening by asking: What do you fear? Perhaps take it one step further and ask: What is the primary fear in your life right now?
Our fears often determine the way we live and the plans we make for the future.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

How is Your Soul?

This past weekend was a quite awesome worshipful weekend. We had a worship and testimony evening on Friday, with folk sharing testimony based on a favourite worship song, and then we would sing the song ... it gave so much more meaning to already beautiful songs. During our time of worship, our worship artist, Kerryn Stopforth, painted this picture, using only coffee! On Sunday it was used as a pulpit drop while I preached on How is Your Soul?

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Consequences

 I think I am once again going to use both the OT and Gospel readings this week and look at Consequences. The OT reading continues with the consequences of David's sexual abuse of Bathsheba, while the Gospel reading has the consequences of Jesus feeding the multitude, which has this eventual result: On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” .... From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Preaching Truth to Power and Preaching people Away



This week's readings have Nathan confronting the king with the Truth: "You are the Man," and Jesus confronting the people with the Truth: "I am the Bread of Life."
David repents and turns back to God, the people object to Jesus' teaching and many, including disciples, turn away.
Here are this week's readings

Would You write straight with my crooked lines?

As we look at God confronting David and his sin with Bathsheba this Sunday, as well as Jesus' teaching on the Bread of Life, this prayer, which I think is attributed to Francis of Loyola, is very appropriate and I will probably use it as part of the invitation to the Lord's Table.

O God,
I cannot undo the past,

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

On Furlough/Sabbatical

Every seven years we are encouraged to take a sabbatical of 3 months. I took the first month of my 2015 sabbatical in October 2014 and used the month to write my thesis for my Master of Science in Medicine (Ethics and Health Law). That was submitted and marked and I was awarded a distinction, which surprised me as much as everyone else. I am extremely thankful to our LORD and to my family for strength, support and encouragement received. My graduation was on July 1st, the first day of my second month of sabbatical. This month will be far more relaxing!
Below is a recent pic of all our family (except for Andrew in Zanzibar, who couldn't make the family gathering at Ballito).


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Tale of Two Approaches to Jesus

                           
                                    
Mark 5:21-43
This reading could lead to a sermon entitled "A Tale of Two Daughters" but I am rather going to call it "A Tale of Two Approaches to Jesus" ... both titles lead to the same good news, namely: He is within reach.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Jesus Calmed the Storm JUST by Speaking

This week's lectionary readings take us to David facing Goliath, Paul laying his credentials before the Corinthians and Jesus dealing with a storm the same way He deals with demons, telling it to shut up.
Here are this week's readings:

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Kingdom of God is like the worst weed you can imagine!!!

To understand the provocative title of my sermon, we need to understand that the Kingdom of God is completely different from any other kingdom on earth and is different from any kingdom that you and I could ever think of. Although he uses these words in a different context, when Paul writes that "The old has gone, the new is here!"  (2Cor5:17), he is speaking to the reality that the Kingdom of God on earth is radically different to any other kingdom and those who live in God's Kingdom now, on earth, are a radically different people. God's thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are God's ways our ways ... Isaiah 55:8-9 ... which means that when we become God's people through Christ and living in the power of the Holy Spirit our thoughts are no longer like the thoughts of the people around us and our ways are no longer like the ways of the world. We are radically different ... "The old has gone, the new is here!"

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Seed and Mustard Weed


This week's lectionary readings are beauties. Samuel (and we) discover that "The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." The Gospel readings have more of Jesus' seed parables, the growing seed and the mustard seed (weed). Jesus compares the kingdom of God with a crop from seeds randomly scattered. Then he compares it with the seed of mustard weed, which, in fact, no one would try to plant at all. Both are parables in the truest sense. They mess with our usual ways of thinking about things and leave us perplexed, scratching our heads, if we hear them carefully and take them seriously. Now, the Old Testament, Gospel and Epistle readings are not meant to compliment each other, but Paul certainly sums things up with "The old has gone, the new is here!"
Here are this week's readings:

Friday, May 29, 2015

Trinity 1+1+1=1


There are three magnificent readings set for this Sunday and a glorious Psalm to set the tone for worship:

Prayers for Trinity Sunday


The first prayer is from A Barclay Prayer Book and the second is Patrick's Breastplate Prayer

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Trinity ... Unity

This is one of the few Sundays in the Christian year when all 4 of the lectionary readings are meant to compliment each other. So in Isaiah, in the action of the paired wings of the seraphim we see an image of Trinity. One pair covers the face (Father), another the feet (Son), and with the third they fly (Holy Spirit). In John we the Trinitarian nature of our salvation: God the Father loved us and sent the Son; we are drawn to and believe into the Son; and we are born anew of and by the work of the Holy Spirit. In Romans we see that as children of God, we are led by the Spirit of God, calling out to the Father, and being made joint-heirs with Christ the Son. As for the Psalm, in a polytheistic world, this temple song proclaimed that YHWH rules over all other gods in the heavens and on earth.
I think my focus is going to be that the unity in the Trinity ought to be manifested in unity in the church.
Here are the readings:

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Pentecost

   
I came across this prayer for Pentecost in an old Barclay Prayer Book. Written so many years ago but still as fresh and meaningful as ever, these prayers invite us to experience the wellspring of spirituality that nourished this timeless theologian's creativity. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Road to Blessing

 It had to be a time of "anxious waiting" for the eleven disciples gathered in the upper room after all they had been through and as they awaited Jesus' promise of the Holy Spirit.
We’ve all experienced times of "anxious waiting" … perhaps even going through such a time now. The best thing to do is what the disciples did those days. They gathered with their community of faith and "constantly devoted themselves to prayer" (v. 14). In times of anxious waiting, it is important to surround ourselves with the faith community and pray—pray for the presence and grace of God as we walk through those trying moments of our lives.
During this time of “anxious waiting”, God moves and God speaks and God calls. They still really aren’t sure what exactly they are waiting for, but they are sensitive to the promptings of God, and so Peter senses the need to replace Judas. But he senses this as he reads the Psalms … he quotes a few

The Psalm 1 Person

I preached on the Ascension on Ascension Day, so this Sunday I am using the readings set for the seventh Sunday of Easter. If you want the readings for Ascension Sunday, they are the same as the readings for Ascension Day. The Acts reading for this Sunday has the disciples choosing a replacement for Judas, but I am drawn to the Psalm for this Sunday, which at first glance is so either/or, but which is perhaps better interpreted as a "positive picture of the joys and pitfalls of our lifetime journeys" (Walter Bouzard). 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Ascension Day Prayer and Readings

Ascension language is enthronement language. Jesus ascending into heaven means that Jesus is now enthroned in heaven. Notice how many times Jesus tells the disciples (us) to stop focusing on earthly kingdoms and glory and to focus instead on the Spirit-empowered mission (and the coming of the same Spirit) that lay before them (us) — to be witnesses in all the world. When the angels "interrupt" their wondering gaze, they also redirect the disciples to continue in this mission by waiting for the coming of the Spirit in Jerusalem.
Here are the readings for Ascension Day and a Prayer for Asscension Day

Friday, May 1, 2015

Fruit or Firewood

 John 15:1-8
As you read through the book of John, you will encounter 7 different conversations in which Jesus makes very specific, far reaching, and some might say, outrageous statements about Himself. Jesus does not just claim to know these things, or explain these things.  He blatantly claims that He
is these things.  If true, the implications, and impact are tremendous.  The implications reach deep into our real, daily lives.  The impact involves life-changing transformation with everlasting consequence.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

"Remain in Me" Why and How


Baptism cleanses us from sin and puts us into Christ and into his body, the church, but it does not guarantee we will stay there by itself. Jesus is quite clear in the reading from John’s gospel for this Sunday.  “You have already been cleansed,” he tells his disciples (John 15:3). But now we need to abide, and keep abiding if we wish to have the life begun in us at baptism to flourish and us to grow, rather than wither, die, and then, as Jesus puts it rather starkly, “be thrown into the fire and burned” (verse 6). This call to abide in Christ constantly is not simply for us to experience closeness with God, though that may happen. Ultimately, as Jesus says in verse 8, the call to abide is made so that, like branches in a grapevine, we may bear much fruit.
Here are this week's readings:

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Good Shepherd


As you read through the book of John, you will encounter 7 different conversations in which Jesus makes very specific, far reaching, and some might say, outrageous statements about Himself. Jesus does not just claim to know these things, or explain these things.  He blatantly claims that He
is these things.  If true, the implications, and impact are tremendous.  The implications reach deep into our real, daily lives.  The impact involves life-changing transformation with everlasting consequence.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Jesus' Resurrection Changes Everything

A further reflection on Easter

Something happened at the Resurrection of Jesus which changes everything ... because He was raised from the dead, the disciples lived differently with a  new sense of purpose, a new hope and a new energy. But this new purpose, hope and energy was not only because He was raised from the dead, but because of His promise to return and renew everything.  They had a sense that in Christ they had discovered the one through whom God would make all things new. Is there experience your experience?

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Easter: Resurrection Power in You

Jesus' resurrection declares that God has the final say and that He is the God of the past, present and future.
As a text I have chosen the words of the angel in Mark 16:6&7:
"He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”

This reminds us that even when we are not sure of what lies ahead of us, we can be sure that Christ is going ahead of us. And that, I would hope, is rather good news for you and for me this morning.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Holy Saturday: He descended to the Dead

                                                                                                   Image sourced here
A Holy Saturday homily written in Greek in the fourth century; the author is unknown.

Something strange is happening—there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.