From the Vicar

As I write this reflection, Christmas has not yet happened, and despite being only three weeks away, the New Year seems a long way off. I hope that you are having a super Christmas season as you read this.

As we start to think about the New Year, that is 2018, I wonder how many of us will put “being inspirational” at the top of our New Year’s resolution list…

“…to be inspirational you don’t have to save lives or win medals. I often draw strength from meeting ordinary people doing extraordinary things: volunteers, carers, community organisers and good neighbours; unsung heroes whose quiet dedication makes them special.

They are an inspiration to those who know them, and their lives frequently embody a truth expressed by Mother Teresa… She once said: ‘Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love’.”1

Many of us see being inspirational as something for someone else, for someone who is more successful, extrovert, powerful or privileged.

“When people face a challenge they sometimes talk about taking a deep breath to find courage or strength. In fact, the word ‘inspire’ literally means ‘to breathe in’. But even with the inspiration of others, it’s understandable that we sometimes think the world’s problems are so big that we can do little to help. On our own, we cannot end wars or wipe out injustice, but the cumulative impact of thousands of small acts of goodness can be bigger than we imagine.

At Christmas, our attention is drawn to the birth of a baby some two thousand years ago. It was the humblest of beginnings, and his parents, Joseph and Mary, did not think they were important.

Jesus Christ lived obscurely for most of his life, and never travelled far. He was maligned and rejected by many, though he had done no wrong. And yet, billions of people now follow his teaching and find in him the guiding light for their lives. I am one of them because Christ’s example helps me see the value of doing small things with great love, whoever does them and whatever they themselves believe.

The message of Christmas reminds us that inspiration is a gift to be given as well as received, and that love begins small but always grows.”2

The majority of the words above are inspirational words from Her Majesty the Queen, spoken in her 2016 Christmas day message. The message remains as strong and important as ever.

As we turn to 2018, I hope and pray that we can all see the value of doing small things with great love and the inspiration that that will give to others, to do the same. From there comes heaven on earth.

With love and blessings for 2018

Revd Nigel

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[1] https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/dec/25/the-queens-speech-christmas-day-full-transcript-elizabeth

2 https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/dec/25/the-queens-speech-christmas-day-full-transcript-elizabeth

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.

Despite comfortable housing, financial security and good health, there are people around who are lonely. So many situations can lead to loneliness, not only when one is alone, but sometimes even in a room full of people, many of whom may be friends. Let us be aware of the needs of these people and act with understanding.

Lord, We pray for all who are lonely, who feel isolated or ignored. Give them the assurance of your love and support. Help us to realise that there may be people around us who are lonely. Deepen our concern and encourage us to offer the hand of friendship. In the name of Jesus, who was the friend of all.   Amen

 

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 Morning prayer

Lord as I rise today, I thank you for Blessing me to see another wonderful day.

I understand Lord that I did not wake up by my power, or by my alarm clock.

It is by your Grace, I have been given another day in this world.

I am thankful that no matter what I face, you will never give me more than I can handle.

And you will never leave me or forsake me

Please help me to strengthen my faith

So I can walk in your light and feel the warmth of your love

In your name I humbly pray.

Amen

 

Sermons

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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