Tag Archives: God

Coming Near

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near;  repent, and believe in the good news.”  Mark 1:14-16 (NRSV)

 

NASA has mercifully informed us that the asteroid that is closing in on Earth, at this moment, will miss us! So it should be whizzing out into the darkness of space having ‘come near’ by next Sunday.

Continue reading Coming Near

Pleasing God – Bible Thought

 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved;[a] with you I am well pleased.”

Mark 1:9-11 (NRSV)

The famous Gold winning Olympic runner and Christian missionary, Eric Liddell says in the movie ‘Chariots of Fire’- ‘God made me to run fast. And when I run I feel his pleasure’

However, we tend to think that we can never please God. Moreover, it is somewhat wrong even to think we could feel his pleasure. But that is to cast God in the false image of a overbearing father who can never be satisfied by what we achieve or even aspire to.

Our reading today reminds us that God was pleased with Christ. And so, by implication, we too can give him pleasure when we use all that we are to be all we can be.  Since, after all, who does not delight in being a proud parent!

 

Let us pray

Lord, God

Help me be all that I can be

All that Christ wants me to be

and all that you made me

capable of being.

Indeed, let me feel  your smile.

 

Amen

 

View from a bridge

The children sat on the farm track bridge over the multi lane highway. They speculated where each speeding car was going. Being young they could only imagine happy places; exotic holidays or trips to a fun fair. After awhile they wondered to each other if this was how God saw people on their journeys. They came to the conclusion that it was.
And so when their grandfather came to collect them for their evening meal, they told him of all the enticing destinations that they imagined for the people far below. The old man smiled yet he knew many were not so bound. Some would be going home to family troubles, financial worries and fears of  illness. As they wound their way home, the children asked if the view they had from the bridge was the same as for God. ‘Not quite’ said their grandfather – ‘God seems them differently.  You see God is with them in their cars.’

Let us pray:

Lord God,
Help us not to see people from afar
But close up on their life’s journey.
Be with us as we speed through the world
And be with us pool, at our happy and sad destinations.

Amen

Writing the answer

He prayed on his knees. He prayed standing. He prayed sitting. But he had never heard the voice of God.

 

So he started to write down his prayers. At first no more than a few lines – big issues and real problems. He still heard nothing. Yet he wrote on, enjoying the confidence of pen and paper. Page after page, notebook after notebook were filled with the intimacies of his deepest thoughts and desires. But yet he sensed no answer.

Continue reading Writing the answer

Free advert for the Church

Free advertising for the Church.

 

The PR executive crossed his office to shake hands. His expensively tailored suit and designer shoes gave him an natural confidence as he guided the clergyman to a chair. Without small talk, he asked  what his firm could do for him.  ‘My church wants to mount an advertising campaign across the nation – came the hopeful reply. The advertising man  tried  to hide pity since no mainstream denomination could ever afford his fees. Best to let the pastor down gently. So he asked what exactly he had in mind. ‘OK – We thought billboards, bus signs and maybe some television advents’ . There was silence in the room as the businessman sighed and tapped on a calculator. Then he pushed it across the desk. The Minister whistled and got up to leave. He was weary from similarly unfruitful  visits to the city’s PR companies.

 

The PR  Man felt a pang of sympathy.’ Look’  – he said – ‘I have a solution for you! It’s one any Christian can afford’. The clergy man looked perplexed – what could advertise the possibility of new trust, hope and change so cheaply? ‘ What is it?’- he asked.

‘Yourself’- came the surprising reply!

 

Thought for the week – how to wait

I waited patiently for the Lord,

He turned to me and heard my cry

(Psalm 40.1)

 

When was the last time you had to wait in a queue? Well, if you are like me, you start by avoiding them in the first place. Then, if that fails, there is nothing more enjoyable than complaining to the person next to you about the time-wasting.

It seems then we have lost the art of queuing – or more precisely – queuing patiently. This isn’t really surprising as everywhere today we see ‘express’, 24-hour delivery and fast food. Information, television programmes and a multitude of other experiences are split into bite sizes so that they can be instantly delivered an even more quickly consumed.

And that’s why this verse from the Psalms is so easy to read and inwardly ignore. Since the idea of waiting patiently on any one even God is an anathema to most.

Yet, in the end, God is not to be hurried, God has his own timetable, God in Christ Jesus will act only when he is good and ready.

 

How then do we cope with this constraint on our overwhelming demand for the immediate?

 

Well, that seems to depend on the type of waiting we can discipline ourselves to undertake.

For, we can wait aimlessly as if for a bus or train. We can wait complainingly as we do at supermarket check-outs. We can even wait fearfully as we do for that letter about a test result. Yet we can also do ‘Christmas type’ waiting. You’ll remember it from childhood. You’ll remember that expectant, gleeful almost rapturous waiting that dominated our Decembers. You’ll remember, as well, the joy of the waiting’s end – when God was with us.

 

So let’s try this week to wait more patiently on the Lord. Let’s try to be more expectant that God’s timetable will eventually bring the best for us. Above all, let’s look forward to the moment when God answer us handsomely but inevitably on his cue.

 

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