Church of England Diocese of Norwich Ringland

Thought for the week of 12th September 2021

11 Sep 2021, 5:24 p.m.

Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.   Mark 8 : 34

Bible reading : Mark 8 : 27 - 38

Thought for the week

Jesus didn’t hold back from telling His disciples the hard things. Yet He always told them at the time He knew they were ready to hear.

In our Gospel reading Jesus has taken them to a distant place, and asks ‘Who do you say that I am’. Peter replies for them all, ‘You are the Messiah’. Then Jesus tells them He must suffer and die on the Cross. More than that, anyone who would follow Him must also take up their Cross.

Jesus speaks to us of His way of sacrifice. Laying aside our own desires and wants. Living for others and praying for the Kingdom. It is a hard way. A way that leads to challenges. That puts us in conflict with the world. Yet it is the way that brings life. True life, life in God Himself, even eternal life.

A few weeks ago we remembered how, on hearing Jesus’ teaching of Himself as the bread of life, many people stopped following Jesus. On that occasion Peter spoke for the disciples and said, ‘Where else would we go. You have the words of eternal life’. Jesus calls us to choose Life in Him, even though that means giving Him our whole selves. Yet following and trusting Him now means gaining everything in His love, beyond all we can ever imagine.

Rev Paul

A Prayer on the anniversary of 9/11

Eternal God

From whom all thoughts of truth and peace proceed :

Kindle, we pray, in the hearts of all

The true love of peace

And guide with your pure and peaceable wisdom

Those who take counsel for the nations of the earth

That in tranquillity your Kingdom may go forward

Till the earth is filled with the knowledge of your love;

Through Jesus Christ our Lord

Amen