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.
From the moment of our conception we are growing, some may say even before then. For the whole of our lives we are growing, changing, developing.
In the garden we see spring as the time of new growth, but in reality nature, just as we are part, grows inexorably, through its tenderness, into promise, strength and full bloom, and on. As it grows it needs sustenance, and then can offer sustenance, giving itself up to life.
Lent and Advent are times of opportunity the church calendar sets aside specifically for us to focus on our growing. In reality just as in the natural physical world we change and grow spiritually, in times of tenderness needing sustenance, and in times of strength providing sustenance.
In God’s heart, in the heart of love, we can grow and be sustained, change and be sustaining, regardless of, or because of our strengths and weaknesses, for through God’s grace God’s love is shared through us.
Lord you are the sustainer of all, grant me the grace to listen, hear, welcome and accept your active presence in my growing, my changing.
A prayer for Rachel
Rachel, our Church Missionary Society Link, asks us to pray for her
“Please take time to pray for me as I continue to put my call into action.
Please pray for peace in Pakistan and for the country’s leaders.
Please pray for the schools in which I work and for the teachers and children.
Pray for the bishop and the Diocese as they seek to be a witness to the Christian faith.
Please pray for my spiritual, emotional and physical well-being.”
April’s message from the Vicar
Spring is dawning, lighter nights are here and the beauty of the spring flowers abounds in the park. But how do you feel? Have you had chance to enquire, search, discern and reflect through Lent or maybe give something up (that you know isn’t good for you anyway)? Or is life too full-on or too stressful?
Most of us will have heard of the Good Samaritan but do we know the story? Here is a quick summary:
“A lawyer stood up. He wanted to test Jesus.
He said to Jesus, “Teacher, what are the things that I must do so that I can have eternal life.”
Jesus asked him, “What are the greatest commandments in Moses’ Law?”
The lawyer answered, “Love your God with all your heart and soul and love your neighbour as you love yourselves.”
Jesus said, “You are correct. Do these and you shall inherit eternal life.”
The lawyer then asked Jesus, “Who are my neighbours?”
Jesus then told him a parable, “Once, there was a Hebrew man from Jericho that travelled down to Jerusalem.
On the way, the robbers attack the Hebrew man. They beat him and took away all his clothing leaving him naked in the street. He was very badly wounded.
A priest came down the street, and saw the badly wounded man too but he doesn’t care about him and took the other side of the street and continued his journey.
Then, a Levite happened to pass by the street. He saw the injured Hebrew man lying on the ground. He went to take a look but he did not want to help him. The Levite ignored him and went on his way.
Finally a Samaritan happened to pass by the street. The Samaritan saw the injured man lying there on the ground and he decided to help him. He poured oil on his wounds. Then he put the man on his donkey and takes him to an inn.
He said to the inn keeper,’Here are two denarii. Please help me to care for this man. If you spend more than that, I will pay you back when I come back.’
So, which of these three men do you think is the neighbour of the man?”
The lawyer replied, “The Samaritan.”
And Jesus said, “Now, go and do the same thing.””
The Hebrew man received a random act of kindness, which most probably saved his life. A point often missed, as the focus for many is on the lawyer working out how he could secure himself eternal life. But perhaps the real “winner” in the story was the Samaritan!
During Lent, our youth at St Edmund’s have been looking for opportunities to undertake random acts of kindness and I am looking forward to hearing how they have got on.
Jesus received the help of angels at the end of his time in the wilderness and the Hebrew man’s angel was the Good Samaritan. But are we willing to receive help when we need it? Are we willing to offer help when we recognise help is needed?
Easter is a time when many remember, give thanks and celebrate the bravery of one man as he is killed for more than we can imagine. His motivation… exploring that is the most amazing journey of discovery… it involves love beyond all comprehension.
I hope and pray that you will have a blessed Easter full of the receiving and giving of the love that knows no bounds.
“For it is in giving that we receive…”
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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