Readings for Fourth Sunday in Lent
1 Samuel 1:20-end, Ephesians 5:8-14; 13-17 & John 9
Friday 24th March
The disciples dismissed the blind man (at least at first) as just an example of some rigid moral rule. As the story goes on it becomes clear that this is not a man to be dismissed, His response to Jesus is straightforward and insightful. His responses to the religious authorities who grill him is brave – not to say a touch impertinent. This man has met Jesus and had his whole life transformed and he is such a positive presence in this story: not some pious shadow, but wholly alive.
Thoughts and Prayer: Pray today for fullness of life: for yourself, for those close to you and for other people too: the capacity to live with joy and in the middle of life with all that it brings
Posted in Insights, Lent, Observation
Tagged blind man, disciples, father, holy spirit, hpc, huddersfield parish church, impressions from st pete's, jesus god, Life, positive, samuel, st peter's
Readings for 3rd Sunday in Lent
Exodus 17: 1-7, Romans 5: 1-11 & John 4: 5-42
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.
Posted in Lent, Observation, Stories, Thought for the day
Tagged Compassion, death, God, hpc, huddersfield parish church, impressions from st pete, israelites, Jesus, Lent, Life, living water, moses, Prayers, st peter's, thirst, water, worst
Thursday 15 December
The smile from someone beloved; a bright and frosty day, crisp and brilliant; a conversation that makes your day shine; an unadulterated and beautifully given gift or pleasure; anything in fact that makes your heart sing. This is the heart being magnified.
When the angel Gabriel told Mary that a special child would be born to her she was filled with joy. Mary sang a song that began with the words: “My soul magnifies the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.”
Prayer is not just about the angst of life, but also the brilliance of life. Prayer and worship needs intercession and yet it also need the praise that expands the heart and our very being.
May my soul magnify the Lord: as I see someone smile; in the bright moments of the day; through a conversation that makes my day shine; through an unadulterated and beautifully given gift or pleasure; when my heart sings may I recognise and respond to your hand O God and simply praise! Amen
Posted in Advent, Advent thoughts, Insights, Observation, Reflection, Uncategorized
Tagged amen, angst, brilliance, gabriel, God, hpc, huddersfield parish church, impressions, impressions from st pete's, Jesus, Joy, Life, magnificat, mary, praise, prayer, st peter's
Thursday 8 December
I always seem to end up in the wrong queue.
I have quite an advanced queuing technique which takes into account the length of queue (obs), the capabilities of shoppers and checkout staff, the type of item in a trolley and whether there are repeats; but I still seem to end up in the slowest queue.
And I don’t like queuing, I don’t like waiting.
Yet we are told to wait, to be patient as the farmer is patient. In this desperate rush in advent, both wanting to get to Christmas day as soon as possibly, and needing more time to get everything done, let us pause and get in the queue.
Christ comes to us, not because we demand him, or because we are ready. Christ comes becomes it is time. Let us be found waiting.
In this Advent season of preparation give us a understanding of how to be ready, but not in an impatient and demanding way, rather with a sense of God’s time and in Jesus timeliness. Come Lord Jesus to my frenetic ‘doing’ and simply ’be’ in my life. Amen
Posted in Advent, Advent thoughts, Insights, Observation
Tagged advent, be, christ, come, doing, God, hpc, huddersfield parish church, Jesus, Life, patient, st peter's
Sunday 28 March
Close you eyes – dark isn’t it ! But then open them and brilliant clarity. Isn’t that resurrection material?
An author passes and yet lives on through their writings. Isn’t that resurrection-like?
A girl is killed in a car crash, her organs used to enable others to live, her family are upheld by this sacrifice. Isn’t that resurrection- esk?
Star Wars spirality sees followers gifted by the very death of a master and leader. Very resurrection!
But there is much, much more to Easter.
A weak, frightened group of individuals changed because of something more significant. Our learning of death not being final, can make us into communities that recognise God’s kingdom in the present.
With God everything is possible. Jesus physical statement beyond death make all things new and possible.
When a Christian say “Christ is Risen!” There is reason to know that our hope can lead us to many destinations.
Have yourself a blessed Easter.
Posted in Easter, Reflection
Tagged christ, easter, God, Jesus, jesus christ, Life, new, potential, resurrection, risen, sunday
Sunday 21 February
How do we self-define and how do we self-limit by pigeon-holing ourselves.
I have had a number of conversations in the past week where, within the conversation, someone has self-defined and self-limited by one singular way of describing themselves. The categories chosen were around age, illness, orientation, wealth, work status and relationships
Yet one particular person with a life changing illness refused to be pigeon-holed by their condition. In fact they have a certain holiness because their life is filled with a Christ-like drive to live life in all its fullness and experience.
If we limit Jesus by defining him don’t do the same to yourself.
Don’t pigeon-hole yourself
Friday 29 January
Getting ready to resource Lent has got me thinking. There is nothing like precising five books, five films and the lyrics to numerous piece of music to drag you off into many areas of thought.
Jonathan Livingstone Seagull by Richard Bach, for example, is a book from my own formation and is akin to this week’s blog because of its focus on self awareness and the subsequent heightening our understanding.
Jesus said that he came to give life in all its fullness.