Dear people of faith,
Today the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity commences – please remember in your prayers all the local churches through this difficult time, as well as God’s Church throughout the world. Rev’d. Sandra has contributed the prayers in Faith Daily for the next ten days.
And the Penecost Pack is published this morning! Today you will be invited to connect Old and New Testaments in the images of Pentecost – and make some of them!
With blessings for your day, and all days. Rev’d. Jan
Opening Collect for Week of Christian Unity
whose Son Jesus Christ said to his apostles,
peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you:
regard not our sins but the faith of your Church,
and grant it that peace and unity that is agreeable to your will;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. APBA p.637
GOSPEL for the Day: John 16: 29-33
29 His disciples said, ‘Yes, now you are speaking plainly, not in any figure of speech! 30Now we know that you know all things, and do not need to have anyone question you; by this we believe that you came from God.’
31Jesus answered them, ‘Do you now believe? 32The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each one to his home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. 33I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!’
REFLECTION on the Gospel: contributed by Cheryl Courtice
On first read through the words that stand out are…we believe…I am not alone…so that you may have peace…take courage.
On second read through the words change a little…by this we believe…you will be scattered…you will leave me alone…the Father is with me.
On third read through I am looking for the message, the learning, and…the Father is with me…takes centre stage. The Father is with Jesus, he is with you and he is with me. We never stand alone…we always stand with God. We are never completely forsaken, for we are never forsaken by God.
I have always been impressed by the idea that we are “living sacrifices” because, so often, we crawl off the altar. How true it is! Each morning I can surrender my day to God only to “crawl” off with it moments later because nothing much has happened and hey, I have a “To Do” list.
I am reminded to “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord?” Psalm 118:24
If I wait there in that present moment, where God is…not in the future or the past…but in that very moment, I will get some guidance, some direction, a nudge as to what my next step should be. Then peace, courage, love and the belief that I am never alone are refreshed.
We praise you for sending your Son
to be one of us and to save us.
Look upon your people with mercy
for we are divided in so many ways,
and give us the Spirit of Jesus to make us one in love.
We ask this gift, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Daily Bible Bite (answer tomorrow): In which epistle of St Paul’s does he refer to the folly of the gospel or the foolishness of God?
From Friday: What is a word that best describes the meaning of “testament” in the phrase the New Testament?
Answer: A Covenant.