Category Archives: Stories

Go Do Likewise

24. 2000 years later, we come with the shepherds, with the wise men, with Mary and Joseph; to worship Jesus and to wonder at the child who would save the world.
The focus of Advent is the coming of Jesus at Christmas and His return. As we have retold the Christmas story through the Huddersfield Parish Church Advent calendar we have encountered what it means that “God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit” is with us. We have heard and responded with small significant moments of worship, moved our focus from ourselves, beyond to focus on God and neighbour. This is the Jesus effect! From the Godly realm to a human state and earthly relationships. As Jesus said after the parable of the Good Samaritan – “Go, do likewise!

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Precious

21. The wise men gave Gold, to show that Jesus was a king


When recalling someone and the description ‘heart of gold’ is used, you are meant to imagine kindness in a most precious way. Strangely it suggests kindness so un-bling -like as you can imagine. It is more about the purity of gold which can be found even in its rawest state, nugget like in the dross of clay or silt. This is gold that is worthy of offering.

What offering of gold do you offer today?

High and Lows

Holy Week

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 Monday 10 April

That feeling of emptiness, that dropping sensation in the pit of your stomach, when everything suddenly changes and what you felt was supremely positive and enlivening is overtaken by gloom and despondency. Jesus entered into Jerusalem and was hailed as a victorious king/messiah. How it must have pained him that everything was about to be reversed. Yet His face was set, Jesus knew what the highs and the lows of the next few days.

Question: What are your ‘highs’, what are your ‘lows’ at the moment?

 Prayer: Lord, in this holiest of weeks help me to realise my life as I reflect on your last days. How do I mark my ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ against yours? Amen

 

 

A Great Theological Question

Readings for Palm Sunday

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

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Saturday 8th April

There is a great theological question: in the Philippians reading we are told that Jesus emptied himself. What did he empty himself of? If he emptied himself of his divinity, then Jesus would simply be human and not God – that can’t be right. Yet the one who is King of Kings comes to serve, the Son of God is hung on a cross. There is nothing inflated or egotistic about Jesus’ glory, it is, if you like, an empty glory that simply is. In his emptiness, Jesus is exalted above all so that every knee shall bend before him. Let us enter into Christ’s glory, not by puffing ourselves up, but by kneeling, empty, at the foot of the cross.

 

 

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.

 

Willingly

Readings for 3rd Sunday in Lent

Exodus 17: 1-7, Romans 5: 1-11 & John 4: 5-42

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Wednesday 15th March

So beset by our quarrels, our worst brought out of us by our fears, and wondering where we are on our journey, this Sunday St Paul delivers the tonic we need. Bringing us back from wallowing in what is wrong – with the world, with our little corner of it or with ourselves – we are reminded of what we need. What we need is hope – and hope whose foundations lay not in our own navigational skills for the journey, and not in our own ability to rise unaided above our human condition. Hope based on the sacrifice of Jesus. We stand in grace.

We hope not in spite of the difficulties and struggles of being human, but we hope through our struggles because of the love which God has poured into our hearts.

We did not earn the sacrifice which Christ willingly made for us – but still he made it. We didn’t even repent first. God did not blackmail or cajole us into our salvation. While we were still sinners, God gave everything, willingly and without reservation, for love of us.

Question: When we see ourselves in this light, see our value to the God of all creation, how will we respond?

 Prayer: Loving God, help me to see my value as you see it today. Give me hope in my struggles, and help me to follow you. Amen.

 

Our Worst?

Readings for 3rd Sunday in Lent

Exodus 17: 1-7, Romans 5: 1-11 & John 4: 5-42

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Tuesday 14th March

I wonder if each of us knows what brings out the worst in us, and I wonder if we would admit it if we do? When the Israelites are following  Moses in the wilderness, a people liberated from slavery by God’s miraculous intervention, it is their thirst for water that starts to bring out the worst in them. It is their thirst for water that erodes their trust in Moses as their leader, and in God, despite all they have experienced. To be fair this comes as no surprise – this is a life and death issue – and it is these issues that challenge our humanity most.

We will hear on Sunday of how they quarrelled with Moses and tested God; but I imagine that first they would have quarrelled amongst themselves.     As water became scarce they would perhaps look at their community, their friends, their families, with envious eyes, harsh words and surreptitious  actions. But God is a God of compassion. He responds to the envy and squabbling of our communities, to our lack of trust – not by withdrawing from us, but by giving more. The rock is split, and living water flows from it. Christ’s life is given, and all things become possible.

Question: What situations bring out the worst in me? How can trusting God more help me deal with this?

 Prayer: God of our ancestors, help us trust in you, to turn from our deepest fears, to your life giving love. Amen.