Our service for the fouth Sunday of Advent, as we focus on Mary – mother of Christ and the promise we have in a new life at Christmas. What would you wish for a new child: what would you want to protect them from experiencing? Our thanks also for the gift to the church from Phillip and Frances – a twinned toilet – and for eighteen years service, preparing the altar for communion services, Freida who passes the torch to another.
Our minds are looking towards the big day – when we celebrate Christ’s arrival, at his birth in Bethlehem. What a celebration; so why, when reading our old testament reading this evening, I wonder who decided to be the buzz kill with Isiah and his description of Woes and Judgements as we’re gearing up to the excitement of the season? But at a time of reflection – it’s more important than ever we focus on if we’re ready to receive Jesus.
Blind from birth; never to see a sunrise, a smile. He was a life waiting to be born: today, he became a new creation – a living testimony to Jesus healing work. Yet those around were unable to see him – as if they did, they would have to confront their own blindness.
It’s a strange, even bizarre idea that Jesus shares: that by his leaving his followers will actually be to their advantage. What advantage can there be in loneliness and sadness? But would we recognise the promise that what is to come is greater: the spirit? But more importantly – are we open to what accepting the Spirit means to our lives?
World mental health day occurred on October 10th and is an opportunity for us to recognise the importance of our own mental health and the mental wellbeing of others too. Rachel talks to us about how our talking about our mental health matters – as it’s only through sharing with each other and with Christ can we receive relief and value for ourselves.
Everyone is hungry – we’re all looking for bread; however, the problem isn’t that we’re hungry – the problem is with the type of bread we eat. Are we eating the bread of loneliness, regret, selfishness – or accepting the living bread that is Jesus – offering himself in all of our relationships?
Predictions for the end of the world are running at roughly one a year: the next is on track for 2020. In 2012, polls over twenty countries found that over 40% of people believed the end of the world would come within their life times. Does it mean anything to us: are we focusing on the treasure in heaven that matters – or on ourselves?
Three times Martha mentions herself in her complaint to Jesus; she was concerned about what was happening to her – had her focus slipped from Jesus well being to her own?
Why should we settle for recreating ourselves with one more possession, hope, ambition? All the time, Jesus is dying to give us a new life – one we can’t create for ourselves. Can we not instead find Jesus in the darkness of our lives – and in the night time wake anew to a new life with Christ?
It’s Good Friday. Today, we remember Jesus, and his journey to the cross. Pádraig Ó Tuama writes: “For me, Good Friday is the holiest day of the year. Not because of any worth in another brutal murder from another brutal occupying force. But because of the witness of a life lived with courage, even in the face of Roman torture. There are only two languages, Leunig says, love and fear.”