Tag Archives: hope

Easter People

Readings for Easter Sunday

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

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Wednesday 19 April

What does it mean to be an “Easter People”? It means firstly to be people who have met with the Risen Jesus and begun to experience new life through the gift of the Holy Spirit. It means to be people who are beginning to live in hope and not fear – and who bring that hope to the people they meet and the places they live and work. Paul’s words “set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth” doesn’t mean that we are to be so heavenly minded that we are of no earthly use – rather it means that we are to live by different priorities than those of the world around us. We are to be ambitious, not for the things of this world but for God’s priorities of faith, hope and love.

Question: What could you do to bring God’s priorities of faith, hope and love to the places you will be and the people you will meet today?

 Prayer: Lord, thank you for the new life you have given me in Christ. Show me how I can share that life with others today.

 

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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

 

 

Hope Again

Saturday 17 December

hope

I return to hope again and its fundamental part of our preparation for Christmas.

We have a pattern in Mary of what is possible. Mary wasn’t chosen for her status, her intelligence or even her holiness. Mary was ‘overshadowed’ because of her hope that stood outside the boundaries of convention and society.

Hope in God the Father of Mary’s forebears, hope in Jesus, the answer to our desire for God close and the Holy Spirit, the hope of presence still. These are the themes of hope demonstrated in nativity scenes and carols describing closeness, closeness in this baby born to Mary.

May I say that, all my hope on God is founded; it is he who renews my trust. Me, through change and chance, he guides. For only He is good and true. For it is God unknown, he alone calls my heart to be his own. Amen.

 

A Prayer for Closeness

Tuesday 13 December

marychild

My own children are all grown up now, I look back and think how unprepared we were for the arrival of our children.

We read the Old Testament foretelling of Mary’s desire to have her God with her, as Isaiah wrote: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.”

God so close he will be called Emmanuel – God with us. Look out for a pram and a baby, if you are lucky enough to have hold of one – recognise Mary’s hope.

Jesus, God with us, the answer to my feelings of isolation from God. With you close may I find your peace though my prayers and actions this day. Amen

 

Stay Together.

Tuesday 22 November

stay

As a child, as a gang of  us headed off into the countryside around our village, we would have ringing in our ears the saying, “Go together, stay together, come back together!” Wise words to follow then and now.

Look at the Old Testament reading for next Sunday, you will find a striking and hopeful opening. There is a hope that, though the people have sinned, there might yet be a glorious future if people  remain faithful to the reforms made in the days of Hezekiah or Josiah. A simple return to walking close to God. the beautiful vision of Isaiah .

Jesus also spoke of the truth setting us free. His was the same call to prepare ourselves each and  every day by walking as close as he did to his Father.

Help us in preparing to celebrate God’s closeness this day. Grace us, as we make our hearts ready, placing our hope in you. Staying close to you our Heavenly Father through the same Jesus Christ. Amen

 

Lament to Hope

Tonight is a Reflection on the events of last Thursday – “Lament to Hope.”

Lamenting is a cry from within. A cry of despair, uncertainty, instability of the shooting – so close to home – outside a library – of Jo Cox – someone we hear about and identify with – an ordinary person.

Lament is railing about the wrongness. Part of religious language of pain in events and lives. Calling on God for answers. Our Humanity is found in lament’s questioning.
Do we find defiance ? Yes! Not in my name.

There is time in the service to tie ribbons to a simple structure.The ribbons happen to be red white and blue. You make the connection. Not rabid defiance – simple action tying ‘not in my name, not in the name of my community, not in the name of my country, to the events of last week. Rejecting the hate that thinks….I don’t know what he thought…..!
We look to change from lament into hope – people talking of Jo – real and alive. Someone with vision and desire and drive to help others. While being a mum, wife, daughter, sister, colleague, friend….ordinary and someone with whom ordinary people identify.

Hope is defiant – not in my name – a better way of service.

Close Enough to Tell Off?

Tuesday 29th December

‘God with us!’ 

Close enough for Jesus to tell off his beloved John (and James) as easily as the scribes and Pharisees. 

A belief in Jesus that misfired when John asked for privileges in the Kingdom. Wasn’t the beloved status enough?

I think he eventually came to understand as he stood at the cross as Jesus died. The rest of John’s life was an unpacking and weaving of his account of the Jesus story.

Our calling too? To work out the significance of our ‘belovedness’?