From the Sanctuary
In my observations on life, I have noticed that in this pandemic, which we are currently living through, seems to have engendered many extremes in society: some folk are overly-busy and feel extended and in need of a break, whilst others are bored ‘out of their skull’ and are looking for things to occupy their time with;
some folk are fearful of, and careful about, catching the virus, whilst others live their lives with little care for others and with a feeling of invincibility (it’s only a bug and it won’t happen to me – and I don’t really care if I pass it onto others anyway).
Even the squirrels in the garden are displaying some extremes (but for reasons other than the pandemic). Some are mega-busy gathering and burying nuts for winter, whilst others have caught-on’ to the fact that climate change, and generous neighbours with bird tables, means that they don’t have to gather nuts for winter anymore – but instead they spend more time basking in what sunshine is left before winter, or chasing other squirrels up and down the trees at the back of our house.
Sometimes, it is difficult to know just how to achieve a balance in life – a balance between being busy and being under-stretched; between being careful and not being a prisoner in our own homes; between caring enough and being over-involved; between caring enough and being under-involved. Life seems to be a constant balancing act – like living on a tight-rope. Too much of anything is not healthy for our mental, physical and spiritual health. Life need to be in balance.
Too much prayer means that we do not engage with the needs of world through action, but too little prayer means we disconnect from a sense of God in our lives; too much busyness and distraction mean we get things done and achieve, yet often we are not present to those we love and for those who need us to be there for them.
Our body often tells us when we are out of balance – if we listen to it. So, listen to the wisdom of your body. Either take yourself ‘away’ from the crowds (the things that crowd in on you), as Christ did, if that is what your body is telling you to do; or engage in a more ‘other-centric’ way if you need more stimulation. For life is about balance. We need to be balanced to walk the tightrope of life – and without balance, we fall off. We are not squirrels who never fall off!
I wish you every blessing,
The Friend at Midnight
This month we are looking at the Parable of the Friend at Midnight (Luke 11:5-8). It is found in a passage where Jesus is teaching His disciples to pray.
The parable concerns a man coming to his friend at midnight and asking ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’ (5-6). Despite the hour, the rules of hospitality would mean this was not an unreasonable request.
But the friend refuses to help because everyone in his house is asleep. Jesus adds, ‘though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will rise and give him whatever he needs’. Jesus uses this parable to encourage us to come in shameless boldness to our heavenly Father with our needs. In contrast to the parable, God is not slow in responding to us. It’s not God who is reluctant to answer, but we to ask. Do we pray with shameless boldness?
Such confidence is the basis for persistent prayer: ‘Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.’ All three verbs indicate a continual habit: ‘Keep on asking…seeking…knocking’. We will not be content simply to ask once and then move on. Jesus tells us to bring our prayers to God persistently. Do we give up too easily in prayer?
‘For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.’ Do we pray expectantly, believing that God delights in answering your prayers? Why not begin this adventure of prayer today!
|What’s on in October 2012|
|Sunday 3rd||Family Service with Holy Communion led by Br Peter||11 a.m.|
|Monday 4th||Church Committee by Zoom||7 p.m.|
|Wednesday 6th||M.W.A. Meeting||1.15 p.m.|
|Saturday 9th||Lancs District Conference on Zoom||9.30 a.m.|
|Sunday `10th||Family Service led by Br John||11 a.m.|
|Tuesday 12th||Bible Study restarts on Zoom||7 p.m.|
|Sunday 17th||Family Service led by Br Peter|
followed by Congregation Council Meeting
|Sunday 24th||Family Service led by Sr Glenys||11 a.m.|
|Sunday 31st||Family Service led by Br Peter||11 a.m.|
Please note that all members should have received copies of the minutes from the Congregation Council meetings in March and July. If anyone hasn’t received these, please let Sr Sue Selby know.
Bible Study is restarting this month and our topic for discussion will be the Psalms. Notes will be made available shortly and we look forward to welcoming you back.
Fitting God in
A little girl said to her mother: “The minister’s sermon this morning confused me.” Her mother was surprised, so the little girl continued: “He said that God is bigger than we are. Is that true?” “Yes, that’s true,” the mother replied.
“He also said that God lives within us. Is that true, too?” Again, the mother agreed. “Well,” said the girl. “If God is bigger than us and He lives in us, wouldn’t He show through?”