Faith Daily | 8 December 2020
Dear people of faith,
A reminder of the ‘open’ prayerful opportunities each week – Tuesday Eucharist 8.45am; Wednesday Morning Prayer 8am; Thursday 12.15pm-12.45pm Prayer for this COVID world. All are welcome to come into Holy Spirit church for these times of being community in prayer. Rev’d Jan
PRAYER of the Week| ADVENT TWO: APBA p.466
who sent your messenger John the Baptist
to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation:
give us grace to heed his warning and forsake our sins,
that we may greet with the joy the coming of our Redeemer,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 18: 12-14
12What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? 13And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by Hilary Bell
At Holy Spirit Kenmore Advent 2020 is all about the sheep, the waiting sheep. This week we wait in hope, JOYFUL hope. In this parable, to illustrate the nature of God Jesus describes a shepherd who KNOWS his sheep by name. He understands each one of us and our individual strengths and weaknesses. He notices each, he notices even one missing from a flock of a hundred. Clearly to him, they don’t all “look the same”, not a single one is unimportant to God. He does not want one to be outside the fold, to be lost or to perish. Each of us is significant to God: he wants to be in relationship with us.
Jesus goes in search of the lost, those who need rescuing, those who have strayed from the flock and gone beyond where they can see Him, those who may have fallen, injured by the rocks and snares of life and even the cruelty or neglect of their fellows. Jesus not only calls us, he seeks us out, he finds, he saves. In the beautiful imagery of Luke’s account of this parable he puts the lost sheep on his shoulders and brings it home. Like the Father going out to meet the son who was lost, he REJOICES that the sheep which was lost is now found.
I remember a card with this picture and text given out at Sunday school. I think as a child I recognized the gentle searching shepherd but I didn’t grasp the significance of the JOY in the rescue of that one lost sheep, in comparison with the other ninety-nine. God does not wish for any little one to perish.
Loving, forgiving God who sent Jesus to find and to rescue us, to reconcile us to You,
Help each of us to respond to those outside the flock.
Help us to notice the weak, the weary and the needy.
Help us to know who are the hurting and neglected.
Help us to seek out the lost.
Help us to call, to welcome and to bring them into the fold.
Help us to include the little ones.