Reflection for Monday 5 December 2022

Nigel Price

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Luke 5.17-26

Jesus Heals a Paralytic

One day, while he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting nearby (they had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem); and the power of the Lord was with him to heal. Just then some men came, carrying a paralysed man on a bed. They were trying to bring him in and lay him before Jesus; but finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the middle of the crowd in front of Jesus. When he saw their faith, he said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven you.’ Then the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, ‘Who is this who is speaking blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ When Jesus perceived their questionings, he answered them, ‘Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, “Your sins are forgiven you”, or to say, “Stand up and walk”? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins’—he said to the one who was paralysed—‘I say to you, stand up and take your bed and go to your home.’ Immediately he stood up before them, took what he had been lying on, and went to his home, glorifying God. Amazement seized all of them, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, ‘We have seen strange things today.’

Reflection

The collect which we will pray in a moment makes me think of this hymn:

Purify my heart
Let me be as gold
And precious silver
Purify my heart
Let me be as gold
Pure gold
Refiner’s fire
My heart’s one desire
Is to be holy
Set apart for you Lord
I choose to be holy
Set apart for you my master
Ready to do your will

The men trying to bring their friend into the presence of Jesus do not seem to be motivated by a wish to be holy, more they wish to help their paralysed friend.  They go to extraordinary lengths to bring him to the front of the crowd and their faith in Jesus is unquestionable, for surely they would not have gone through all that trouble if they did not believe he would be able to heal their friend.  Jesus recognises this faith, but does not immediately carry out a healing, rather pronouncing that their sins are forgiven.  When the scribes and Pharisees question the authority of Jesus, then he heals the paralysed man and all are amazed and glorify God.  Perhaps indeed they will all go away, then man, his friends and the crowd which witnessed this event, perhaps they will go and ask for purification, all the more willing to serve God and do his will.

As for us – is it a pure heart we desire and are we ready to do God’s will?

So we pray the Collect:

The Collect (additional)

Almighty God,
purify our hearts and minds,
that when your Son Jesus Christ
comes again as judge and saviour
we may be ready to receive him,
who is our Lord and our God. Amen

Reflection for Friday 2 December 2022

Nigel Price

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Matthew 9.27-31

Jesus Heals Two Blind Men

As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, crying loudly, ‘Have mercy on us, Son of David!’ When he entered the house, the blind men came to him; and Jesus said to them, ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’ They said to him, ‘Yes, Lord.’ Then he touched their eyes and said, ‘According to your faith let it be done to you.’ And their eyes were opened. Then Jesus sternly ordered them, ‘See that no one knows of this.’ But they went away and spread the news about him throughout that district.

Reflection

Some of you may have been following the World Cup football.  Others perhaps studiously avoiding it, either because of the dubious human rights position in Qatar, or maybe because you just don’t like football.

Anyway, for those who do follow football, there have been some surprising results.  Only last night Japan beat Spain meaning that Germany are going home – do keep up!  It is a little reminiscent of events occurring in the Gospels.  Many unexpected things were happening. These blind men have been following Jesus; even that sounds a little incongruous, but somehow they have been following and they obviously know what a reputation Jesus has.  But they do not ask to be healed; instead they cry out for mercy. Jesus says, do you believe that I am able to do this, that is to have mercy? Yes they answer, and with that he heals them – their faith makes it possible. But then he tells them not to spread the news of their healing.  Of course, they do anyway.

Why would he not want the news to be spread? Perhaps this is answered a few verses later, when the Pharisees remark ‘it is by the Prince of Demons that he drives out demons’.  Jesus is in league with the enemy! It was the only explanation that they could come up with as to why he was so successful.  Other than to believe that he really was from God, and they certainly weren’t going to do that.

I suppose if you cast your mind back to the football, what the likes of the Japanese players did was to believe – to believe that anything was possible.  So it is up to you. Believe in God, believe in yourself, and you never now what you might be able to achieve.

So we pray the Collect:

The Collect (additional)

Almighty God,
as your kingdom dawns,
turn us from the darkness of sin
to the light of holiness,
that we may be ready to meet you
in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen

Reflection for Wednesday 30th November 2022

Jon Ellis

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Reflection Romans 10: 12-18 Isaiah 52: 7-10 Psalm 19: 1-6 Matthew 4: 18-22 Nov 30

Romans 10
12 ¶ For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,
13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
16 But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?”
17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
18 But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”

REFLECTION
In Romans 10, Paul quotes from Isaiah 52 How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news. Whenever I read this passage, I start singing Mission Praise 249
How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him, who brings good news, good news,
proclaiming peace, announcing news of happiness, our God reigns, our God reigns!

It is taken more less word-for-word from Isaiah. Many of the best hymns and songs are quotes from the Bible arranged into verses so we can sing and remember the word of God. For most of us, music is very important. It helps us to express how we are feeling. Not everyone sings out loud in the shower, or holds their hair brush as if at a karaoke event, but we find encouragement in a praise song, or solace in a lament.

Today’s Psalm 19 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”

Do you have beautiful feet? It is a wonderful thought! Paul says, “How can they believe in the one they have not heard?” Our feet must take us to the places where people have not heard.

It is so much easier to not travel. I was reminded again today that it seemed strange to us when we moved to Devon, how many miles people are prepared to travel to meetings. They think nothing of going to Exeter for an evening meeting. Where we were in Chesterfield, it was fine to go three miles to Chesterfield, but it had to be special to go a further eight to Sheffield.

People laughed when we said we were going on holiday to a camp site near Exeter. I suppose it stems from being a retired Driving Instructor. I spent most of my days travelling round in a car. It was a real effort going out for two-hour lessons in the evening after I had had my tea. So now I am happy not to travel very far, and I don’t fancy going out in the evening.

But Paul exhorts us to use our feet, to travel so that “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Next time we are reluctant to go out for a meeting or a visit, remember what beautiful feet we have!

COLLECT Advent 1
Almighty God,
as your kingdom dawns,
turn us from the darkness of sin to the
light of holiness,
that we may be ready to meet you
in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Reflection for Monday 28th November 2022

The Rev’d Alison Roberts

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Reflection for 28th November 2022

So today we find ourselves into a time of watching and waiting, Advent has begun! It’s also become a time of endless lists, of much shopping and simmering anxiety. Whether you are someone who feels extra alone at this time of the year or plain overwhelmed as the financial angst bites hard into your Christmas spend, winter can test our hope and resolve. As the light fades and the days feel impossibly short and becomes impossible to walk anywhere without being thoroughly drenched by a wet coldness. But this is also the time of the year for festivals of Avent, Christmas and Epiphany. Each in some way a reminder that light is never totally absent. Whatever our situation as we enter deeper into the season of watching and waiting, dare to hope that Christmas will come to each and every one of us!

Matthew 8: 5-11
5When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, appealing to him 6 and saying, “Lord, my servant[a] is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible distress.” 7 And he said to him, “I will come and cure him.” 8 The centurion answered, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only speak the word, and my servant[b] will be healed. 9 For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me, and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and the slave does it.” 10 When Jesus heard him, he was amazed and said to those who followed him, “Truly I tell you, in no one[c] in Israel have I found such faith. 11 I tell you, many will come from east and west and will take their places at the banquet with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven
How deep is your faith?
Despite being of a high rank in society, the Centurion went himself to Jesus to plead that his servant be healed. At that time the Centurion’s response would have been seen as shocking. He could have sent one of his underlings to Jesus. But he chose to ask Jesus personally, believing totally in his goodness. This Centurion believed that Jesus’ word is capable of healing. Aside from Centurion’s deep faith, the text challenges us to question whether we care enough about other people regardless of their position in our society. We are all human and God’s children and are all equal in his eyes. But how many of us care for the people who are poor and neglected or marginalised by our society? How many of us care for, really care about others? How deep is our faith?
Let’s be honest being a Christian isn’t straight forward it comes with an ever-evolving set of challenges. Jesus gives a deceptively simple call to anyone who will listen. He says, ‘Follow me’. It sounds so straightforward. But look again, there’s nothing straightforward about a Centurion coming humbly before Jesus to plead for his servants healing.

That in Jesus’ time a Centurion would have lavished care on his servant is a staggering awesome and humbling image!
John Pritchard writes about the masters call as being seriously demanding. He quotes what one blogger on the internet says about being a Christian.
‘The more I try to understand what Jesus was really all about, the more he has the audacity to come into my life and totally screw it up. He makes me think about every dollar I spend- who is benefiting from it and how? H makes me reflect on the kind of car I drive and how it affects God’s creation. He challenges me to make my children into risk-taking disciples, instead of neat, middle-class carbon copies of myself. He asks me to go to places where I am uncomfortable, and to invite people into my house when I’d much rather have a quite night alone. He intrudes on my free time and tells me to invest it in things that matter to him. He tells me that the politics that seemingly support my interests aren’t necessarily the ones that support his. Far from being a cosmic Mr Fix-it, Jesus is taking every opportunity and ambition that I ever held and, without so much as asking, turning it over like he did the tables in the temple.’
Inspired by The Centurion in this time of Advent we pray….

Now is a time of our watching and waiting
a time pregnant with hope
a time to watch and pray.

Christ our advent hope
bare brown trees,
etched dark across a winter sky,
leaves fallen, rustling,
ground hard and cold,
remind us to prepare for your coming;
remind us to prepare for the time
when the soles of your feet will touch the ground,
when you will become one of us.

May we watch for the signs,
listen for the messenger,
wait for the good news to slip
into our world, our lives.
Christ our advent hope,
help us to clear the way for you;
to clear the clutter from our minds,
to sift the silt from our hearts,
o move the boulders that prevent us meeting you.

Help us to make straight the highways,
to unravel the deception that leads to war,
to release those in captivity.
May sorrow take flight,
and your people sing a song of peace
and hope be born again. Amen

Reflection for Friday 25 November 2022

Nigel Price

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Luke 21:29-33

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

Then he told them a parable: ‘Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

Reflection

Today we commemorate Isaac Watts, hymn writer (1674-1748). Watts was born in Southampton and educated at a Grammar School there. A local benefactor offered to send him to University, but rather than Oxford or Cambridge he chose a highly regarded Dissenting Academy at Stoke Newington.  Having first worked as a private tutor he joined the Independent ministry, but had to resign his role as pastor through ill health.

The last 36 years of his life were spent under the patronage of a local landed gentry family and this independence enabled him to write. He was known as the father of English hymn writing and wrote over 600 although few remain in regular use.

He was physically slight, but his serene and spiritual manner, coupled with unswerving faith, endeared him to others and is reflected in his hymn writing, of which this is a prime example:

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

When I survey the wondrous cross (1707)

When you read those words, you can indeed see how the kingdom of God comes near – the love which is so amazing, love that consumes us, love that defines our very existence.

So we pray the Collect:

The Collect (additional)

God the Father,
help us to hear the call of Christ the King
and to follow in his service,
whose kingdom has no end;
for he reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, one glory. Amen

Reflection for Wednesday 23rd November 2022

Jon Ellis

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Reflection for Luke 21: 12-19 Psalm 98 Revelation 15: 1-4 Nov 23

Luke 21
12 “But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name.
13 This will result in your being witnesses to them.
14 But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves.
15 For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.
16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death.
17 All men will hate you because of me.
18 But not a hair of your head will perish.
19 By standing firm you will gain life.

REFLECTION
Jesus says, “You will be witnesses.”
You will be able to witness to everyone. Those in your church. Those in prisons. Anyone who persecutes you. But be sure not to worry about how you are going to defend yourself. The Holy Spirit will give you the words. He will give you wisdom so that no one will be able to resist or contradict the Good News of Jesus. Maybe your relatives and friends will not like what you are saying. Some will even hate you for it. And some of you will be put to death.

Death! What was that you said? Did I hear that right? Oh… Umm… This doesn’t sound so good now.

Well, that was what Jesus told his disciples. And many of them did die. Some in the barbaric ways that were invented to “teach people a lesson”. In the news recently those protesting against the Islamic Regime in Iran are being put to death. In the past, the religious leaders have done that to women and children as well. In many countries, anyone who does not agree with the leaders, can find themselves executed. That includes Christians who proclaim the Gospel.

Stephen was the first martyr for Christ. He stood up and gave a speech in Acts chapter 7 which so upset the Sanhedrin that they stirred up a mob who took him out and stoned him to death. But as Stephen was dying, he didn’t cry for mercy for himself. Instead, he prayed, “Lord do not hold this sin against those who are stoning me.”
Amazing! And watching Stephen’s martyrdom, was Saul. Saul who later became Paul. And we know from his letters how important his conversion was to the early church.

When we think about why we believe in Jesus, one reason has to be that those who witnessed Jesus’ life, crucifixion and then his risen life, were prepared to die for what they knew. They had seen God here on earth!

So, back to the “Some of you will be put to death.” Would we still proclaim the Gospel or would we decide it is not worth it? Let’s hope we never have to be put to that test. The important question for each of us is how much are we prepared to show our faith to others, or do we only have a personal faith that doesn’t risk upsetting anyone?

COLLECT
Eternal Father,
whose Son Jesus Christ ascended to the throne of heaven
that he might rule over all things as Lord and King:
keep the Church in the unity of the Spirit
and in the bond of peace,
and bring the whole created order to worship at his feet;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Reflection for Monday 21st November 2022

The Rev’d Alison Roberts

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Luke 21:1-4
The Widow’s Offering
He looked up and saw rich people putting their gifts into the treasury; he also saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. He said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them, for all of them have contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.”
Today’s Gospel reading invites us as the reader to peek open a door into an ancient alien world with startling different values and beliefs that informed how they lived day to day.
You’ve arrived at a bustling Jewish temple, and like arriving in any new destination you find the sights, and sounds the exotic aromas momentarily punctuate and overwhelm the moment till you find your bearings. Then you start to look around and take in what you were blind to before, you are noticing that there are hardly any women, and maybe your curiosity is aroused?
Because back in Jesus’ time women would have been mostly restricted to their homes, and further restricted in thought or actions. Even going to the market would have been considered a man’s task. Women’s invisibility meant that no one would object to their illiteracy as anything beyond affirming their impoverished position and place in society. For this was time when women’s expectations always seem so incomprehensible to what we today believe, understand, and accept in the way both men and women can live their lives. We have impressive female professional football and rugby teams. Women in leadership roles is no longer a big deal. The world changes and our understanding and beliefs are continually evolving since Christs time. Proved well by my thirteen-year-old granddaughter who wows me regularly with her ability to seeing no barriers to her gender.
But let’s not get carried away in thinking we are a better society, because we know our world is far from perfect and that its full of injustice, intolerance, and greed.
And this is important to note in the context of Luke’s Gospel Jesus notices a poverty-stricken widow. We know she gave all she had, and that Jesus acknowledged her gift as being more valuable than anything a rich person would give. Note that the rich were usually men.
So, whilst Luke’s story of The Widows Mites shows our need to be committed and generous with our giving; it also reminds us about Gods inclusivity that like or not is political. For with Christ, we have the image of the most radical revolutionary who challenged the ought’s, musts, and should of his day. Today it is Christ’s image that beckons us to be more like him, to look, to notice and to call out!
‘If you become aware of any individual degrading another then show moral courage and take a stand against it…The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.’
Rosie Harper & Alan Wilson ‘To Heal and Not To Hurt’

In this moment
draw me to yourself, Lord,
and make me aware
not so much of what I’ve given
as of all I have received
and so have yet to share.
Send me forth
in power and gladness
and with great courage
to live out in the world
what I pray and profess,
that, in sharing,
I may do justice,
make peace,
grow in love,
enjoy myself,
other people,
and your world now,
and you forever. Amen


Reflection for Friday 18th November 2022

Nigel Price

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Hebrews 13.1-3

Service Well-Pleasing to God

Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured.

Reflection

That’s not a bad discipline, isn’t it.  Before you consider those less fortunate than yourselves, before you perhaps pass judgment on some of the life choices that they have made, put yourself in their position.

Like me, some of you might have been watching the BBC series ‘The English’.  It is beautifully filmed, capturing the wild and empty scenery of early America, that is the early America of the white man.  Even if the story is a little hard to follow and rather bleak in nature, it captures the mood of those early settlers who dared not trust anyone they met. Very much a ‘shoot first and ask questions later’ approach.

How different is the Christian community where there is the opportunity to radiate an engaging warmth, even if that is viewed as eccentric by a worldly onlooker.

As Christians we are called to love one another in spite of our differences.  In the Rule of Benedict, monks are instructed that ‘all guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say: I was a stranger and you welcomed me’.  As Christians we rejoice in that glorious opportunity to see the Christ in everyone that we meet.

So here is a project for this weekend; smile at everyone you meet, smile at that friend you spot coming towards you, smile at that rival you recognise, the one who always argues with you, the one you always try to avoid, the obnoxious one with their bigoted views.  Find the Christ in them, however deeply hidden it may be.

It is the Feast of Elizabeth of Hungary, so we pray the Collect:

The Collect

Lord God,
who taught Elizabeth of Hungary
to recognize and reverence Christ in the poor of this world:
by her example strengthen us to love and serve the afflicted and the needy
and so to honour your Son, the servant king,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen

Reflection for Wednesday 16th November 2022

Jon Ellis

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Reflection Luke 19 11-28 Psalm 150 Revelation 4 Nov 16
Luke 19
11 ¶ While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once.
12 He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return.
13 So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’
14 “But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’
15 “He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it.
16 “The first one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned ten more.’
17 “‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’
18 “The second came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned five more.’
19 “His master answered, ‘You take charge of five cities.’
20 “Then another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth.
21 I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.’
22 “His master replied, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow?
23 Why then didn’t you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?’
24 “Then he said to those standing by, ‘Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.’
25 “‘Sir,’ they said, ‘he already has ten!’
26 “He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away.
27 But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be a king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.’”
28 ¶ After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

REFLECTION
One criticism that non-believers level at the Church, is that all it seems to talk about is sex. They see its stand on homosexuality as not fitting in with their view of freedom of choice and fairness. Actually, Jesus doesn’t mention issues about sex much at all. What he does talk a lot about are Kingdom values. And he uses money as an example.

We are uncomfortable talking about money. We don’t tell other people how much we earn. If we have a lot, it seems like we are bragging. If we are poor, it seems like we are feeling sorry for ourselves. On the internet you can read the earnings of executives in big companies in the United States of America. Earning a big wage is a recognition of how important the person is in the company. It states value in monetary terms. Whereas British people are depicted as apologising for who we are, seemingly always supporting the under-dog.

In today’s reading, Jesus looks at what people do with the money they are entrusted with. The parable uses this to point us into considering what we do with the talents that God has given us. If we consider that one talent which God has given us is sharing, then what is this parable saying to us now?

What ever your view on climate change, it is patently obvious that the wealthy nations are not sharing their wealth with the poorer ones. First the Industrial Revolution and then the Technological Revolution have changed our lives dramatically. But now we are becoming much more aware of how desperate the lives of some people are when there is drought, or too much rain.

We go on and on about the need for electricity. Most days I seem to get something through the post box telling me I need some new broadband connection. Everywhere there are new white vans with men in high visibility jackets putting new wires through the footpaths.

However, I remember one time when there was a power cut and it resulted in the local water pumping station not working. Suddenly, it was very obvious that it wasn’t the lack of electricity that was a problem. Much more important, was the lack of water! It may be raining a lot at the moment, but the reservoirs are very low.

We see the adverts for Water Aid with the children shown drinking awful coloured unhealthy water that they have to draw up from a well. We can only begin to imagine the thought of drinking muddy water full of diseases.

In today’s parable, Jesus challenges each one of us to think about how we use our talents.

COLLECT
Heavenly Lord,
you long for the world’s salvation:
stir us from apathy,
restrain us from excess
and revive in us new hope
that all creation will one day be healed
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Reflection for Monday 14th November 2022

The Rev’d Paul Smith

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Reflection for Monday November 14th from Paul Smith

Luke 18.35-43
As Jesus was coming near Jericho, there was a blind man sitting by the road, begging. When he heard the crowd passing by, he asked, “What is this?”
“Jesus of Nazareth is passing by” they told him.
He cried out, “Jesus, son of David, take pity on me!”
The people in front scolded him and told him to be quiet. But he shouted even more loudly, “Son of David, take pity on me!”
So Jesus stopped and ordered the blind man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”
“Sir”, he answered, “I want to see again!”
Jesus said to him, “Then see! Your faith has made you well.”
At once he was able to see, and he followed Jesus, giving thanks to God.
When the crowd saw it, they all praised God.

Do you have a favourite town or village?    (One of mine is Appledore!)

In this section of St Luke’s Gospel, I reckon that one of St Luke’s favourites is Jericho, because it is only he who mentions this ancient town three times!
Perhaps, for this reason this little description of Bartimeus is significant, especially as we remember his name. It could be that he was still in the early church when Luke was around and was a friend.
Bartimaeus needed healing; without eyesight he couldn’t work to earn money to live. Many of us, reading this, also need healing, because we want to live our lives more fully and be able to help someone else.
What did Bartimaeus do? He knew he could receive healing from Jesus, so he simply put himself in Jesus’ way and used the one asset he had – his voice.
He shouted so loud, people told him to shut up. But he didn’t, and Jesus noticed him.
It is interesting that Jesus asked him what he wanted, so he said “I want my sight back!”
And that’s what happened, and he was healed.

When we pray, be like Bartimaeus.   Put yourself, or the person you are asking healing for, in the way of Jesus.    In you mind, say to Jesus (because he will hear you) “Here I am!   Please heal me!”   Or, “Please heal the person I need healing for.”   “Lord, I stand before you for Jim (or whatever their name is)”       No frills.  Simply present yourselves to Him.    Even though he knows what you need, in your mind, tell him what you want clearly.   Then trust him and stay trusting Him.   Jesus hasn’t gone away, he is the same as when we first believed and he knows our needs before we ask him, but, as he treated Bartimaeus, he still wants us to tell him what we want, just as parents do;   they want their children to come straight out with what they need.   Do the same with God, come straight out with it.     Say, “Jesus I place myself before you for healing of……...”.

Father I place into your hands
the things that trouble me.
Father I place into your hands
the person I would be.
Father I place into your hands
(..a particular person, or need….)
For I know I always can trust you.