Hello, it’s me again, with more of ‘me’ poems.

A couple of years ago, a friend was preparing a ‘Service of Light’ and invited me to write a poem to be included in the readings. Light is used to symbolise God, faith and holiness throughout scripture.  In our everyday lives, light is so important in many ways, sustaining our planet, life, our well being, etc. The few words below, I hope, capture this in a meaningful way…Ginny.

Candle

Light.

Light gradually awakens a new gifted day,

Shadows appear, formed by each beaming ray.

The rising sun bathing our land in it’s light,

And the early bird flutters…..as it takes flight.

We think of the star, that first Christmas night,

As it welcomed our Saviour, the baby of light.

Light is our comforter, when days are grey,

Shining warmth around us, guiding our way.

Light is our being, light is our power to exist.

Lighting creation, as if earth has been kissed.

“I am the Light of the World” said our Lord,

We walk in his light, and hold fast to his word.

When day is done, and the light gradually fades,

The sky is emblazened with the moon and it’s aids.

Church candles flicker, the flames seem to dance,

Lighting worship, lighting thoughts….perchance.

Light remains constant, be it by sun or by moon,

By lantern, by candle, or by firelight in a room.

Thy word O Lord, is a lantern unto our feet,

And your light will always guide us, ‘til we meet.

‘Thy Kingdom Come’ is a global movement of prayer that started in 2016 with an invitation from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. They invited people to spend the days between Ascension Day and Pentecost praying for more people to come to know Jesus. After the very first Ascension Day, Jesus’ disciples gathered with Mary to pray as they waited for the promised Holy Spirit. Like them, our reliance on the gift of the Holy Spirit is total – on our own we can do nothing.

thykingdomcomearticle

Over the last few years, 65 Christian denominations in 114 countries have taken up this invitation to pray. Whether you have done so before or not, why not consider this invitation to pray this year between Thursday 30th May and Sunday 9th June? Choose 5 people (or how ever many you choose) and ask God to be with them and to be at work in their lives. The prayer of the worldwide Church during this time is that people’s faith in Jesus will be deepened and prayer will be part of all of our lives. Visit www.thykingdomcome.global for ways of praying, resources, and much more. Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be Done.

Are you good at making decisions? Depending on what the decision is, it might take next to no time to decide, or it might take a bit longer, and require a bit more thought. Perhaps one decision that you’ve been considering recently is “what am I going to do for Lent?”

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday (6th March), starting six weeks of anticipation and preparation for Easter. Sometimes people choose to give something up for Lent – chocolate, tea or coffee, alcohol, or whatever it might be. Others choose to take something up – reducing consumption of plastic or volunteering somewhere new, making an extra effort to pray or read the Bible. Once again, so many options. Why have people marked Lent in this way for so many generations?

It’s not about making ourselves feel miserable or trying to do Lent “better” than anyone else, but perhaps it’s more about stepping out of normal life for a little while. By giving up something that is part of our everyday or taking up something that might stretch us out of our comfort zone a bit, life is lived differently and we might start to learn more about what our priorities are or what they should be. Perhaps we will have space to consider the difference between what we want and what we need. Maybe it will be something completely different and we will be totally surprised at the journey of Lent this year.

No matter what we decide about how we’re going to mark Lent or where the journey takes us this year, perhaps we could ask God to help us make space for what he has for us this Lent, both as a whole community and as individuals?

Sharing the Love of Jesus

May 24th is listed in the Anglican Lectionary as John Wesley Day. John was the elder brother of Charles, the prolific Hymn Writer. May 24th is not his actual birthday but his ‘Spiritual Birthday’.

John Wesley

In 1738 his life changed forever. He had been a Priest for about 10 years, but found it unsatisfying despite working hard. On May 24th 1738 he was invited to a house meeting in Aldersgate in London, which he reluctantly accepted. Whilst someone was reading from the writings of Martin Luther the German reformer, his world changed. He wrote in his journal: “I felt strangely warmed by the love of God. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for Salvation, for an assurance that he had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of death and sin.” This inspired him to a renewed life in Christ and he spent the next 50 years riding up and down the country sharing the love of Christ. He not only preached but spent time practising what Christ had asked – raising money to help the poor, building schools; he  opened the first free clinic and dispensary, caring for bodies as well as souls.

We cannot hope to do the same work as John but we can ask God to help us know and experience God’s love for us, as John did on that day in 1738.

Joy Pluckrose

At the beginning of February, I will take down the last of the Christmas decorations. It’s not because I’m forgetful, but I do use them to remind myself that the celebration of Christmas lasts for 40 days, even if the chocolates don’t. Lent and Easter aren’t too far away, but before we get there, the next few weeks bring us to something the Church calls ‘Ordinary Time’. ‘Ordinary’ is a bit of an unpopular word – sometimes ordinary things are thought to be plain or unexciting. We often want things to be extraordinary or special instead, but we need the ordinary as well.
Ordinary time is ordered or measured time. It is time to live in the present moment, time that is counted and marked not to wish it away or count it down but to savour and enjoy it. Ordinary time celebrates that God is involved in the everyday as well as the extraordinary. Ordinary time makes special times like Christmas or Easter more special. Living for God week-by-week on ordinary days like Monday to Saturday mean that we will approach Sundays differently when we gather together.

Green Stole
The colour of Ordinary Time is green – the colour of growth. Living for God in the everyday helps us to become measured people - people who celebrate the good, grieve the bad, and notice where God is to be found in the ordinary.

Rev. Charles Higgins