22. The wise men gave frankincense, to show that Jesus was God.
Other than the odd incense stick – frankincense is somewhat out of fashion. Yes, it still resides in some churches and eastern religions, but on the whole Frankincense only brings people into a state of coughing when liberally used. But in ancient time fragrant incense was seen as a pleasing offering and a symbol of prayers rising.
As you think today about this gift from the wise men ask yourself what would be a pleasing offering to God, this day. Make your prayer rise today as smoke from incense rises and fills a room. Show your understanding of Jesus as God.
Posted in Advent, Advent thoughts, Christmas, Christmas Thoughts, Observation, Reflection
Tagged gift, holy smoke, incense, Jesus, prayer, wise men, worship
1. In the beginning there was God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The focus of Advent would usually be the coming of Jesus at Christmas and His return. Yet as we retell the Christmas story through the Huddersfield Parish Church Advent calendar the writer of our account begins with the opening from Genesis: “in the beginning”. We are asked then immediately to broadens out our vision straight into the Trinity. We are taken from the beginning of creation and drawn into the fuller Jesus story; our very salvation. So as we wait for the coming we should remember “God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit” is with us on the anticipated journey.
Pray at the start of this Advent journey for God accompanying us through the retelling and our thoughts that develop
Posted in Advent, Advent thoughts, Insights, Observation, Reflection
Tagged advent, beginning, christmas, father, holy spirit, prayer, son
Readings for Palm Sunday
Isaiah 50:4-9, Philippians 2:5-115: 1-11 & Matthew 27:11-54
Monday 3rd April
It is still a long way to Good Friday but one of the prayers for next Sunday is significant.
Prayer: True and humble king, hailed by the crowd as Messiah: grant us the faith to know you and love you, that we may be found beside you on the way of the cross, which is the path of glory.
Jesus turns his face to his future and it was not the prettiest prospect. Yet the fulfilment of his life was the cross.
Question: Wonder at the way in which Jesus walked towards his end. Would our promise be to stay with him?
Posted in Lent, Observation, Reflection
Tagged face, father, good friday, holy spirit, hpc, huddersfield parish church, humble, impressions from st pete's, jesus god, king, messiah, prayer, promise, st peter's, stay, turned
Readings for 1st Sunday in Lent
Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7, Romans 5:12-19; and Matthew 4: 1-11
Ash Wednesday 1 March
The observance of a holy Lent as recalled in the Ash Wednesday liturgy: “by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy word.”
These are five options to develop our spirituality muscles this Lent. I think the five are linked to prayer and study. Either of the areas is a part of prayer and study or a direct result. So reading this Lenten study, praying before, during or after. Looking at something else; a film, some music, the News, a single book of the New Testament….. and react within yourself and for others beyond yourself.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, this Lent give me a portion of that grace to be obedient to your Spirit to heed your call and develop to be wiser in my love of you though and into others around me. Amen
Posted in Lent, Observation, Reflection, Uncategorized
Tagged ash wadnesday, fasting, grace, hpc, huddersfield parish church, impressions from st pete, Lent, prayer, Prayers, self-denial, st peter's, thoughts
Friday 16 December
There is a drama series on TV and the first moments of the current episode flashes the highlights of the previous week or weeks; the whys the wherefore, the questions and the cliff-hanger.
Mathew tells his narrative of Jesus’ birth through the prospective of Mary and the placing of her and Joseph’s experiences within a particular place and time in history.
There is weaving and intrigue as any live drama, but God’s hand is seen throughout.
Look again at events of the week – what are the headline for this week’s conversation with God?
As I look at the pattern of the news today, where can I place God in the pattern? In the needs of others? In their joys or success? How about in the justice or injustice a situation? As Jesus broke into human history revealing God’s hand, may I behold him today! Amen
Posted in Advent, Advent thoughts, Insights, Reflection, Stories
Tagged behold, events, God, hpc, huddersfield parish church, impressions, impressions from st pete's, Jesus, mary, news, prayer, questions, st peter's, tv, weave
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
Wednesday 7 December
There is nothing worse than a diversion. Instead of arriving at Aunty Flo’s on time, just as you get close, you are forced on the diversion. Stuck in a line of other hapless drivers, on unfamiliar roads, with huge queues at all the junctions. You see, these other roads are not designed to get you to Aunty Flo.
We are told in this week’s readings to make the roads straight and level. We are told to get on the right road to God, or we could say, to get on the right road back to God. Try not to get diverted, but set your face towards his presence here with us.
Align yourself with him through confession, Holy Communion, time in prayer and in service to others. These are the roads designed to take us to him, even as he comes to us.
Make straight the path!
Help me Lord, in the diversions of today, to find time to straighten my path to you. May I find you in word and in sacrament, as I pray for myself and those in need of you….
Come Lord Jesus.
Posted in Advent, Advent thoughts, Observation, Reflection, Stories, Uncategorized
Tagged confession, diversion, holy communion, hpc, huddersfield parish church, Path, prayer, sacrament, st peter's