Category Archives: Observation

But God….

Readings for Easter Sunday

Acts 10.34-43, Colossians 3.1-4; and Matthew 28.1-10

48

Saturday 22 April

But God raised him from the dead” I love that phrase: “But God…” It is the antidote to mess we get into in our lives, and the answer to the despair we often feel when we hear the news from around the world: “But God…” And our job as Christians, as witnessed to what God has done in Jesus Christ, is to keep that message alive. To keep alive the rumour of God in  a sceptical world, and to remind people of the possibility of approaching life in a different way. Faith not fear, hope not hate, love not lies, Our communities, our nation, our politics – and our children and grandchildren – all need to hear this message: “But God raised him from the dead” – because Easter changed everything – forever.

 Question: What difference should the message of Easter make to the way you approach the things you will be doing in the year ahead?

 Prayer: Lord, thank you that Jesus broke the power of sin and death by his resurrection from the dead. May the new life of his kingdom come into our world in me and through me today.

 

Encouragement

Readings for Easter Sunday

Acts 10.34-43, Colossians 3.1-4; and Matthew 28.1-10

47

Friday 21 April

Cornelius was an outsider, a Gentile, a foreigner. Normally Peter as a faithful Jew would not have entered his home or sat down to eat with him. But now God was challenging him, breaking down his preconceptions and asking him to step outside his comfort zone. Maybe we need to do a little more of that. It is easy to stick with the people we know, the people who look and talk more or less like us. But God has a plan to include all people within his new family, the Church – and he wants you and me to help him do that. Have a think about the people you see in your church. How many outsiders, foreigners, people of different cultures and backgrounds are there – or are they mostly “people like us”?

Question: What could you do – or encourage your Church family to do – to reach out to and draw in new and different people?    What barriers might there be?

 Prayer: Lord, give me the courage to step outside my comfort zone so that your Church may become the diverse community you want us to be.

 

A Clue

Readings for Easter Sunday

Acts 10.34-43, Colossians 3.1-4; and Matthew 28.1-10

46

Thursday 20 April

It was all very well for Peter and the other disciples. They lived in a world where most  people believed in God and were happy to talk about religion. Today most people haven’t got a clue about who Jesus was or what he is supposed to have done. Where do we even start? Well, we all have a story to tell and experiences to share – about what we did at the weekend or what we have been reading lately. Peter says that God “has commanded us to preach to the people” – we may not be so sure about that but can we not find ways to talk to others about what our faith means to us and could mean to them?

Question: In a world where people are reluctant to listen to experts and are suspicious of authority, how can we play our part to help  others discover what we have found in Jesus Christ?

 Prayer: Lord, help me to share with someone today a little of who you are and what you have done for me.

 

Keep Faith

Readings for Easter Sunday

Acts 10.34-43, Colossians 3.1-4; and Matthew 28.1-10

44

Tuesday 18 April

Where were Peter and James and John on that first Easter Day? Why was it Mary and Mary Magdalene were the only ones to go to the tomb? Were the men too afraid or were the women more faithful? Either way the Marys are an example to us. They went to pay their respects, to mourn and to grieve – and  instead they met with Jesus himself. They didn’t know what they were doing but they kept faith and God honoured their   faithfulness by making them the first to meet with the risen Lord.  Sometimes when things are dark, just keeping on keeping on is hard, but simple faithfulness will be rewarded with the dawning of a new day – and keeping going is always easier with a friend beside you.

 Question: How do you cope with times in your life when things seem dark and you can’t make sense of what is going on?

 Prayer: Lord, when times are hard and the day seems dark, give me a friend to walk beside me and the courage to know you will be there to meet us.

 

Alone?

Easter Eve

42

Saturday 15 April

Silence and sadness for he is gone. Everyone who claimed to know, claimed to love Him have run away and hidden. Those who remained, took Jesus’ body for burial and rested for it was the sabbath. Can you imagine a world without Jesus? No remembering, no repeating, no trying to live up to His love for humanity? The first Easter-eve Jesus lay in a stone tomb, his friends mourned the waste and contemplated such an irredeemable future. They didn’t even hope for the rising of Jesus. How strangely empty that day must have been, how utterly empty of a future it must have been.

Prayer: My crucified Lord, in the depths of the isolation I may feel, my cry is to you. Lord God, give light in my darkness and bring me out of the prison of my despair; through the same crucified Jesus Christ. Amen

 

 

God’s Forgiveness

Holy Week

41

Friday 14 April

An end! All the passion, all the love, all the incarnate love so vast. Done   to death by those who should have recognised Him simply by what he did. As you mark this Good Friday, the solemn waste of Jesus, Emmanuel and incarnate, recognise that very act that has become for you a part of God’s plan to nurture and save your very soul. Such potential spoiled by nails and thorns and beating rods and spear. Here is the heart of God’s forgiveness!

Question: What do I bring, in the silence of the very moment I read this question, what do I bring that the forgiveness of the cross can heal? Dare I leave it to die with Jesus on that cross?

 Prayer: As I listen to my own breath, help me to realise that Jesus died, His breathing ceased. His life was snuffed out by a desiring humanity who saw not God embodied in Jesus Christ. I pray for all who share Christ’s dying today, may they rest in peace.

 

Betrayal Road

Holy Week

40

Thursday 13 April

This night in His Holy Week, Jesus walked the betrayal road. Abandoned he faced hatred and vile physical and mental cruelty. Who spoke for him?   Any who would raise their voice were shouted down and so Jesus was   condemned. There are situations in this present age when people stand alone, without voice.

Question: What part do I play in Jesus’ betrayal in the last weeks and months, as I watch someone condemned what is my role of silence?

 Prayer: Lord give me courage to stand by you, by standing by someone who is in need because of vile cruelty. ‘Whoever offers one of these little one even a cup of water…!’