Falling on your face

Dear Minster and friends,

It’s a bizarre expression. Falling on your face. Usually we use it to describe that moment when we spectacularly mess things up – ‘she fell flat on her face’. It is usually used figuratively, metaphorically.
Occasionally we might use it to describe a moment that actually happened, and it isn’t that fun, falling facedown. It hurts. It is a loss of control, a loss of balance. A loss of dignity.

Business leader Richard Branson played with the image and, quoting Victor Kiam, was reported to say: ‘My attitude has always been, if you fall flat on your face, at least you’re moving forward. All you have to do is get back up and try again.’

Sometimes falling flat on your face allows you to see things from a different perspective.  Childhood memories usually have adults towering above us, and table tops over our heads. In the courts of powerful rulers, those coming to make a petition used to be invited to bow down low, face to the ground, occasionally to prostrate themselves there. Face down we cannot fight. Face down we cannot tower over others. Face down we are small and those before us are tall. If those before us are good, kind, loving they will pick us up and put us on our feet. What parent wouldn’t rescue a tumbled child. ?

When Daniel receives a vision in Chapter 8 we read:
“As Gabriel approached the place where I was standing, I became so terrified that I fell with my face to the ground. “Son of man,” he said, “you must understand that the events you have seen in your vision relate to the time of the end.” While he was speaking, I fainted and lay there with my face to the ground. But Gabriel roused me with a touch and helped me to my feet.”
‭‭Daniel‬ ‭8:17-18‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Sometimes processing complex and enormous thoughts, emotions, encounters can be overwhelming, we physically become fragile. Films and novels might portray swoons or faints as the tendency of Victorian ladies wearing corsets, but Daniel was one of the boldest, strongest and most courageous characters of scripture. Maybe spiritual encounters should be able to render us small, close to the ground, toddlers in the presence of a King? Maybe we need to learn to be overwhelmed in the presence of God and his word?

As Matt Redman wrote in one of his songs:

Welcomed in to the courts of the King
I’ve been ushered in to Your presence
Lord, I stand on Your merciful ground
Yet with every step tread with reverence

And I’ll fall facedown
As Your glory shines around
Yes, I’ll fall facedown
As Your glory shines around

Perhaps this week is a week to fall flat on our faces… whether physically or metaphorically, perhaps we may gain a new perspective of God and of the world around us!

With much love,




Just to let you know Raymond and his family will be visiting us for the next month!

We really, really are in need of helpers, particularly teachers for youth on Sundays and the children’s groups.
If this is something you would like to explore then please email children@theminster.org

21st July – 1st September

On these Sundays the various children’s groups will be together (besides creche) to play games and learn about the Bible.
During August we will also have BBQs altogether after the service.
All are welcome to this!

21st September

Reboot is an interactive day for 12-18s to ask their big questions about God.
For more information visit: https://www.rebootglobal.org/london/
(Early bird rate applies until 16th August)