Let God guide you in using this in the way that is right for you. If you have a need for people contact do ring, me or someone else. We can talk laugh cry pray over the phone or via skype or zoom.
In mystery and grandeur
We see the face of God.
In earthliness and ordinary
We know the love of Christ.
Glory be to God the Father
The lectionary leads us to James. Read chapter 1. If God draws your attention to any verse or verses stay with them. Or pick up any of the following reflections. Re-read the verses from James and spend some time in prayer with them. Between each reflection is a suggested YouTube link or a picture.
Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. In fulfilment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures.
He gave us birth by the word of truth The word of truth is Jesus. Jesus the person who is the divine creator present with us. The person we come to know in prayer, the person who teaches us how to live as those born into truth, into a living loving relationship with God.
God did this for his own purpose This is God’s desire for us, that we become these born into truth lovers of Jesus. That we live lives that reflect who Jesus is, who God is. And in doing so we will become a kind of first fruits. The first fruits are offered to God in thanksgiving. They are the promise of harvest to come. What first fruits of the spring season have you relished in the past week. Has there been a first sighting of magnolia bloom? or something appearing in your garden?
When we live into the truth of Jesus, when God’s living word is alive and well in our community, in our life as congregation then we are fruiting, flowering the first of God’s harvest thanksgiving. Thanks be to God.
Father of heaven whose love profound.
For my daily reading I use With Love to the World which comes from Australia and uses the lectionary we follow most Sundays. Quite a range of people prepare a little reflection for each day of the week. This week the devotions are prepared by Rev Dr. Bill Loader and I have copied out for you what he wrote for Wednesday as it rather tickled my fancy and I thought you might find it helpful.
“If it feels right do it.” Really? Did not God create us with desires? Why the fuss? Should we not simply follow the desires God has given us? However not even our animal friends would agree. They sometimes hold back from gorging on a carcass for fear of stronger competitors, and for mating there are often rules of engagement. God gave us the ability to have desire but gave us an even bigger brain to use. God does not tempt us or lure us to run with our passions by putting them in us. Rather, God helps us think about how to engage them. The Greek philosopher Plato said that the mind is like the charioteer who holds the reins and directs the horses, the passions. Strolling down the fruit aisle in the shops, we don’t usually engage in an inner dialogue about whether to follow Eve and steal an apple. It doesn’t even occur to us to do so. That means we’ve dealt with our basic needs and so no such desires are triggered. When our needs trigger desire, we do well to give attention to those needs to quell the unrest. Desires rightly directed are what bring us joy and fulfillment. Detached from thinking they make us fat and predatory and we fail in love for ourselves, others, and God.
Lead us, Heavenly Father Lead us
But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, ongoing away, immediately forget what they were like. But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing.
The ideas raised in chapter one will be expanded in the next chapters of James. If you look on to James 2:14-26 you will find the expansion on action as expressive of faith. And indeed the acting on our faith tends to nurture and deepen our faith as well. Take moment to think about your own life, or your family, or our family as church and name some of the actions, the doings of the word that we partake in. I hope that lifted your spirit.
As you reflect, do you agree with me that as we begin doing, acting on our faith we learn more about who God is, who we are and become more easily able to ‘do’ faithfully?
Song: Father of Creation From Hillsong by Darlene Zschech
Here is a link to a Taize prayer song O Lord Hear My Prayer
Sent by Rev. Johanna Warren. Thank you for keeping us connected when we cannot gather in person.