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.”
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.
Over 40 million people homeless. This is a disaster on a huge scale.
Why not help Christian Aid to make a difference for those in need? We’ll be making a collection at our service on Sunday 10th Sept or why not give online now. See the Christian Aid web site.
We can also pray
A prayer for those affected by floods
Compassionate God, source of all comfort,
We pray for the people whose lives have been devastated by rain and flood.
Bring them comfort, we pray.
Protect the vulnerable.
Strengthen the weak.
Keep at bay the spread of disease.
Have mercy on all those working to rescue the stranded and to feed the hungry.
And may our response to their suffering be generous and bring you praise.
For we ask it in Jesus’ name,
(Prayer taken for the resources on the Christian Aid website)
For 10 days between Ascension Day and Pentecost, St Herbert’s Church was transformed into a variety of Prayer Stations to help us pray for the world, for people in our own country and those closest to us. They also helped us to remember to be still, to know how much we are loved by God and to ask him to help us to forgive others.
It was especially moving that so many of the prayers were for the people of Manchester following the bombing at the Ariana Grande concert.A Danish philosopher and religious writer, Soren Kierkegaard said this about prayer:
‘The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays’.
All ages found it a great opportunity to pray. We were delighted to be joined by three classes from Braithwaite School.
We’ve now started Praying Together, a monthly prayer meeting. We’ll be gathering on the last Friday of each month to prayer for those we know who are in particular need, for our community and the wider world. Look out for details in the calendar on this web site.
Also remember that our churches are open and you’re welcome to use them for a moments quiet and for prayer.
We’re meeting monthly to pray for our church and our community. Please join in, everyone is welcome. The next meeting will be on Friday 28th July at 12 noon – Braithwaite Church hall. Bring your lunch and we’ll eat and then pray together.
Prayer is a vital way to join in the work and mission of God in the world. Even if we don’t always know what to say or how to pray, it is important to spend time in the presence of God.