Saturday, 28 March 2015

Pray, pray and pray again

Colossians 1:9
For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,

To be covered in prayer
Is a gift without price
Like a comfort blanket
gently draped
or held on to.
Like a duvet
being pulled back
on a cold wintry morning.
Like a soft fleecy snuggle
that brings warmth.
Prayer that
Comforts
Confronts
Cajoles
Prayer that
Relaxes
Stimulates
Motivates.
Prayer is a gift
For giving
And receiving
A blessing 
too often overlooked
but never overdone.
Pray without ceasing

Friday, 27 March 2015

Avoiding corruption

James 1:27
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

Caring involves
rolling up our sleeves
diving in
making a difference.
It's often hands on
rough and gritty.
Not too effective
when we hold ourselves back
and try to care remotely.
But it's easy to get sucked in
become complicit.
It's easy to find our worth
maybe even our identity
in serving others.
And going that bit further
to help folk up
to enable
risks our sense of being.
It is that seduction
that poses a danger
a trap into which
we might fall.
There is a balance to be struck
and finding it allows us 
to be more effective
at restoring the rights and freedom
df others.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

A time for clearing

1 Peter 2:1
The Living Stone and a Chosen People
​Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, and all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander.

That's a tall order
ridding oneself
of all malice
of guile
of insincerity
of envy
and slander
What will be left
but a gaping hole
in the places
where those things resided.
A gaping hole
into which can move
kindness
positive regard
Joy
compassion
earnestness
And still there would be room
for other positive qualities
Qualities that take energy
to cultivate
but which bring
their own growth
and capacity for expansion
A tall order.
Clearing the weeds
to allow beauty to grow.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Tender-hearted

1 Peter 3:8-9
Suffering for Doing Right
Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called—that you might inherit a blessing.

A tender heart
may be bruised
abused
manipulated
hurt
even broken.
But the ability
to be a blessing
outweighs all the risks.
And the strength there is
in being tender hearted
especially against the odds
compensates every slight
heals every hurt
and binds up
every brokenness.
Be challenged
Throw caution to the wind
And let your tender heart
shine through.
Be blessed.
And be a blessing.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Resilient

2 Corinthians 4:8-9
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;

Like the oyster pearl
produced by irritation
yet emerging as a thing of great beauty
so there is opportunity
to use all the discomfort
of being put down
of being falsely accused
of having integrity questioned
of being disrespected
or overlooked
to build up resilience
and the ability
to know the nearness of God
even in those
who would do us harm
and, in discovering God there
to give thanks
for a new way of seeing
an insight
not afforded
by easy times
but a saving grace
of trial.

Monday, 23 March 2015

To see Jesus

John 12:20-22
Some Greeks Wish to See Jesus
Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.
To see Jesus
Among the crowds
At the festival
In the disciples
In places of worship
On our streets
In our places of work 
In the coffee shop
In the garden centre
On the High Street
Downtown
Huddling on a bench
Sleeping in a doorway
Holding out a cup for  loose change
Selling newspapers
Driving the bus
At the school crossing...
To see Jesus
in all whom we meet today.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

The least of these

Matthew 25:40
And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’

A cup of cold water
A kindly word
A look of understanding
A brief smile
All conveying a depth of love
Love that doesn't stand on ceremony
Love that doesn't intrude
Love that conveys a shared empathy
but does not overwhelm
Love that acts as a shelter
or a safety net
Love that restores dignity and autonomy
yet waits in the wings
poised and ready to act
in the wobbly moments
Love that gives and receives
valuing shared action
that enables gifts to emerge
and resilience to grow
Love that recognises
that we are the least of these
The family of God united in love.

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