May 2021 Daily Prayer


Bring Joy to your day and read all the messages sent by Marisha and beautiful prayers that will

fill your day with the most precious gift, free to all, the word of God.

New: Rev'd John Poole will put out something on Fridays, and provide us with some ‘tasters’ for the coming Sunday

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Reading & Prayer 31st May 2021

Message from Marisha

I was are our listening skills? Some of us may have been trained as listeners; a skill needed for the job, for some it seems to be an integral part of our character, for some it is a real difficulty. 

Today in our scripture we are being told to be hearers (listeners) of the word and furthermore doers of it.  So, does it matter if we haven't got the skill of listening? I don't think so; what we might or might not have in the natural makes no difference to the power of God in working in us through the Holy Spirit. When we ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten us and change us (go beyond our natural abilities) he will. When he puts his word in our hearts the consequence will be that we will become doers of his word and will.  

So much of how we are and what we do depends on our choices .........being a hearer but not doing, or being a hearer and doing. I know which will be pleasing to God and good for our own selves.


Reading & Prayer 29th May 2021

Message from Marisha

In today's reading the matter of what is true comes up. The Cambridge dictionary definition says truth is 'the quality of being true, the real facts of the situation, event or person'.

Cleverly Jesus, when asked about his authority, does not answer directly. For many reasons the questioners did not want to hear the truth and he knew it.

At some point in all our lives we have all heard about Jesus.  It maybe that someone told you or you witnessed the truth of him in someone's life or some other way, in the end we chose to believe. It seems that there are people in the world who can never be convinced about anything, whatever evidence is brought to bear. I think that is particularly true when it comes to sharing our beliefs but we should not be dismayed if it is rejected. Our work is to be ready to share our testimony if asked, it is not our work to do the convincing; that is the work of the Holy Spirit.


Reading & Prayer 28th May 2021

John's study; a little preview of Sunday

Before we resume our Sunday worship themes for ‘Ordinary Time,’ we have a major feast this coming Sunday which sets the scene of what our faith is about: our relationship with God and what it means to be a Christian.  We celebrate God, the Source of all being, Eternal Word, and Life Giver, or Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Holy Trinity, one God who has revealed Godself in a plurality of ways.  Of course, we celebrate this every Sunday as people with a Trinitarian faith, but now we simply pause to consider the wonder and mystery of it all!  The readings for this Trinity Sunday are as follows....


Reading & Prayer 27th May 2021

Message from Marisha

Do you know much about the Bowerbird?

You may not know that I have had an interest in birds since I was young; I have never seen a live bowerbird but they do fascinate me.  For those who haven't come across the lovely Bower bird.... a little synopsis. The species is not particularly spectacular but the male bird is known for the beautiful nests (bowers) he makes to attract the female. The nests are unique to each about that. Around each bower the bird will place brightly coloured objects he has found; anything from flowers, feathers bits of plastic and glass, often co-ordinated in colour. Some of the bowers have been used, remade and added to over 30 years.

I expect you may be wondering what all this has to do with anything. 

When I read today's scripture about building God's kingdom it reminded me of the special little bowerbirds going about their business of making beautiful, attractive dwelling places for prospective mates. We too are in the building trade.  We are called to build God's kingdom here on earth. Each of us are to be part of that the great plan. Each of us will be given just the right tools to do our bit of the work; the foundation has already been laid by Jesus. Our part is to build upon it under the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit. The work has been in progress since the first stone was laid and will continue until it is finished. It will become a beautiful dwelling place. Whist each bower bird works on its own, under its own direction and no doubt will be very pleased with its own efforts, we as a Christian family know that no one labourer is more important than the other. More than that we know it God himself who is the master builder and architect not us.  


Reading & Prayer 26th May 2021

Message from Marisha

So often we can feel weak and powerless as Christians; we don't know enough, our prayers may seem ineffectual and talking about our faith scary. I suspect that has always been so for most Christians but..... feelings aren't facts.

Since we were given the Holy Spirit, we now have everything we need to be strong in the faith, see prayers answered and be able to give a good testimony to our lives.

In the natural there are so many things we cannot do, haven't the brain power to understand or are brave enough to try. As Christians with the Holy Spirit working in and through us God can make anything happen that he wants. If we lack wisdom, let's ask for it, if we lack forgiveness let God's forgiveness work in and through you, if there are words to be said ask the Lord for them.

Not only is the Lord able to supply all our needs, He is willing to supply them.


Reading & Prayer 25th May 2021

Message from Marisha

Our reading from 1st Corinthians is well known I am sure to us all.  It is a reminder to us how generous the Lord is to us in that he provides the community of believers with all the gifts of the Spirit that are needed for our heath, wellbeing and to be the most wonderful witness of God's power working through us. 

Maybe you think they aren't for you; that you aren't 'spiritual' enough or for others . You would be entirely wrong. The gifts of the Spirit are not dependant on our ability, strength or worthiness.  It is the Holy Spirit who imparts the gifts is entirely God's Spirit and is not dependant on whatever we might have of our own resources. However, we can decide whether we will be open to receive them. All the gifts are needed, all believers are needed, all can be used, none are more needed than another. There is no hierarchy in God's kingdom, we are all his children and as it says in the last verse ... 

For in the one Spirit, we were all baptised into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.


Reading & Prayer 24th May 2021

Message from Marisha

Have you ever thought that for us now as believers we have 'Pentecost' permanently, not just as a one day celebration?  

Sometimes we can be very quick to move on to the next thing without appreciating what we actually have.

Our scripture this morning tells of a people utterly changed by the power of the Holy Spirit, not just individually but as a group, a community of believers. I have often heard it said that belief in God is a strictly private matter and should remain so. I don't believe that as Jesus himself gave a lot of attention to building the first community of believers and the witness of the whole church is important. Of course, belief always starts in our own heart first but consequently we become part of the whole company of believers. Individually we can make a small difference in the world but together as the people of God we can be a powerful witness of God's love in action.

Jesus taught community; the disciples modelled community and the church over the centuries has sustained both the individual and been a driving force in the world. As it the scriptures say 'we must not fail to meet together'.........for our good and the good of the whole world.


Reading & Prayer 22nd May 2021

Message from Marisha

Here we are on the day before Pentecost, like the disciples waiting. I am sure most of you will know that there is a serious forest fire raging her in Tenerife; it is frightening in its power, how it sweeps along, going wherever it wants unhindered and unbidden.  Let us pray for the firefighters and all those engaged in the emergency services trying to extinguish it.

We wait for another fire, a welcome one, the fire of the Holy Spirit. In contrast the Holy Spirit does not destroy , but enables, bringing power to change us and the world. Some are nervous of the Holy Spirit but we shouldn't be. The Spirit is the earthly presence of the glorified Lord; we are not afraid of Jesus are we.

Whilst earthly fires do damage and are hard to control the fire of the Holy Spirit may go wheresoever but only where it is welcomed and received.

So let us look forward to all that comes with Holy fire.


Reading & Prayer 21th May 2021

John's study; a little preview of Sunday

Good morning everyone.

Here is John's reflection for today.It is good news that there is now a ceasefire in the Holy Land, do pray that peace will be restored.


Reading & Prayer 20th May 2021

Message from Marisha

Today we can celebrate. Perhaps you are wondering if somehow you have forgotten that is a bank holiday or fiesta. Actually, it is neither. However, we do have a reason for celebration, every day.

In our reading to day we are being reminded about our new life that gives us access to God. Of course, that does not mean our lives will be plain sailing. We are told to be attentive to encouraging each other in the faith, meeting together, worshipping together. In that way we are able to persevere and be strong when difficulties arise.


Reading & Prayer 19th May 2021

Message from Marisha

I have been thinking of the privileges of living here in Tenerife of which there are many. At the moment certainly on Social media there seems to be a lot of dissatisfaction going on, certainly with the official systems. or most of us, we can cope and get around those problems; we have a bank account with money in it, a home possibly a second home, food on the table and paperwork which gives us certain rights. 

However, we don't have to look far to see that there is real need around and I am sure that is the same in most places in the world.

We as Christians have been called to love one another but not in some ethereal way but in very practical terms. We cannot look at those who are without and do nothing; each of us are responsible before God how we act and love. It is not for me to say what each of us should do. We only have to ask the Lord and he will direct us by the Holy Spirit in how we give, care and love.


Reading & Prayer 18th May 2021

Message from Marisha

Today's scripture is short but it has a powerful message. It all about how we are to live our lives as Christians; about carrying our cross.

How the carrying that cross for each of us will be different according to our circumstances. I believe that essentially it will always involve living an unselfish life, living for the joy of others and walking in love. I am sure at times that cross will be heavy but, in our willingness, to do it the Lord comes to help us. Others will not always remember any great work that is done but they will remember love shown, kindness and care shared.


Reading & Prayer 17th May 2021

Message from Marisha

I have been thinking a little about feelings. They are so much part of us, aren't they? 

When the psalms are read, we can see that every emotion is covered at some time; everything from complete joy to complete despair. Sometimes our feelings are not to be relied upon. They can alter like the wind. Tiredness, the actions of others, grief,  just what happens on a daily basis can cause us to find ourselves in a maelstrom of emotion. We can become fearful, lose faith or become confused.

Learning to live beyond our feelings, choosing to have faith takes daily practice. We have a God who we can rely on, his word which fortifies us and his Holy Spirit to guide us and keep us steady in life. He is always with us though we don't always recognise that.  Life can be busy but if we want real peace, we still have to choose to spend time with him, it will bring its benefits.


Reading & Prayer 15th May 2021

Message from Marisha

The day begins all bright and fresh here in Tenerife. Since I began doing the daily readings for St. Francis my day actually starts pretty much with the Word of God. It didn't always I must confess; at some time in the day, I would get to read it of course but as it has taken more precedent now. It has benefitted me enormously. 

We are very privileged to have bibles and churches where we can hear the Word of God, there are many in the world who would love to be in that position. There are some who are biblical scholars and have made it their lives' work to know and understand it and that is good so that they can teach us. However, the Holy Spirit is a marvellous teacher; we only have to ask and we can be given all that we need to know.  The word of God is living and active and for our benefit; let it dwell in our hearts richly.


Reading & Prayer 14th May 2021

John's study; a little preview of Sunday

I am writing this on Thursday, Ascension Day, so especially as we are not holding a service I will begin with a reflection for the day.

Our speech is enriched by the use of the metaphor.  In fact, we can hardly speak without using metaphors in almost every sentence.  Metaphors are not optional extras; they go to the very heart of our communication.  

The Bible is full of metaphorical language, although it is not always easy to distinguish when words or passages are claiming to be actual historical happenings or when they are using the language of metaphor to enhance their message.  Jesus taught almost exclusively in parables, which are themselves metaphorical accounts – their truth is in their meaning rather than the literal words of the story.

One of the commonest metaphorical words is ‘up’ when we mean better, and ‘down’ when we mean worse. 

The psalms especially have a wonderful time with these....


Reading & Prayer 13th May 2021

Message from Marisha

Happy Ascension Day.

The Church of England for several years now has run the 'Thy Kingdom Come' initiative and it has become worldwide. We here in Tenerife have also been involved both last year and the year before. I hope you will join in too in some small way. Perhaps you might pray the Lord's prayer each day or pray for five people to come to know Jesus during this Ascensiontide. I was thrilled last year when one of my five people made a real commitment to the Lord (of course I know others were praying for that person too) I was just played a little part. It causes me to think and give thanks for those who prayed for me and those who pray for me now. 


Reading & Prayer 12th May 2021

Message from Marisha

Our scripture today reminds me that we cannot know everything, or certainly not at once. Jesus said that the disciples would not be able to bear with it all at that time but in due course they would. Perhaps that is the same in our Christian walk. We start of like children, not able to understand everything but enough for that time. There is more to know and learn and gradually that is revealed to us. We are privileged that we have the Holy scriptures(many in the world don't) ,we have teachers, priests, ministers of the word and our brothers and sisters in the Lord to help us. Most importantly we have the Holy Spirit who guides us in all truth. Our own attitude is also crucial; do we want to grow and develop in the Christain life?  is it important to us or are we relying on past laurels? Sometimes growth is not easy and may actually be painful but belief and faith are living growing things and sometimes need both food and pruning. We are made to grow more into the likeness of Christ, that is our calling and it happens through the work of the Holy Spirit using our individual situations, the scriptures and prayerful friends.


Reading & Prayer 10th May. 2021

Message from Marisha

Our scripture today is from Proverbs and about wisdom. It is often expected that old age brings with it wisdom but i don't think that is necessarily true. We can pick up a lot of worldly wisdom and there are plenty of books around to impart it but God's wisdom is very different. It won't tell you how to make more money, have a good time and those kinds of things but it will tell you how to live a Godly and spiritually healthy life. The good thing also is that you don't need to wait until you are old to obtain it. It is free for the asking.


Reading & Prayer 7th May 2021

John's study, a preview for Sunday

We are reaching the climactic point of Easter in our Sunday liturgies where the joyous impact of the resurrection of Christ begins to give way to his continuing and more powerful presence on earth through the Holy Spirit. The readings are as follows:

Acts of the Apostles 10: 44 – 48

Although it is largely lost on us today, we cannot emphasize too strongly how big an issue was the divide in the earliest days of Christianity between Jew and gentile. The first Christians, like Jesus himself, were all Jews. Jesus, in spite of his openness to non-Jews and foreigners, understood his message of the kingdom of God initially at least to be for his own people.


Reading & Prayer 6th May 2021

Message from Marisha

Today's reading is a psalm of David, written when he was fleeing in fear of his life. He called upon the protection of the Almighty. 

All manner of troubles may come our way; illness, poverty and persecution. Do we feel the protection of God at these times? I think sometimes we are not aware of it. That doesn't mean that the Lord isn't watching over us, for he neither sleeps nor slumbers.

There are times when we have to face what is happening around us and trust God for the outcome. David hid in a cave; we usually don't have that option! Whenever or whatever our troubles or problems we can call on the Lord to guide us through them. When we look back, we often see that his protective hand was upon us and that we have learnt something from the ordeal, even if it to recognise our own weakness and vulnerability.

The last year or more has been difficult, hasn't it? but we have come through. God has divine purposes for all our lives and the church and in trusting him we can be sure they will come to fruition.


Reading & Prayer 5th May 2021

Message from Marisha

Today's scripture is about choice; God's choice and our choice. Whilst God may have chosen us to be part of his Holy priesthood, there is still a choice to be made by us. There are many in the world who have rejected Jesus who is the cornerstone of our faith (hopefully not forever).

I was reading a passage written by Nicky Gumble who says, many can accept the idea of a loving God or even the Holy Spirit but the person of Jesus is often not accepted, they just don't get him. I wonder why that is? For us who know Jesus it is hardly understandable, maybe a step of faith has to be taken in accepting him and only then is He truly made known to us. The getting to know him never ends, that is the really exciting bit.  Whilst Jesus is the cornerstone of the building we too are now part of it too and each is vital to the strength and stability of the whole.


Reading & Prayer 4th May 2021

Message from Marisha

There is no doubt that in most people's eyes Paul was a strong and brave man, even in the face of persecution and great suffering, the like of which we will probably will never have to face. He though, knew himself to be frail and vulnerable. He also knew that any strength or fine words were not his but came from the Lord. It was Grace alone which enabled him to persevere to the end of his life, still proclaiming Jesus as his Lord and Saviour.

It seems that when we recognise our weakness and limitations that the Lord steps in and becomes our strength. Clay jars actually can be very fragile and can easily be broken, perhaps the Lord likes broken vessels. I think he does. He certainly still uses us in our brokenness.


Reading & Prayer 3rd May 2021

Message from Marisha

In our scripture this morning a question is posed; why does Jesus not reveal himself to the world and only to the few? Well, of course he could do but he has chosen to do it another way; though us. 

Now there is something to ponder. We are to be instruments of showing Jesus and his love to others and the world. Each of us, without condemning ourselves, must look at our we are doing on that score. Would people know by our lives that we are Christians? Are we allowing the Holy Spirit to teach and lead us? Self-sufficiency just doesn't work in the Christian life; we are to be dependent on the Lord. When we are, He shows through.


Reading & Prayer 1st May 2021

Message from Marisha

May the 1st already, a public holiday here in Tenerife. Normally I would be travelling back to Jersey at this time of the year to see family and friends and to enjoy Jersey at its best; a time where everything is beginning to blossom. There is always a feeling of new life, a fresh start. Really it is just part of the cycle of life; there are the times when it all seems dormant, a kind of hibernation and then Spring with its hope of things to come, then Summer at full bloom where the earth is in jubilation and onwards to harvest, the gathering, the coming together of our efforts before we rest again in Winter.The Lord looks on it all and all of the earth's people. He has set us to work; however, all is dependent on him. We work with him acknowledging that it is he who is the author of life, the creator of plants, animals, and all good things. Our hope is in him and his steadfast goodness towards us. Without him we would surely struggle, indeed would we even have life?


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 Reading & Prayer 31st May 2021

Understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness. Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls.

But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing.

James 1:19-25

Almighty Father, your word is precious to us and gives us life, may it lodge deep in our hearts and minds and renew our lives. We give thanks for your Holy Spirit, which enlightens us and those too who teach and instruct us in our spiritual lives. Forgive us Lord for the many times we have chosen to ignore your promptings and failed to do what we know to be right. May those times grow less as we seek to walk by the Holy Spirit and live lives honouring to you. Amen 

 Reading & Prayer 29th May 2021

The disciples and Jesus came again to Jerusalem. As Jesus was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to him and said, “By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do them?” Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin? Answer me.” They argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But shall we say, ‘Of human origin’?”—they were afraid of the crowd, for all regarded John as truly a prophet. So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”

Mark 11:27-33

Lord God, we give thanks that the light of salvation shines upon all people throughout the world. We pray for those we know and love who have hardened their hearts against your Word and not recognised Jesus for all that he is, those who have listened to your truth but are afraid to believe and those who have never heard your Gospel of love; may all come to know and love you in all fullness. Amen

 28th May 2021

Before we resume our Sunday worship themes for ‘Ordinary Time,’ we have a major feast this coming Sunday which sets the scene of what our faith is about: our relationship with God and what it means to be a Christian. We celebrate God, the Source of all being, Eternal Word, and Life Giver, or Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Holy Trinity, one God who has revealed Godself in a plurality of ways. Of course, we celebrate this every Sunday as people with a Trinitarian faith, but now we simply pause to consider the wonder and mystery of it all! The readings for this Trinity Sunday are as follows.

Isaiah 6: 1 – 8

This passage is particularly memorable for me as the first I ever read publicly as a youngster in a church service. I think I was as nervous as Isaiah must have been as he underwent his unexpected visionary experience of the presence of God in the temple. This is Isaiah’s call to be a prophet in the year 740BC (the year that king Uzziah of Judah died). Why is this text being read on Trinity Sunday? Perhaps because of the familiar threefold angelic praise of God: ‘Holy, holy holy is the Lord Sabaoth (Lord of hosts). And the voice of Lord, saying ‘Whom shall I send, who will go for us?’ God speaking in the singular and plural in the same sentence. The method of God’s call is significant. Isaiah hears it as an open question. God is wondering whom he can send. God’s glory, mercy and invitation lead to Isaiah’s positive response and his agreement to be God’s voice in leading the people to change their dissolute and disobedient ways.

Romans 8: 12 – 17

The concept of God as Holy Trinity had not been defined when the New Testament was being written and was still centuries away from becoming an established doctrine of the Church. Yet its foundations were being laid, and this passage can be described as one of them. There are two possible paths in life, one led by the ‘flesh,’ the other by the Spirit. By ‘flesh’ Paul means the stubborn, selfish and self-indulgent side of human nature which is alien to life in the Spirit. Those who are led by the Spirit are God’s children. We call God ‘Father,’ a relationship we share with Jesus who is the pattern for our life on earth and of all our relationships and experiences, including the struggles and the suffering. Led by the Spirit in the love of the Father and the life of the Son, we encounter God the Holy Trinity in our daily life.

John 3: 1 – 17

This rather complex passage is likely have had its origins in a homily or testimony given by John about the significance of Jesus. It is highly unlikely that Jesus would have talked about himself (and in the third person) in this way in his earthly lifetime, so this passage like many of the other long discourses in this Gospel are Spirit led interpretations of Jesus for later generations. John was clearly a Spirit-filled Christian who had a deep grasp of the mind of the risen Christ. He is effectively able to communicate the impact of Jesus, his life, death and resurrection and continuing presence through the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church, which provide the power, motivation and atmosphere in which he writes. 

Nicodemus appears to be a representative of members of the Pharisee party who had a more positive view of Jesus and the Christian Way, some of whom became Christians.  In the present story he comes to Jesus ‘by night,’ a reference most likely indicating the theological and spiritual darkness or blindness in which Nicodemus has so far lived. In coming to Jesus, he is coming into God’s light.

In the dialogue Nicodemus learns that he must be born all over again, born in the Spirit, if he is to enter the kingdom of God. The fact that he, a Jewish teacher, does not understand any of this and can only imagine rebirth in a literal and fleshly way illustrates that the old religion based on meticulous following of ‘the book’ and the letter of the Law had failed. It could no longer produce life (see the previous chapter story of the Wedding at Cana which expresses that the old religion had dried up, it had ‘run out of wine’). Life, eternal life (the usual equivalent of the kingdom of God for John) is a gift of God through the Spirit and could be attained by believing (loving, following, basing one’s life on) Jesus (v.16). His cross and resurrection show that eternal life does not prevent human death but overcomes and transcends it.

In Jesus, heaven and earth are connected as never before. He brings the life and wisdom of the world beyond. In the sending of the Son to live and to die, and in the breath of the Spirit of life, God’s kingdom comes. The ‘night’ of this world is drawn into the light of God. Eternal life is the gift and purpose of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

A Collect for Trinity Sunday:

Holy God, faithful and unchanging: enlarge our minds with the knowledge of your truth and draw us more deeply into the mystery of your love, that we may truly worship you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen

 Reading & Prayer 27th May 2021

What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you came to believe, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose, and each will receive wages according to the labour of each. For we are God’s servants, working together; you are God’s field, God’s building. According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building on it. Each builder must choose with care how to build on it. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 3:5-10

Father God, we bless you that we are part of your eternal family and that each of us is precious in your sight. We thank you for our leaders and teachers in the faith; their calling is high. How wonderful it is that we all too have a part to play in the building of your Church. May we look to Jesus, who is our cornerstone that each may know what is required of us. Send your Spirit that we may be given power, discernment and   spiritual gifts; the tools that we must make use of to build your Kingdom. Amen

 Reading & Prayer 26th May 2021

When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God. Yet among the mature we do speak wisdom, though it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to perish. But we speak God’s wisdom, secret and hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written,

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him”— these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.

1 Corinthians 2 :2-10

Father God, thank you, that in our weakness we are made strong, with stumbling words we can be made eloquent, in ignorance we can be made wise, all Glory to you O Father. We pray that we will walk in the Spirit always, remembering that without him we are frail and our efforts futile but together much can be achieved for the Kingdom. Amen 

 Reading & Prayer 25th May 2021

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed.                                                                                                                 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses. For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptised into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:1,4-13

Father God, we give thanks for the many gifts of the Spirit which are graciously bestowed upon us, to build up the whole body of Christ, and glorify you. May we be  ready to receive them and use them according to your will. Amen

 Reading & Prayer 24th May 2021

Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

Acts 2:43-47

Father God, we give thanks for the early disciples and all who have followed in our Lord Jesus Christ's footsteps. Their lives and community have shone across the generations and told of the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. We pray that our lives and communities will also be a beacon that shows the way to you. May our hearts be always ready to praise your Holy name for you indeed inhabit our praises. Amen 

 Reading & Prayer 22nd May 2021

Jesus ordered the disciples not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me; for John baptised with water, but you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Acts 1:4-8

Almighty Father, we long for your Holy Spirit to be upon us, transforming us and making us more Christlike. Open our hearts this day to receive all that would help us to walk, act and love and  live a sacrificial life that will cause us to become a community dedicated to you and being a witness in the world, for your Glories sake. Amen

 Reading & Prayer 21th May 2021

This Sunday is Pentecost, the fiftieth and final day of Easter.

It was an important Jewish festival before it became a Christian one and was one of the three festivals that brought Jewish pilgrims from far and wide to Jerusalem. Falling fifty days after the feast of the Passover, the great celebration of ancient Israel’s liberation from slavery in Egypt, Pentecost recalled and celebrated God’s giving of the covenant to Israel on Mount Sinai. This launched the creation of a new and free kind of community and nation under the rule of God. The Passover followed by the fifty-day period to Pentecost strongly influenced the continuous Christian festival of Easter that replaced them. However, the central meaning of Pentecost for Christians is that the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus, is now present among his followers and in the world.

Acts of the Apostles 2: 1 – 21

This passage is about the first Christian Pentecost. The event as told in Acts is full of symbolism. We are told that the Spirit descended as fire and wind on the followers of Jesus who were gathered together in one place. Fire is an ancient symbol for the presence of God in the world (think of Moses at the burning bush, the pillar of fire that led the Israelites in the wilderness, and God’s descent on Mount Sinai in fire). Wind is the same word as breath and spirit in Hebrew and Greek.

The crowd hears the disciples speaking in many languages. This is not about ‘speaking in tongues,’ an ecstatic and unintelligible prayer language which Paul writes of in some detail in 1 Corinthians 12 – 14, and which is one of the gifts of the Spirit. Rather here the people in the crowd are hearing the disciples speaking in their own various languages, a point that is made twice. There is an allusion here to the story of Babel in Genesis 11, where we read that God punished the people by scattering them into different language groups, so that they were no longer one people and language. Babel gives us the word ‘babble,’ a language we don’t understand!

Pentecost, then, is the reversal of Babel. It is the beginning of the reunification of humanity (still far from being completed). Meanwhile, the Church will speak in one language, the gospel language, which will be spoken and heard in every human language. The names of the countries listed in verses 9 – 11 represent every part of the then known world, indicating the universal mission of the Church.

The Acts of the Apostles has been called the Gospel of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, the means by which the risen Christ continues to be present in the world. The Spirit that was in Jesus from the time of his baptism has returned to God but is then given to the Christian community at Pentecost. It is only through the Spirit that our Christian life and worship is possible.

Romans 8: 22 – 27

In this lyrical passage Paul considers the renewal not only of human beings but of the whole creation. Creation groans in frustration and in longing to see the new life that God will give. Christians to groan in awareness of sufferings still experienced and of hopes not yet fulfilled. The Spirit breathes God’s life within us as a sort of first instalment of what we shall be when we come to share fully in the resurrection of Christ. The Spirit gives us hope and takes our frustration and groaning and weaknesses into the mind and purpose of God turning them into life and worship.

John 15: 26 – 27 & 16: 4b – 15.

This section of the long Johannine (i.e. of John) discourse of Jesus at the Last Supper (though almost certainly a deep post-Easter, Spirit-led reflection on the meaning of Jesus and the impact of the Spirit already experienced in the life of the Church) appears rather complicated and uses the language of the court room. The Holy Spirit is called ‘the Paraclete’ (one ‘called alongside’) or ‘Advocate,’ both giving the meaning of one who supports another in difficulty. The role of the Spirit is as the helper of Christians.

The Spirit, sent by Jesus from the Father, has been called ‘the presence of Jesus in the absence of Jesus!’ The disciples grieve because Jesus is leaving them, but they will not be without him for long. The Spirit will bring him back to them in a more powerful way. The Spirit deals in truth. He will teach the Church and will help Christians to live out the teaching of Jesus. The Spirit is the witness to Jesus, a witness that will involve challenging the world to have a right judgment and understanding in both spiritual and moral issues. The Church is also to testify, to live the life of Jesus, telling his story, in confidence that they are not working alone but in the Spirit’s power and influence.

Almighty Father, send your Holy Spirit to turn our words into prayers and our seeking into finding, to turn our darkness into light and our falseness into truth, to bring order out of chaos and love out of hatred, to change contempt for the ‘different’ into reverence for all your children. Lord, you are our help and our salvation.

Lord God, you opened for us the way to eternal life when Christ your Son was taken up to glory, and your Holy Spirit came to enlighten your Church. Grant that, as we share in so great a gift, our faith may grow ever stronger, our serving ever more loyal.

We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Have a good Sunday, and every blessing for the coming week.

Love and prayers, John

 Reading & Prayer 20th May 2021

My friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 10:19-25

Holy and life giving Father, we thank you for your gift of love and grace which has been freely given that we might have fellowship with our Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and you our Father. Whilst we were once separate now we are joined to you; we praise your name, now and forever. May the our pouring of your Grace build our faith and our love for one another that we may honour you in our lives and witness to the the world. Amen

 Reading & Prayer 19th May 2021

How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.

1 John 3 10b,18-24

Almighty and loving God, we thank you that you have changed your hearts, that you have transformed us into your likeness and that we now live to please you.

We pray for your Holy Spirit to continue to show us how to love and care without limit. May we have a generosity of heart and spirit that sees and meets the need of those around us who have less. Amen 

 Reading & Prayer 18th May 2021

Jesus  called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me."

Mark 8:34

Lord God, we thank you for the precious life of Jesus. We have heard the good news and believe. Send us your Spirit that we may have the strength and courage to follow in the Way, for of ourselves we are weak. Show us daily how to take up our cross and live a life worthy of our calling. Our lives have been changed for ever and our desire is to be transformed more and more into the image of our Lord Jesus Christ, help us to be all that you would have us to be we pray. Amen

 Reading & Prayer 17th May 2021

Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.

Preserve my life, for I am devoted to you; save your servant who trusts in you.

You are my God; be gracious to me, O Lord, for to you do I cry all day long.

Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call on you.

Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; listen to my cry of supplication.

In the day of my trouble I call on you, for you will answer me..

Psalm 86 : 1-7

Lord God, in you we trust. We come to you with all our needs knowing that you alone understand completely. 

We come in our weakness.

We come in our pain.

We come in our plenty. 

We come in our need.

We come in our sadness. 

We come in our joy.

Father of all we bring ourselves to you, may we abide in your presence forever. Amen 

 Reading & Prayer 15th May 2021

The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account.

Hebrews 4:12-13

Father God, we give thanks for your precious word to us for it brings us life and health. Open our hearts Lord that we may receive it and live aright. We pray that it may reach the far corners of the world and all may have the opportunity to know more of you. For all who teach and preach may your Holy Spirit inspire and lead them for your Word will not return void. Amen

14th May 2021

I am writing this on Thursday, Ascension Day, so especially as we are not holding a service I will begin with a reflection for the day.

Our speech is enriched by the use of the metaphor. In fact, we can hardly speak without using metaphors in almost every sentence. Metaphors are not optional extras; they go to the very heart of our communication.  

The Bible is full of metaphorical language, although it is not always easy to distinguish when words or passages are claiming to be actual historical happenings or when they are using the language of metaphor to enhance their message. Jesus taught almost exclusively in parables, which are themselves metaphorical accounts – their truth is in their meaning rather than the literal words of the story.

One of the commonest metaphorical words is ‘up’ when we mean better, and ‘down’ when we mean worse. The psalms especially have a wonderful time with these. 

For example:

God has gone up with a merry noise;

Let God arise, and let his enemies be scattered.

The floods have lifted up their voice.

My horn shall be exalted like the horn of the unicorn.

The high point of the career of Jesus, his life, death and resurrection, is called his ascension, which is traditionally celebrated today, the 40th day of Easter, though nowadays commonly transferred to the following Sunday. The final ten days of the Easter Season are known as Ascensiontide, taking us to Pentecost, the 50th and final day of Easter.  

The two stories of the Ascension (Luke 24 and Acts 1) are not trying to tell us that heaven is situated so many thousand feet above the surface of the earth (as a friend of my father once thought and was rather concerned when manned space flights began!) Ascension is itself a metaphor, stressing that Jesus has gone on to a higher form of existence. The accounts of the Ascension given to us by Luke are pictorial and metaphorical, what we may also call parable. He is using such language because in truth, no other language will do to stress that his Lord and ours has entered the heavenly realm, the realm of the Spirit, and has been invested with dominion, power and glory, and that now, the way to God had been opened up to humanity.

The Ascension also stresses that the risen and exalted Christ remains with us through the Holy Spirit, and that we who trust and follow him are raised to a higher and better life in this world, with a destiny above anything we can imagine when our time on this earth comes to an end. Christ came down to earth by being born and living a human life. In him, God has fully identified with our humanity. In him, God raises us up to share life with him, now and for ever.

Christ’s continuing presence through the Spirit, means that he walks with us and actually lives in us. It is simply up to us to accept and engage with him. With him we are never alone and can live with joy and confidence even when life is particularly challenging.  

Readings for the Seventh Sunday of Easter (the Sunday after Ascension Day)

Acts of the Apostles 1: 15 – 17 & 21 – 26

Following the fall of Judas Iscariot a new twelfth apostle, someone with a long association with Jesus and a witness to the resurrection was required to complete the apostolic circle. This group would represent a new spiritual leadership within Israel – twelve apostles for the twelve tribes. The final choice between two suitable candidates is decided by prayer and by the casting of lots, thus sustaining the conviction that the Lord himself must choose, and avoiding any unhealthy appearances of favouritism or envy.

1 John 5: 9 – 13

Like the Gospel of John (written from within the same ‘school’ but probably not by the same hand) this epistle summarizes its purpose at the end.  The twin emphases are faith and love to nurture the readers in the eternal life of Jesus Christ here and now.  With pressures from outside and within the (Johannine) church, the writer wishes to assure and confirm the people in the essentials of the faith and of authentic Christian living.  A church that grasps the love of God in Jesus will be solid in its hope.  Its love will be warm and its assurance clear.

John 17: 6 – 19

‘Holy One of God’ (6: 69) he consecrates himself and intercedes to consecrate his disciples in the truth of God’s word for their mission (v.19).  Jesus prays for the disciples whom he has called and who will continue his work on earth, being sent into the world as Jesus himself was sent.  The prayer is that they will experience unity, joy, and also protection from evil.  They are not to be detached from the world (meaning people and their ways), rather they are to be fully involved with it but to be different, distinctive, committed to God and to God’s way for living.  As Christians today reading this, we are to see ourselves as in their company and to live accordingly.

A prayer for Ascensiontide

Blessed are you, Lord of heaven and earth, to you be glory and praise for ever.  From the darkness of death you have raised your Christ to the right hand of your majesty on high.  The pioneer of our faith, his passion accomplished, has opened for us the way to heaven and sends on us the promised Spirit.  May we be ready to follow the Way and so be brought into the glory of your presence where songs of triumph for ever sound:  Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Blessed be God for ever.   

(From ‘Common Worship’ -  introduction to Morning Prayer on Ascension Day)

 Reading & Prayer 13th May 2021

Jesus said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; and they were continually in the temple blessing God.

Luke 24:44-53

Almighty and life-giving Father, we thank you for the life, death, resurrection  and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ. We thank you that we have been given to share all that he was and is. In the power of the Holy Spirit send us out to proclaim your gospel of love, forgiveness and new life Amen

 Reading & Prayer 12th May 2021

Jesus said to the disciples “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

John 16:12-15

God of all we praise you as Father, Son and Holy Spirit; the triune God who loves us without measure. May our ears and hearts be always open to hear your quiet whispering to our spirit, the promptings through your Holy Word and the good and prayerful counsel of our sisters and brothers in the Lord. Let the seed of your word grow in our lives and be fruitful for your names' sake. Amen

 Reading & Prayer 10th May 2021

Get wisdom; get insight: do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.

Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you.

The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever else you get, get insight.

Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honour you if you embrace her.

She will place on your head a fair garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.

”Hear, my child, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many.

I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness.

When you walk, your step will not be hampered; and if you run, you will not stumble.

Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life.

Proverbs 4:5-13

Almighty God, thank you for your wisdom that keeps us desiring more of you, learning the ways of righteousness and keeps us from falling. Our lives are yours and we want only of you; write your words of life on our hearts that we might be a testimony to your love and faithfulness to us. Amen

 7th May 2021

We are reaching the climactic point of Easter in our Sunday liturgies where the joyous impact of the resurrection of Christ begins to give way to his continuing and more powerful presence on earth through the Holy Spirit. The readings are as follows:

Acts of the Apostles 10: 44 – 48

Although it is largely lost on us today, we cannot emphasize too strongly how big an issue was the divide in the earliest days of Christianity between Jew and gentile. The first Christians, like Jesus himself, were all Jews. Jesus, in spite of his openness to non-Jews and foreigners, understood his message of the kingdom of God initially at least to be for his own people. Christianity began as a Jewish renewal movement. At Pentecost (see Acts 2) the Holy Spirit came down upon the gathered disciples of Jesus, and then, the pilgrims who heard Peter’s speech and his promise that they too would receive the Holy Spirit if they repented and were baptised were all Jewish (or converts to Judaism), whether residents of the Jewish homeland or from abroad.

But here, in today’s reading, there is a ‘second Pentecost.’ A group of gentiles in the heart of the Jewish homeland are received into Christian fellowship after Peter is called to visit them. In fact, the Spirit interrupts Peter’s address to them and ‘falls upon’ the household of Cornelius, the Roman centurion, where this encounter is taking place. We are given the clear message that it is the Spirit who is admitting these people to the Church rather than Peter. The Jewish Christian believers who had accompanied Peter are said to be astonished that gentiles could receive the Holy Spirit too! In the power of the Spirit, Gospel preaching and sacrament, faith and fellowship all come together. This event and more would eventually transform the other apostles and Jewish followers of Jesus.

If we are tempted to think that this division between Jew and gentile is purely an ancient one and has no bearing on the Church of today, we need to remember that it has not been long since, in some parts of the Church, segregation existed along racial lines. So-called Christians, at least those with the power, simply followed the norms of their secular conditioning and culture and were presumably unable to understand the inclusive message and meaning of the gospel. We have to take care to ensure that all who accept the gospel of Jesus Christ are able and welcome to belong to our fellowship and enjoy our friendship.

1 John 5: 1 – 6

This passage summarises the central theme of the letter. Love is a sign of God’s life at work within the Christian community. Those who have faith in Jesus as the Christ and Son of God are born of God. As God’s children they love one another, for love for God and for God’s children go hand in hand. This is what is meant by keeping the commandments.

John’s community had experienced some tense relations with outsiders (for example, see 3: 13). But when Christians face opposition their response must be their faith and love which enable them to respond with gentleness and care. This is to ‘conquer the world,’ because faith and love offer a genuine alternative to anger and bitterness. Those who believe (trust, follow, and live in and for) Jesus make such a victory not only possible but natural.

Jesus came by water and blood (v.5), which presumably refers to his baptism and his cross. These are remembered and celebrated in the two principal sacraments, Baptism and Eucharist, through which the Holy Spirit testifies to the loving, serving and sacrificial life and death of Christ. The Church, nourished by the Spirit, the water and the blood is equipped to live the life of Christ in the world.

John 15: 9 – 17

In this long final discourse, the message of love between the Father and the Son, between the Son and his disciples, and between the disciples themselves, is magnified. Jesus’ own self-giving love is the pattern for the Church. By following his instructions and modelling their lives on him, the life of Christ on earth will continue and be fruitful. The peace, love, and joy that Jesus passes on to his disciples, his friends, will sustain the Church in a hostile world. As we look at our own lives, the life our local churches, our denomination or tradition, our world-wide Christian community, and the challenges of today’s world, how do we respond to this primal message of the gospel? How well are we doing!?

It is important that we keep the teaching of Jesus and today’s message in particular at the forefront of our thinking, praying, and doing as we live the Christian life, allowing the Spirit to direct our hearts. It certainly calls us to humility, and to patience and tolerance as we relate to brothers and sisters in the faith whose attitude and behaviour we may feel to be less than ideal. Indeed, reality in the form of human weakness is often less than ideal but our task must be, with God’s help, to work patiently, selflessly and prayerfully to transform that reality, always keeping an eye on our own shortcomings, and in so doing we will hopefully find ourselves transformed too.

An alternative Collect for the Sixth Sunday of Easter (slightly amended):

Risen Christ, by the lakeside you renewed your call to your disciples to serve the world in faith and love: help us and all who follow you to obey your command, that by your Spirit we may draw all people, especially those we know and relate to, to the fire of your love, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.

This Sunday begins Christian Aid Week. In our worship we will hear something of their work of service to the needy of the world, and consider an important aspect of the outworking of today’s message which includes our call as Christians to serve and pray for those in particular need throughout the world. It is also Rogation Sunday, providing a related opportunity to pray for our planet and its resources and renew our commitment to reverence and care for the creation, this visible sign of the presence and love of God.

 Reading & Prayer 6th May 2021

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,

for in you my soul takes refuge;

in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,

until the destroying storms pass by.

I cry to God Most High,

to God who fulfils his purpose for me.

He will send from heaven and save me,

he will put to shame those who trample on me. Selah

God will send forth his steadfast love and his faithfulness.

Psalm 57: 1-3

Almighty God and Father, you are our refuge in times of trouble and it is you alone who preserves our lives; we give you all our thanks and praise. All that we have and are is by your favour, may your purposes for our lives be fulfilled and all glory be given to you. Amen

 Reading & Prayer 5th May 2021

To you then who believe, Jesus is precious; but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the very head of the corner,” and “A stone that makes them stumble, and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.  But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

1 Peter 2:7-10

Father Almighty, in compassion you found us and called us into your light. We praise and thank you for you endless love and care for us. May the light you have given us shine brightly in the world, leading others to know and love you too. As a Holy people let our lips, our actions, our very lives be honouring to you. Transform us we pray, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to be all that you would have us be for your Glory. Amen 

 Reading & Prayer 4th May 2021

We do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies. For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you..

2 Corinthians 4:5-12

Father Almighty, we praise and thank you that you sent Jesus to walk among us, to show us your Holy ways, giving us the blueprint for living and proclaiming your Gospel of love and salvation. Though we are weak, in you we are strong and your Word in us is mightier than any sword. Give us Grace to persevere in the life you have called us to and keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. May the treasure contained within us shine through our 'clay jar bodies' as a bright light in the darkness. Amen

 Reading & Prayer 3rd May 2021

Jesus said, They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me. “I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.

John 14:21-26

Father God, we give our thanks and praise for all that Jesus was, and still is today. Thank you for the Holy Spirit who teaches, encourages and inspires us. Forgive us when we fail to hear and listen to his voice or even deliberately choose to to disobey him. May we never be a stumbling block to others but rather a reflection of you, the living God in our lives. Come Holy Spirit and fill our lives.. Amen 

 Reading & Prayer 1st May 2021

The Lord looks down from heaven; he sees all humankind.

From where he sits enthroned he watches all the inhabitants of the earth—

he who fashions the hearts of them all, and observes all their deeds.

A king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.

The war horse is a vain hope for victory, and by its great might it cannot save.

Truly the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.

Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield.

Our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.

Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.

Psalm 33. 13-22

Father God, we worship your Holy name, for you are our strength and redeemer.We are but frail but we put our trust in you and in your great mercy, for we know that without you we can do nothing.Let all our endeavours be worthy and acceptable in your sight, as we humbly call upon you to direct and guide us in this life's journey. Protect and keep us and cause us to be a shining example of your Grace in our lives. Amen