From the Vicar
Reverend Nigel reflects on the ordinary….
It is Lent, a time to give things up or a time to examine your life? Have you given up chocolate, sweets, alcohol? Why? To what end? What are you hoping for?
“So much of life, unavoidably, is just maintenance. Things need upkeep or they fall apart. We spend most of our days and much of our energy simply staving off inevitable entropy and decay.
This is especially true of our bodies.”
A sobering, perhaps even depressing thought! But think about it, just for a moment…
“Our lives are taken up with the care and maintenance of our bodies – we have to clean them, feed them, deal with their wastes, exercise them, and give them rest, again and again, everyday. And that’s when we are well and things are running smoothly. Even with all that care, our bodies eventually breakdown and we get sick, and require even more care. Having a body is a lot of work.”
Each day we brush our teeth, twice usually, hoping that they will last us a lifetime. If I were to preach a sermon on brushing teeth you may think it odd, but…
“When I stand before the sink brushing my teeth and see my reflection in the mirror, I want it to be an act of blessing, where I remember that these teeth I’m brushing are made by God for a good purpose, that my body is inseparable from my soul, and that both deserve care… When I brush my teeth I am pushing back, in the smallest of ways, the death and chaos that will inevitably overtake my body. I am dust polishing dust. And yet I am not only dust. When God formed people from dust, he breathed into us… through our lips… my body is sacred and caring for it is a holy act.
I’ll hold onto the truth that my body in all its brokenness, is beloved, and that one day it will be, like the resurrected body of Christ, glorious.
Brushing my teeth, therefore, is a nonverbal prayer, an act of worship that claims the hope to come.”
The above are extracts from a book called “Liturgy of the ordinary”, by Trish Harrison Warren, which explores the daily routines and maintenance of life and how we can become aware of God’s presence in amazing ways, through the seemingly mundane practices and small habits that form us.
It was a book recommended to me, and I highly recommend it to you, not just for lent but for all year round, if you want to discover God in the everyday of your life.
With prayers and blessings
Prayer for Change
The Prayer for Change is printed simultaneously in the magazines of St Andrew’s URC, Lidgett Park Methodist Church and St Edmund’s.
The world has been created for everyone’s use, but you few rich are trying to keep it for yourselves. For not merely the possession of the earth, but the very sky, the air, and the sea are claimed for the use of the rich few. … The earth belongs to all, not just to the rich. St. Ambrose of Milan (340-397)
Spirit of the Living God
At the beginning you moved over the face of the waters.
You brought life into being, the teeming life
that finds its way through earth and sea and air,
that makes its home around us, everywhere.
You know how living things flourish and grow
How they co-exist; how they feed and breed and change.
Help us to understand those delicate relationships,
value them and keep them from destruction.
A Prayer for Rachel
Rachel, our Church Missionary Society Link, asks us to pray for:
- Bishop Azad as he establishes himself in his new role.
- the teachers as all try and work together for the children’s education
- the children themselves in their studies
We pray for Rachel as she lives out her calling to be a teacher in Lahore.
A Prayer written by a member of St. Edmund’s congregation
Almighty Father Creator of heaven, earth and everything between.
We humbly come before you with thanksgiving in our Hearts
Asking for your never ending mercy.
We lift your name on high, above any name that has ever been existed.
Father and creator, we ask you to bless, protect and to pour your super-natural favour upon our families and friends.
Father, today we are asking for your divine intervention in our lives
Whether it may be Healing, a new Job, Promotion in our work or Freedom from Debt.
Father in Heaven let your will be done in our lives.
Your decision is the best and will always be the best
In the name of your only Son our Personal Saviour Jesus Christ our Lord.
Sermons are not about one person telling everyone else what they should believe or do. Rather, they are a time to reflect together on the scriptures and our lives and see what God may be saying to us through them. Sermons are like meals. Most meals just help us to keep alive and every now and then we are treated to a feast. Well most sermons are about feeding us spiritually. Every now and then, one of them will really speak to us – move us, challenge us, inspire us, or help us to see things in a new light. Hopefully you will find something helpful in a sermon that you hear at St. Edmund’s.
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