God Encompasses All: A Christian Perspective

The aches and pains, the heartaches and the joys

Chess Game
God Encompasses All: A Christian Perspective
Find Oakville's Cheapest Gas

About the Author

Reverend Dr. Morar Murray-Hayes

Reverend Dr. Morar Murray-Hayes

The Reverend Dr. Morar Murray-Hayes is the Minister of Maple Grove United Church, and is a member of the Interfaith Councill of Halton. A chatty extrovert with a conversational preaching style, a multi-tasker who is a “multi-worrier” when it comes to caring about people’s problems, and a leader who treasures teaming with the lay people in her church, Morar says that at Maple Grove she has experienced “a deeper level of ministry than I thought possible.” Anyone who has personally received Morar’s deeply compassionate caring and wise counsel will testify to what an inspirational, healing and encouraging ministry it is.

Latest posts (See all)


Can you remember what your first thought or feeling was when you first woke up this morning? What did you feel or think as you read or heard the news? What worries you? What makes you angry? What griefs do you carry?

All of this has a place in Christian worship, the aches and pains, the heartaches and the joys. As we worship over the course of the year, every human emotion, every human thought has a place.

Worshipping over the church year is the way we celebrate, relive and make present Christ, his teachings and the main events in his life. It is the way that our church keeps placing before us the story of Jesus.

It is also a reflection of the rhythms of our own lives — all we experience — is made holy in worship.

Sometimes we think there is enormous tension between entering fully into worship and the pressures of society. We sometimes find ourselves walking a tightrope between what we think is the ideal of a holy life and the demands of our world.

But the beauty of the Church seasons is that they teach us how to balance our life. The Christian life is a whole life, an expansive life, a life in Christ, who gives Himself for the life of the world.

In both of the two big seasons of the church year, you are free to feel every feeling and have it encompassed, blessed and transformed in worship.


  • experiencing the darkness of the world, of life, of our souls
  • knowing you have to face that darkness, to walk deeply into it, not knowing whether you will have what it takes, or support from others to survive
  • waiting for something or someone to bring you out of the darkness and into the light
  • impatience that it doesn’t happen fast enough, isn’t under our control
  • sheer joy and gratitude when the light flickers in the darkness and you feel God’s presence.


  • includes all of these and more
  • searching your own soul and facing your own failures, fears, sins
  • facing violence, and death and global evil
  • in one glorious moment having the veil lifted and seeing through to the other side — receiving the promise of eternal life.
  • knowing God cares for us on both sides of the veil — life and afterlife — sending the Spirit to be God’s presence.

Each Sunday is a little Easter, so in a way, each Friday is Good Friday and each Thursday is Maundy Thursday. Each time we gather to receive the bread and wine, we offer our whole lives including all our brokenness to be healed and made whole. Each time we baptize, we remember our own baptisms and cherish God’s purpose for our lives.

Often the stories of Jesus deal with what we might think of as tiny problems, not worthy of the attention of one who lives to save the world.

Matthew 18.15-20
Jesus goes into great detail about what to do if someone hurts you — sins against you. First speak to that person alone (that’s a practical beginning because maybe they really didn’t intend to hurt you, or you may have misunderstood them); if that doesn’t work, take along one or two others. If that doesn’t work, well maybe you just avoid them. In a few verses of scripture, we find ourselves — we disagree with folk, hurt one another and are hurt by others. ‘What would God care about our petty hurts?’ we might ask. But God does care. Jesus knows about these small things, and as we encounter Jesus in worship, we discover that he cares enough to teach us how to manage our lives in those circumstances. And then he cautions us to stay connected to one another, because when we gather together to worship, God is there.

As we think of all that we bring into worship from our lives, we are challenged in worship to take what we do in worship back into life.

In worship God validates the emotions of your life, and seeks to transform them. God seeks to weave the historic story of faith into the fabric of your life.

Over the next weeks, perhaps you will join me and others to see if this thesis holds for your life. We’ll tackle some of the tough challenges of life — physician assisted suicide, depression, among others — seeing if our own human thoughts and emotions connect with the great story of our faith and if they just might be transformed.


, , , , , ,

Readers Comments (0)

You must be logged in to post a comment.