Daily Reflection Friday 25 November
Today we commemorate the memory of Isaac Watts by printing one of his most famous hymns. Please read it prayfully.When I survey the wondrous cross,
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
Prayer: Lord, when we survey all you have done, help us to put your love before all this world offers and that our pride demands. When we see your love, help us to give our lives again to you to serve you all our days. Amen
Daily Reflection Thursday 24 November
Luke 21. 20–28 25-26 “It will seem like all hell has broken loose—sun, moon, stars, earth, sea, in an uproar and everyone all over the world in a panic, the wind knocked out of them by the threat of doom, the powers-that-be quaking. 27-28 “And then—then!—they’ll see the Son of Man welcomed in grand style—a glorious welcome! When all this starts to happen, up on your feet. Stand tall with your heads high. Help is on the way!” (The Message Translation)
Reflection: This is one of those readings we avoid. It causes us to have to look into a fearful future at the end of this world. It is all that COP27 is trying rightly to avoid for all of us.
In our everyday world, events and problems occur that can feel like there is no solution, a dead end with no way forward. Perhaps this this is when the words “Stand up, stand tall with your head high because the time when God will free you is near!” What we need is a miracle! But, hold on, isn’t what Jesus is good at!
Prayer: Lord help us to be able to endure in the face of problems that shake our everyday world. We want to learn to trust you when things get tough knowing you are there to help us through it. Amen
Daily Reflection Wednesday 23 November
Luke 21.12-19 12 “…make up your minds not to prepare your defence in advance, 15 for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed… and hated… because of my name. 19 By your endurance you will gain your souls.
Reflection: In this country we don’t have the religious persecution that Jesus warned the disciples that they and he would endure (in today’s full reading). There are many places in our world where this is still true. They need our prayer.
However, we can be afraid of people’s reaction if we say we are people of faith in God or mentioning the name of Jesus. It is a stumbling block to many but it is also a place for some to find freedom from things that bind them up.
We need endurance to share Jesus’ love by word or deed even if it is misunderstood.
Prayer: Jesus, you put up with so much opposition and accusations; you were betrayed and put to death. Give us a share of your endurance so that we can share your love in whatever space you give us in the coming days. Amen
Daily Reflection Tuesday 22 November
Luke 21.5-11 5 When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, he said, 6 “As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.”
Reflection: We are launching into Advent and thinking about Christmas. There are so many family traditions and personal traditions that we like to do. It is a safe feeling that evokes happy memories.
What if all that changes. Children grow up. Family structures change leaving some no longer able to have those traditions they love. Change is hard and can lead to loneliness when it is as the reading says all is thrown down.
This is when we need to encourage ourselves that God hasn’t changed. He promises ‘I will never leave you or forsake you’. His love is unconditional. He loves us the way we are but helps us grow better. It never fades. It is greater than death. It is eternal.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help us when things that make us safe feel as if they are thrown down. Make your love real to us when all that this world offers turns to dust. Help us to grow in our trust in you. You are our safe place. Amen
Daily Reflection Monday 21 November
Luke 21 He looked up and saw rich people putting their gifts into the treasury; 2 he also saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. 3 He said, “Truly I tell you; this poor widow has put in more than all of them, 4 for all of them have contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.
This parable hits us hard at a time of recession when food and fuel are increasing by so much. I don’t mind being generous when I feel comfortable but the fear of not having enough makes me self-preserving.
If it is hard for us in these days, how much harder is it for those who have less than ourselves. It is often said that those who have little are more ready to give from the little they have. May be because they understand the hurt of need and want to give to others more readily.
This is the time to reach out our faith and give when it hurts. There is a place that God wants us to trust him when all our instincts is for us is to make ourselves safe with our own efforts.
Lord help us to be generous and share the many gifts you have given us to those who cannot help themselves. Teach us to give and not to count the cost. Amen