I always struggle to decide on a series of daily readings. I also struggle with keeping going once I’ve picked something.
This year I’m trying the (free) daily emails from Richard Rohr. So far they’re brilliant. They’re not the traditional reflection on a specific Bible passage. They are fascinating, and really helpful. This week we’ve been exploring how Jesus used the Bible in teaching. It’s not too late to start. Sign up here if you want to have a go. It’d be easy to catch up on the readings so far which are in the blog – just go back to 30 Dec
To quote from the first in the series:
“As we come to the end of this year, we begin a new theme for the Daily Meditations. Over the next twelve months our focus will be “Old and New: An Evolving Faith.” Today’s world faces so many challenges. Christianity is supposed to heal suffering and mend divides, yet it has often exacerbated the problem. Is such a religion even worth saving?
While there are unhelpful and even harmful parts of what has passed for Christianity that we need to move beyond, I believe there are many good, beautiful, and true gems well worth saving—and living. It is of no use to anybody if Christianity is just a museum or an antique shop where we prefer to collect old things for their own sake. Yet we can rediscover many good old things that are perennially valuable. We would be foolish to reject them….
As we’ll see, Jesus revealed a God who is in total solidarity with humanity, even and most especially in its suffering…. There are plenty of things I still find baffling, . . . but then I look at Christ, and I get a deep assurance that God is good, and gracious, and not so far away. Let’s be honest: that is all we need to move forward.”
Yes, it is quite a claim. It’s from a recent blog post by Sheridan Voysey. Have a read.
Sheridan provides some simple ideas on keeping a journal. He also made a post some time ago with a little more detail. Basically you need some sort of notebook and a pen or pencil! You don’t aim to make an entry every day – just from time to time.
Sheridan led the recent retreat we went to at Scargill on the Sermon on the Mount. It was excellent. We think he’ll be leading another later in 2019.
Prayer is high on the list of our priorities. In the last year we’ve established a monthly prayer meeting (10.30 last Friday of the month in St Herbert’s church hall) and have been joining together in morning prayer every Thursday (8.30 am at St Herbert’s). The prayer stations during Thy Kingdom Come were a different approach and were valued by the children and school.
We’ve been thinking about what next.
The 24-7 prayer movement is one source of inspiration. There has been amazing growth, often outside the church and prayer has led to social action in many challenging situations. Dirty Glory is the latest book by one of the founders – an inspiring and challenging story.
We’re going to restart the Bible Study group on Friday 23rd June at 10.30am. We’ll meet in the church hall at Braithwaite.
At that session, as well as some study, we will also discuss the format of the group and our hopes and needs moving forward.
This would be a good time to come along if you haven’t been part of it before, if only to find out whether it might be for you, with no commitment to continue.
In January and February this year Rev Mike Talbot organized a series of workshops on the theme of Imagine Church. Colin & Judith attended the day at Penrith along with nearly 100 others from around Cumbria.
Mike is part of the Reach team working for the ecumenical God for All strategy. He lives locally, in Thrlekeld, and worships at Crossthwaite Church when he’s not out preaching elsewhere, so he’s part of our Mission Community here in Keswick.
At Imagine we reflected on our calling as individuals and as church communities to follow Jesus as disciples. A disciple is someone ‘learning to live the way of Jesus’. God’s love is for every aspect of creation: the environment, social justice, human flourishing, for young and old. Discipleship is about the whole world and the whole of life. Church is the plural of disciple.
We are disciples every hour of every day not just for an hour or two on a Sunday. We see this through the week in homes, schools, at work, and in all the places we engage with others. Our calling is to follow Jesus in sharing the love of God. We don’t always get it right but our hope is to show this love in our actions.. As we see on the page describing Who We Are the people of Thornthwaite, Braithwaite and Newlands are involved in all sorts of groups and organisations – these are some of our frontlines as disciples.
More about Imagine in later posts. The day and the ideas come from LICC (London Institute of Contemporary Christianity). Two books provide more insight into this whole of life view of discipleship: