A Praying Church

The Spirit comes so that justice and love may reign among the people” 

Nehemiah 5.15
‘But out of reverence for God I did not act like that.’

Pentecost

At the weekend there was a huge celebration across all Christians in the world. We celebrated Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit, the creation of the church through the breath of the Spirit’s life. And the symbols that represent the Spirit are many: fire; breath; water; a dove; a wolf that comes in the night.
I was part of a group discussion at the weekend that talked about Bible verses we remember throughout our lives, acknowledging too that it is harder to remember them as you get older! One of the group members, someone who clearly lived his faith, said that he had carried the Nehemiah verse above in his heart since childhood. We don’t do things that are of the world because we are called to be different.
But what do we do when we see injustice, sorrow, sin, acts of violence against people because of the colour of their skin? What is the ‘different’ act in that?
So we also looked at the passage in James 1.22 where James admonishes us to “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
It’s not hard to discover what the word says to us. The New Testament is full of examples of Jesus reaching out to heal, to forgive, to provide food, water, wine for people and most of all to provide spiritual food for their real hunger.
We need to read the Bible, but most of all we need to ask for the Holy Spirit’s inspiration and help to live, truly live it, so that when people look at the things we do they say “they were different, they did follow God’s word”

We need not search for God, He is here, He is our Father, in our suffering and our troubles.

Where can you find sustenance and joy this week:

St Christopher’s runs Sunday Services from this church using Zoom – come and join us
https://www.stchristopherschurch.org.uk/whats-on/virtual-sunday-services-10am

Try out some of the many other ministries online. There’s the interesting series on BBC One “Sunday Morning Stories” including an episode about calling God ‘she’- have a listen with an open mind!: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/m000j4vx/sunday-morning-stories

This week we are praying for…
The schools in our community beginning to take children back into their classrooms and the children and parents as they take this first step again for the first time in a long while – God bless and keep you

All the healthcare professionals in our community and our country, that they may be kept safe and well, especially our congregation member Kate, and everyone working at The Groves Hinchley Wood for the care of us all – God bless and keep you.

The vulnerable in our community that they can join in activities and not be left behind as the world re-opens – God bless and keep you.

The carers, parents and grandparents who care for their families and long to be together again as before – God bless and keep you.

Those who are sick, physically and mentally, that the healing presence of Christ may be felt in their hearts and bring them strength and peace – God bless and keep you.

There are many ways to be with God right now that don’t need a minister to mediate – you are His child and He loves you.
“My Father is always working, and so am I” John 5.17

Psalm 119 97-112

Oh, how I love your law!
I meditate on it all day long. 
Your commands are always with me 
and make me wiser than my enemies. 
I have more insight than all my teachers, 
for I meditate on your statutes.
I have more understanding than the elders, 
for I obey your precepts.
I have kept my feet from every evil path 
so that I might obey your word.
I have not departed from your laws,
for you yourself have taught me. 
How sweet are your words to my taste, 
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
I gain understanding from your precepts; 
therefore I hate every wrong path.
Your word is a lamp for my feet, 
a light on my path. 
I have taken an oath and confirmed it, 
that I will follow your righteous laws.
I have suffered much; 
preserve my life, LORD, according to your word. 
Accept, LORD, the willing praise of my mouth,
and teach me your laws.
Though I constantly take my life in my hands,
I will not forget your law. 
The wicked have set a snare for me, 
but I have not strayed from your precepts. 
Your statutes are my heritage forever; 
they are the joy of my heart.
My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end.

Rest in peace:

We remember in our prayers the souls gathered home to You, loving Father.
“Thou with Christ and Christ with me
And so together still are we.
We give them back to You,
dear Lord, who gave them to us.
Yet as You do not lose them in giving
So we have not lost them by their return
Not as the world gives do You give
O Lover of Souls.
What You gave You do not take away
For what is ours is ours always, if we are Yours
And life is eternal, and love is immortal, and death is only an horizon
And an horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight
Lift us, Strong Son of God, that we may see farther.”

Remembering:
Maureen Price, our loved friend and member of our congregation
The Reverend Peter Holmes, vicar in Norbiton, who worked for God’s loving purposes for the homeless and all those in his parish
Anthony Symonds, loved of his family and friends in our community of Hinchley Wood

George Floyd, killed unjustly in Minneapolis, may the Lord wipe away his tears and bring justice and mercy to his family, his people.

“The night is nearly over, the day has drawn near” Romans 13:12
 

Prayer Resources week by week:

This week we are listening to services with music at Wells Cathedral:

Listening to Rev Daniel :

https://stjohnsdixie.com/church/

WE ARE CELEBRATING PRIDE MONTH – GOD’S LOVE IS REAL AND FOR EVERYONE UNDER THE SUN