Category Archives: Thought for the day

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.

 

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A Great Theological Question

Readings for Palm Sunday

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

36

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.

 

 

Simple Confession

 

Readings for Palm Sunday

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

33

 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.

 

‘Come Out’

Readings for 5th Sunday in Lent

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

29

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

28

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

 

Quixotic Moment.

Readings for 5th Sunday in Lent

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

27

Wednesday 29 March

The local authority had spent considerable effort and money planting daffodil bulbs  on the green at the centre of the circle   bordered by the community shops at the heart of the village. One evening the   beautiful and vivid yellow display was  beaten down by trampling and hacking   destruction. I recalled as a boy, brandishing a wooden sword, which my father had made for me, and similarly hacking down my grandmothers Iris’s, much to her vexation. I have to say, I don’t recall ‘having a tanned backside’ as my mother threatened, but I was at pains to point out they hadn’t been flowers they had been giants: I had had my own ‘Quixotic’ moment.

There is seeing and seeing: telling my science teacher in school that I was bored, brought the caustic comment that when a donkey looks at a great work of art, he doesn’t see much, but it’s not the fault of the artist. The beauty of the daffodils wasn’t seen, the gold filigree woven amongst the thread. My friend, the person in charge of the planting, rebuffed calls to concrete over the green, and replanted. I asked what he would do if the same happened again, he replied, ‘replant, replant, replant, until they see’.

Prayer: Lord, to set the mind on the flesh is death, to set the mind on your Spirit is life and peace. Help me to understand that to see through and beyond and into, is to grasp another reality indeed. Amen

 

Touched

Readings for 5th Sunday in Lent

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

26Tuesday 28 March

What image does ‘the hand of the Lord coming upon you’, conjure up? – Ezekiel 37:1. To be touched by God is more than a passing brush past; sending, at the most, an inconsequential shiver down the spine quickly to be forgotten. Those who have been so touched in the scriptures, bear witness to its life changing nature. Those who are sick are healed, those bound are freed, those in the valley of the shadow of death live.

Question: What comes to mind when you reflect upon so much in the world today? Do you sometimes think that there is much that could, should, be touched by God in way that would make a difference; a change for the better?

 Prayer: Then reach out and make that touch, for “yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.” – Teresa of Avila.