Category Archives: Lent

Palm Sunday Cry

Readings for Palm Sunday

Isaiah 50:4-9, Philippians 2:5-115: 1-11 & Matthew 27:11-54

Thursday 6th April

On his entry into Jerusalem Jesus is cheered and exalted by the same people who will turn with cries of, “Cru34cify him! Crucify him!” Yet, when they glorify him on Palm Sunday, Jesus accepts them.

Thoughts and Prayer: We are also liable to change, one minute fired up, the next wanting to turn our backs. And yet God takes what we offer. And when we return to him, what we offer is ourselves.

 

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Simple Confession

 

Readings for Palm Sunday

Isaiah 50:4-9, Philippians 2:5-115: 1-11 & Matthew 27:11-54

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 Wednesday 5th April

In the Philippian’s reading on Sunday St Paul distils his understanding of Jesus’ path to Jerusalem . From way before his Christmas birth and onward into time. A simple creed to ‘confess’ that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Placing the next few week’s thoughts centred on that one line.

 Prayer Give me wisdom and faith as I read , glory and pray the word of Paul in his letter to the Philippians 2:5-11.

 

Liberation

Readings for Palm Sunday

Isaiah 50:4-9, Philippians 2:5-115: 1-11 & Matthew 27:11-54

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Tuesday 4th April

For those who follow Christ, liberation comes when Jesus’ presence ignites a freedom that we ill deserve, but is freely given.

Just recognising the physical, mental and spiritual journey that Jesus made; placing that journey alongside your own pathway and the sense of liberation is because Jesus has been there before you. God has this pure empathy.

Question: Who do I know that because of their faith, act as liberated and free. What in my life speaks to others of liberation, freedom because of Christ with me?

 Prayer: Lord Jesus, speak to me, stay with me, liberate me, to do your will and to be a fellow child of God , free in your grace. Amen

 

Looking Forward

Readings for Palm Sunday

Isaiah 50:4-9, Philippians 2:5-115: 1-11 & Matthew 27:11-54

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 Monday 3rd April

It is still a long way to Good Friday but one of the prayers for next Sunday is significant.

Prayer: True and humble king, hailed by the crowd as Messiah: grant us the faith to know you and love you, that we may be found   beside you on the way of the cross, which is the path of glory.

Jesus turns his face to his future and it was not the prettiest prospect. Yet the fulfilment of his life was the cross.

Question: Wonder at the way in which Jesus walked towards his end.  Would our promise be to stay with him?

 

Darning Socks

Readings for 5th Sunday in Lent

Ezekiel 37.1-14,, Romans 8.6-11; and John 11:1-45

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Saturday 1 April 

In Henning Mankell’s novel ‘The fifth Woman’, Linda, Wallander’s daughter, asks her father,   “Why is it so difficult to live in Sweden”. He replies “Sometimes I think it’s because we’ve stopped darning our socks. When I was growing up,  Sweden was still a country where people darned their socks … then suddenly, one day, it was over; socks with holes in them were thrown out, no one bothered to repair them, the whole society changed. Wear it out then toss it was the only rule that applied.

As long as it was just a matter of our socks a change didn’t make much difference, but then it started to spread, until finally it became a kind of invisible moral cold. I think it changed our view of right and wrong, of what you were allowed to do to other people and what you weren’t. More and more people, especially young people feel unwelcome in their own county. How do they react; with aggression and contempt. The most frightening thing is that I think we’re only at the beginning of something that’s going to get a lot worse. A generation is growing up right now …. who are going to react with even greater violence and they have absolutely no memory of a time when we darned our socks. When we didn’t throw everything away, weather it was our woollen socks or human beings.

Question: Did Jesus darn socks? He certainly didn’t throw away  relationships. For him people were children of God, they were the ‘Imago Dei’ of God. So, what has that got to say about how we approach people who would appear different today? What are the consequences of drawing closer to God during this Lenten period, and what does the  approaching Holy Week and Easter story mean for us in today’s world? Should we learn to darn socks?

 

 

‘Come Out’

Readings for 5th Sunday in Lent

Ezekiel 37.1-14,, Romans 8.6-11; and John 11:1-45

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Friday 31 March

John 11:43, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ Come out of the dark, come out from the touch and stink of death, come out of the emptiness and shadow of the     underworld into the light, into the air, and live.     David, Simon, Susan, Brenda ……. Whoever you are, Jesus is calling you – come out from darkness into the light, emerge from the chrysalis like the beautiful, yet fragile butterfly and live……If only it were that easy, to ‘come out’ takes courage, it takes courage to open yourself and to trust that others won’t use your vulnerability and squash the emerging self. Come out & live, is different to come out & wish you could go back because you are afraid. It’s perfect, unconditional love that casts out fear & perfect, unconditional love is what we have to offer because it is what God in Jesus offers us. But, oh it’s hard – and our faltering failure injures others.

Prayer: Lord I know that coming out to freedom is costly. Grant me the grace and strength to hear your voice and follow you.

 

Crying

Readings for 5th Sunday in Lent

Ezekiel 37.1-14,, Romans 8.6-11; and John 11:1-45

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Thursday 30 March

Patripassianism is a grand word. It refers to the doctrine that in the sufferings of Jesus Christ God the Father also suffered. There’s more to it than this of course,  like there are more angels on the head  of a pin than you can care to count, and technically, if you go in for this kind of stuff it’s a heresy. Theologians   can pass hours on this kind of thing of course, but in Jn 11:35 we read ‘Jesus wept’ and for me at least, if all we can see and know of God, we see and know in Jesus, then God wept and continues to weep as he walks around this world.

 My father cried, he cried as he approached his death, he cried out of concern for those he loved, and he cried because he was leaving them.

 As I get older, I find it easier to cry. I can cry for what has been,  what could have been, and what there is.  I cry for my grandchildren’s  future. I cry not because, I’m a cry baby, over-soft and sentimental, but like   Jesus, I sense a deep sorry at the heart of things that  threatens and sometimes seems to overwhelm the deeper joy. In Helen Waddell’s  novel Peter Abelard, Thibault reaches out and touches the dead rabbit in Peter’s hand and says, as he stroked his long ears, “Old lop ears, maybe this is why he died”.

 Prayer: Lord, in my tears and laugher, in the tears and laughter of those around me, help me to recognised your tears and suffering then and as you watch the world today. So you share may I share. Amen