14. Out on the hills nearby, there lived some shepherdswho were looking after their sheep. Suddenly an angel appeared and said to the shepherds, “Don’t be scared. There is wonderful news. A Saviour has been born.”
To be quite contradictory from yesterday’s thought, into the ordinariness of shepherding sheep news of something different – “a Saviour….born.” Is the challenge of the angel – “don’t be scared!” – because the visitation or because the message? An angel would be startling, but the message is momentous. God touching life in a fleshy way alters the game of life. Faith in God is born in a baby, go and see. The occasion will change you!
Readings for 3rd Sunday in Lent
Exodus 17: 1-7, Romans 5: 1-11 & John 4: 5-42
Saturday 18th March
What happens to us when God breaks the rules? We are called as Christian people to model our behaviour on the behaviour of Christ. What a challenge! I wonder if an alien arrived in our parishes this Sunday, and was asked to imagine Jesus based on the behaviour of his present-day disciples, what conclusions that alien might draw?
Perhaps that the Jesus we follow was a nice comfortable chap who liked to sit in big buildings once a week? Perhaps that the Jesus we follow was a sensible, common sense sort, who would like to hope for the wonderful, but generally expects the slightly below par, with a small dose of cynicism and a bucket of pragmatism thrown in. But of course that is not the Jesus we try to follow. That Jesus would surely never have chosen the cross. But our Jesus did – chose the outrageous, dangerous, glorious expression of ultimate love – so that our faith and love for God could transcend what we have been told, what we have inherited. So that we might truly be liberated to follow the Saviour of the world.
Question: How do our lives reflect the way Jesus lived?
Prayer: Freedom-giving God, loose the chains of habit and culture that bind us to false religion. Set us free to follow the earth-changing ways of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Posted in Lent, Observation, Reflection
Tagged behaviour, Cross, faith, father, freedom, holy spirit, hpc, huddersfield parish church, impressions from st pete's, jesus god, love, model, parish, saviour, st peter's, sunday
Thursday 21 December
The letter to Titus says, “The goodness and loving-kindness of God our Saviour appeared….” We will hear about the ‘Word becoming flesh’ but let us look with new eyes that regard the significance afresh. See that the ‘Word’ was the ‘goodness and loving-kindness of God’
This extended description was contain in the Christ-child, grew into the man who was to prove this ‘goodness and loving-kindness’ even to the cross, and sealed in his resurrection.
How are we to react to this trait of God found in Jesus. Coo at the baby in a manger and forget his presence on Boxing Day? Perhaps we are invited to find out a little more and work and pray daily to be a part of that ‘goodness and loving-kindness.’
Make me a channel of your peace, where there is hatred let me bring your love, where there is injury, your pardon Lord and where there’s doubt, true faith in you. Make me a channel of your peace, where there’s despair in life let me bring hope, where there is darkness, only light and where there’s sadness ever joy. Oh, master grant that I may never seek, so much to be consoled as to console to be understood as to understand. Amen
Posted in Advent, Advent thoughts, Christmas, Insights, Observation, Stories
Tagged advent, baby, boxing day, channel, christ-child, christmas, coo, Cross, God, goodness, grant, hpc, huddersfield parish church, Jesus, loving kindness, Peace, Peter’s, saviour, seek, St, Titus
Mulling over two words: Saviour and savour. What’s the difference? That would be the ‘I’. An observation worthy of any twee church notice board.
But it is for the individual that this Christmas event took place. ‘God with us!’ is the headline, but ‘God with me,’ is the subtext.
Savour that precision in God’s grace contained in this saviour child.
Taste the difference!