Sunday Reflections

Sunday Reflections (June 2020)


Reflections for Sunday 28th June

Reflections for Sunday 28th June 2020

Reflections for Sunday 21st June

Reflections for Sunday 21st June 2020

Reflections for Sunday 14th June

Reflections for Sunday 14th June 2020

Reflections for Sunday 7th June

Reflections for Sunday 7th June 2020

Readings for today

John 14:1-14 (The Message)

The Creator of All You Can See or Imagine

12-17 Who has scooped up the ocean
    in his two hands,
    or measured the sky between his thumb and little finger,
Who has put all the earth’s dirt in one of his baskets,
    weighed each mountain and hill?
Who could ever have told GOD what to do
    or taught him his business?
What expert would he have gone to for advice,
    what school would he attend to learn justice?
What god do you suppose might have taught him what he knows,
    showed him how things work?
Why, the nations are but a drop in a bucket,
    a mere smudge on a window.
Watch him sweep up the islands
    like so much dust off the floor!
There aren’t enough trees in Lebanon
    nor enough animals in those vast forests
    to furnish adequate fuel and offerings for his worship.
All the nations add up to simply nothing before him—
    less than nothing is more like it. A minus.

27-31 Why would you ever complain, O Jacob,
    or, whine, Israel, saying,
“GOD has lost track of me.
    He doesn’t care what happens to me”?
Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening?
GOD doesn’t come and go. God lasts.
    He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath.
    And he knows everything, inside and out.
He energizes those who get tired,
    gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
   young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon GOD get fresh strength.
    They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
    they walk and don’t lag behind.

Matthew 28:16-20 The Message

16-17 Meanwhile, the eleven disciples were on their way to Galilee, headed for the mountain Jesus had set for their reunion. The moment they saw him they worshiped him. Some, though, held back, not sure about worship, about risking themselves totally.

18-20 Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”

Reflection

Have you seen the eagle soar? Effortlessly riding the thermals of the Scottish mountains. Graceful in its movement. On wings of power. Seemingly without effort, it rises up. It scans the horizon for its next prey.

Today many are tired. The stress of work. The captivity of lock down. The isolation and loneliness of their own company. Grief without the presence of family and friends. The thermals are few and far between. When struggling with mental health, many are living in the dark places. There are no wings, on which to soar.

But what an image of hope to hold onto. The creator of the world never gets tired. God does not come and go. God lasts. Yet it is precisely those times in our lives, when we say that God is not there for us. When we cry, God where are you? Don’t you care anymore? That God is at his most compassionate. That doesn’t sound right, but I believe it to be true.

It is in very times that we soar. When life feels good, that we must look back and never forgot, that in those moments of despair, when there seemed to be no way forward. Stumbling in the dark. Our brains failing to engage, that God shared our burdens, and brought us to this place. Young or old, we have all been there.

It is easier to believe the theology, than to practice it, and it is OK to admit that. We read the words of Isaiah, “those who wait upon GOD get fresh strength” and say rejoicing, we know that to be true. And then life hits us. The rug is pulled from beneath our feet. We are falling. We are numb. Humanity takes over, and we struggle to hold onto the promises. It’s not that we don’t believe, but we are grasping, desperate, for that truth to be real.

I wonder if God saying that you can only truly soar, from the place of greatest despair. That trust and faith allows you to rise from a place that you should not be able to do so. That the thermals are the power of God’s presence. And it is only in looking back, we know that to be true.

There will be times when we complain. God why have you allowed this to happen? I don’t think ‘allow’ is the right word, but you know what I mean. In life things happen. We don’t know why. We can’t explain them. Often it seems to us, just unfair.

How we see things. Our perspective. On what happens to us. Will depend on where we stand and in what direction we look. We miss a lot. We fail to see the big picture, of a creator who scoops up oceans. For a moment imagine that. Scoops up oceans with his hands. God has no hands, but he is witness to the big picture. The miracle is this, the one who needs no teacher, who weighs mountains upon his scales; is the same creator, whose compassion is always there, never changes, and promises to lift us up as on eagles’ wings. He will make us soar.

Jesus said to his friends, I will be with you, day after day, to the end of the age. He would lift them up from the glens of despair. To rise above and see with God’s eyes. In the midst of, and as we are starting to exit out of lock down, what new vision is God asking his church to see? Not from ground level but soaring high above the mountains.

Let me quote these words, by Susan Beaumont, an American church consultant, she says, “Liminal seasons are rich times, ripe for innovation and creativity. A threshold has opened. Our grasp on the past has loosened. The threshold invites us to let go of our fears and discomforts, along with some things that we hold dear. We are broken open to embrace new possibilities.”

What are those new possibilities? We need to look in the right places. From God’s perspective and not ours. Let us wait upon GOD to get fresh strength. Let us soar.

Stay connected. Stay. Till the next time.

Prayer for today

May the strength of God make us soar.
May the love of God bring forgiveness.
May the peace of God, give us strength.
May God’s wisdom, let us see,
New possibilities, fresh journeys and hope for tomorrow.

To those who struggle to walk, never mind fly, we bring our prayers to God. They are known to us. They are known to others. They are known to God. All lives ‘matter’.

May the peace of the Spirit, beyond our understanding, rise up, to calm anxious minds and troubled footsteps.

Where the way ahead is unclear, for church and nation, and those who seek to follow Christ; give us eagles eyes, to see the God’s mountain view, a vision beyond our sight.

Let us pray together:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be your name;
your kingdom come;
your will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever.
Amen.

Blessing

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3: 20-22)




Sunday Reflections for May 2020 ...