Welcome

Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives
May you never give up praying.
When you pray, may you keep alert and be thankful.
Pray that together we may make the message of the mystery of Christ as clear as possible.
Amen
(Based on Colossians 3 and 4)

Readings for Sunday: Vanderbilt Divinity Library

Reflections for the week: Lyfe Devotionals

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Sunday 5th August 2018

Ephesians 4:1-16    

I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

…We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming.

But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.

John 6:24-35 

….Then they said to him, “What must we do to perform the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

… Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

 

In our lives as Christians, if my life is anything to go by, we will encounter lots of people who believe they have the perfect set of beliefs, the perfect church government and the perfect right to tell us what to do. Much energy will be spent defining status and defending hierarchies instead of living the life. In my experience I have encountered trickery, craftiness and deceitful scheming. A lot of actual church life is very good as it draws us into a community of love, God’s rule.

It is important that we are taught to live from our relationship with God; that we work to know him. We come to know him in doing as he does: loving. God’s essential nature is love. We are to love him and love our neighbours. Our lives are founded on the life and work of Christ; Jesus fills us and nurtures us through prayer and study, humility and gentleness, and community.

We may be painfully aware of our failings but in our loving and serving God and our neighbour we will know redemption. We will pray: forgive us our debts as we forgive the debts of others and find our identity in Christ, bearing with others in patience and love. Our faith will produce good works and we will know ourselves being changed. Our weaknesses will become strengths.

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Sunday 22nd July 2018

Ephesians 2:11-22
…He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, … he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father…

 

Mark 6:30-34, 53-56
… And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.

Through Israel, God teaches about holiness and how the life we live in the here and now is a consecrated life, a life made holy by God’s presence in their practices. This was for the blessing of the nations and God’s way of showing how each life matters as does each community; it didn’t bring them merit but was the message of the Kingdom of God that bound them together.

The life we live matters; how we treat our bodies, the food we eat, caring for the land and creatures we share creation with. The people of the covenant, Israel, knew that they were accepted by God and that he had provided a way so that they could know the truth and live a life of blessing.

Jesus came to his own and taught and healed. Many were drawn from across Syria and Jesus had compassion on them all. What does the new life he offers look like? Impossible; full of dos and do nots? The people reach out to Jesus and are healed in their act of faith, which did not depend on where they were from or the life they lived.

Life is complicated, much separates us one from another; Jesus offers peace to all. We need peace to live a life of blessing. Paul’s gospel is, we have peace in Christ and are called to a life of blessing. The blessing is in Christ in all circumstances, who opens our eyes and ears to the blessings of God so that here and now we can live in the Kingdom of God, bound together in forgiveness and empowered by resurrection life of Christ. This peace leads us to treat our bodies with reverence, love one another, share food and water and care for all creatures.

We find ourselves following Jesus into the place of prayer, alone with God, studying and learning from him, looking to find him in the scriptures. And as Jesus is formed in us by the narrow way of compassion and a love. The wide way of pride and violence leads to destruction. Christ is formed within us as we live in the Kingdom of God, the rule of God, with faith, hope and love.

The life we lead will be a blessing and, as others find Jesus in us, they will reach out to us as they did to his cloak, and we will see the healing of the nations. The life of the rule of God releases healing power. God will bring people to us and as they touch Christ in us they will be healed. Our place is to live the life of Christ within, a consecrated life, a life made holy by God’s presence in our practices.

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Sunday 1st July 2018

Psalm 130
1 Out of the depths have I called to you, O Lord;
Lord, hear my voice;
let your ears consider well the voice of my supplication…

2 Corinthians 8:7-15
…I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need, in order that there may be a fair balance.
As it is written,
“The one who had much did not have too much,
and the one who had little did not have too little.”

Mark 5:21-43
… “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.” So he went with him.… Now there was a woman who had been suffering from haemorrhages for twelve years. … “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.” Immediately her haemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.…While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader’s house to say, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?” But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. …(Jesus) took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha cum,” which means, “Little girl, get up!” And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.

 

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Sunday 10th June 2018

Psalm 130

…If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand?

But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered.

…For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is great power to redeem…

2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1

…So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.

For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

Mark 3:20-35

… But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered…

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Reflection for Sunday 3rd June 2018

There was a full and hopeful discussion on the Law, compassion and the abortion vote in Ireland

via Controlling Fertility

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