Friday, 22 March 2019

“Alongside” service

Matthew 21:42-43
Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures:
‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord’s doing,
and it is amazing in our eyes’?
Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom.

Who are the ones that we overlook
those we disrespect
deem unworthy
diminish
discount?
Where are those who,
with humility
are quietly getting on
with building 
the Kingdom of God
while we’re still squabbling
over rank 
and position
and status.
God forgive us.
Open our eyes
to see those places
and those people
in whom you are at work
and to take our place
alongside
so that we too may see
the fruits of the kingdom
and know again
the joy it is
to simply serve you.

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Digging deep

Jeremiah 17:7-8
Blessed are those who trust in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
They shall be like a tree planted by water,
sending out its roots by the stream.
It shall not fear when heat comes,
and its leaves shall stay green;
in the year of drought it is not anxious,
and it does not cease to bear fruit.

Roots
Spreading wide
Holding firmly
Often unseen
burrowing deep
searching out sustenance
Not easily dislodged
but clinging on tenaciously
Drinking deep
so that every part may be nourished
Often misshapen
gnarled 
from having to accommodate
obstacles and boundaries
each blemish 
each scar
with its own story to tell
Yet grounded
and strong
Knowing 
and returning to the source
from which life comes

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Loving service

Matthew 20:25-28
But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

I’ve always been conflicted by these words Jesus
I want to serve
I really do
But, too often, I compare myself with others
And I notice that service
is often viewed as weakness
And I have colleagues 
who ask me to do things to which
they would never stoop
because of their standing
or because of their gender.
And so the service
I might freely have given
becomes more of a trial 
as I try to put aside resentment
and just do it anyway.
It’s not so much the service that is difficult
It’s being distracted 
Distracted by the opinions 
and the attitudes
and the reception
of others.
Lord, help me to see you 
in every opportunity to serve
Help me to discern your purpose
and your calling
And then, help me simply 
to do your bidding - 
not because the attitude of others
doesn’t matter
It does.
But help me to do your will
because consenting to 
what you ask of me
is the only way
to be
who you created me to be
the only way to know
Life in all its fullness
serving you
serving others.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

We are one


Whiling away time
with coffee in hand
People watching 
as I wait for the car to be serviced
People pass the window of the coffee shop
where I sit
many are happed up against the cold
focussed on their daily business
heads down intent on progress
some with company
others alone.
While I pray.
And I remember conversations I’ve had recently
about praying in our neighbourhoods.
Whether the neighbours know or not
I pray 
And I am changed
As I continue watching
and praying
I no longer see
folk who look happy
or sad
folk who look friendly 
or defensive
those who are weighed down
or have a spring in their step
those who look like unmarried mothers
or those who look like they struggle with addictions
or with mental health issues
or those who look like life is hard
or those who look like they are employed - or not.
I see children of God
each with a unique role to play
in this common life.
I see individuals created and loved by God
And I ask God to bless them
and to bless me
as we share this life together









Monday, 18 March 2019

Promises, promises...


Luke 6:38
A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”

Really, Lord
A good measure?
Pressed down,
shaken together,
running over...
I want to believe that.
But some days,
it’s hard to see.
Some days,
it feels like giving 
until there is nothing left to give
and spent,
wrung out,
running on empty,
still more is required.
On those days, Lord
remind us of your promise
surround us with your presence
keep on trying 
to attract our attention
until we see you
shining through the rainbow
dancing in the puddles
whispering in the breeze
with your love
and your laughter
with the updraft
of your amazing grace
and timely love
poured out
until your spirit
overflows once more
in us.


Sunday, 17 March 2019

Rest

Mark 6:30-31
The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.

When the buzz of achievement wears off
Christ, you bid us rest
When we’ve given all we have to give
Christ, you bid us rest
When our resources seem exhausted
Christ you bid us rest
You bid us rest
not so that we can simply regroup and replenish
You bid us rest in you 
so that we can be reminded of your love
and your desire to hold us close
You bid us rest.
Until, resting in you, 
we find healing and strength
that enable us once more
to be open and vulnerable 
But first, 
in you we rest.

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Stories shared


A day filled with stories
of things tried
of risks taken
some successful
some that provided great learning
all shared
to stimulate imagination
of the infinite possibilities that exist
in growing the Kingdom of God.
With humour
with pathos
with wisdom and insight
folk made themselves vulnerable 
inviting others
to poke about 
in the stories they offered
discovering kingdom values
finding inspiration
persistence
and courage
and the presence of
the Spirit of God
who aids us in our effort
and in our discernment 
as we follow Christ
being disciples 
proclaiming love
in our neighbourhoods.
In stories
we discover our common heritage
and our shared calling
to love and serve God today.

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