Friday, 30 August 2013

Thought for the week Fourteenth Sunday After Trinity

A spirituality of politics means walking humbly with God. It is not closeted, albeit pious, immobility. It is a walk, a way of life guided by strategy, but sustained by faith, made possible by policy, but nurtured by prayer. It is a private and public acknowledgement of our utter dependence upon God, of our openness to be called upon by the authority of the poor. We are engaged in politics, not simply to ‘help’ others, but because we are compelled by justice. For us justice is not a philosophic concept or a legal definition or an ideologically adapted and approved slogan. It is, as the prophet Micah has taught us, the act of humbly walking with God.

Allan Boesak
from The Tenderness of Conscience

Luke         (14.1, 7–14)

On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the sabbath, they were watching him closely. When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honour, he told them a parable.

‘When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honour, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you,
“Give this person your place,” and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place.

But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, “Friend, move up higher”; then you will be honoured in the presence of all who sit at the table with you.  For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.’

He said also to the one who had invited him, ‘When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbours, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.’

Friday, 23 August 2013

Thought for the week Thirteenth Week after Trinity

Bent over a fist full of twigs
twice daily, sweeping.
Bent beneath a load
of wood or care.
Keeping the rules that keep
a woman bent by burdens,
spent with weeping.
A woman is bent.
Surely you meant
when you lifted her up
long ago to your praise,
Compassionate One,
not one woman only,
but all women bent
by unbending ways.
Miriam Therese Winter

Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And just then there appeared a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for eighteen years. She was bent over and was quite unable to stand up straight. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, ‘Woman, you are set free from your ailment.’ When he laid his hands on her, immediately she stood up straight and began praising God.
But the leader of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had cured on the sabbath, kept saying to the crowd, ‘There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be cured, and not on the sabbath day.’
But the Lord answered him and said, ‘You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to give it water? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?’
When he said this, all his opponents were put to shame; and the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things that he was doing.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Thought for the week Twelfth Sunday after Trinity

How we are able to put skin on the
good things like love, honesty,
truthfulness, caring, etc? No one
would ever see these words unless we
"DID" them. In the same way the only
reasons we know the words hate, hurt,
cheat, lie, etc. is because some one
did them to us, someone put skin on
them. Sound funny?
Well, that's what Jesus did. God sent
Jesus to us so we could see how great
a human being can be. Jesus loved like
no one ever loved before. Now we do
a lot of the things Jesus did like love,
serve, give, and care because Jesus put
clothes on those words for us. That's
what we mean when we say, "the
word made flesh'.
The Rev Lindy Black

Luke 12.49–56

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!
I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed!

Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided: father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.’

He also said to the crowds, ‘When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, “It is going to rain”; and so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, “There will be scorching heat”; and it happens.

You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?’

Friday, 9 August 2013

Thought for the Week 11th Sunday after Trinity

Life in all its fullness
our gift to be received,
life blessed with joy and wholeness,
too complete to be perceived.
Yet, this was won through suffering,
with pain and blood and tears,
through anger and with hatred,
with jealousy and with fear.
The evil of the cross
through his Word transformed us all,
and now we hear his voice
and his quiet persistent call.
'Come follow me, and trust me,
just put your hand in mine;
don't worry about the journey,
I will give to you all the signs...
You will not journey on your own,
I'll guide you where to go.
Just listen to me calling,
trust me and you will know.'

Luke.    (12.32-40)
Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms. 
Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks.
Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them.
If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.
But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.’

Friday, 2 August 2013

Thought for the week Trinity 10 The Transfiguration

Early in the morning, together we went
to a quiet place to think and pray,
striding out to find where we could just 'be';
a good way for us all to begin a day.
The blue of the sky, the dew on the grass,
the calm of a mountain, quiet and still;
it beckoned us up and into the mist,
the air around was clear and chill.
A place to stop to stretch the eye,
the scrub below just dots of grey;
our friend moved away to be alone,
we settled to rest as best we may.
The mist swirled round, a clammy coat,
as sleep touches our lids - a peaceful doze,
But reality called and we woke to see
our friend shining white, even his clothes!
And he wasn't alone, two men were there;
we should shelter them- the mist is cold;
Unknown were they, yet known deep in our souls,
the men looked so young, but also so old.
Then a blink of an eye and they slipped from view.
Did we dream it, or see it? We couldn't be sure.
Our friend turned round, his face serene.
He'd been touched by God and that's for sure!
Then down we went, back to the world,
to the people, the rush, the heat and the pain.
An image of heaven, all shining and bright,
to return to again, and again and again….

(Luke 9.28b–36) 
Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white.  Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.

Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him.
Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, ‘Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ Peter did not know what he said.

While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said,
‘This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!’

When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen.