When God smiles, our night is turned to day.
When God smiles, our night is turned to day.
Shorter days and darker mornings tell us that the Season of Advent, Christmas and New Year are near.
We are waiting, at St Giles to hear news of the new man or woman who the Lord will send as our new Spiritual leader. We wait in hope.
Waiting is often the last thing, any of us like to do, in any context.
But if we hold our times of waiting alongside the many centuries, that the Lord’s people waited in prayerful hope for the coming of Jesus our waiting pales into insignificance.
Soon the Christmas Tree will arrive, in time for the Schools’ Carol Services, many hundreds of small feet will visit and little angel voices sing out carols learnt. Cheerful, smiling faces will brighten wintry waiting days.
There is something about being together in friendship that warms the coldest day, and shortens the longest waiting one. Christian Friendship and Fellowship is to be wrapped around in the love, peace and joy of Christ.. all who have waited patiently for His knock on the heart’s door and have opened it to let Him in know this we don’t wait alone, we wait with Christ, and we cannot be disappointed Christ Himself leads us, sustains our patience, blesses our perseverance, leads us joyfully from one joy to another.
For us, who believe it is Christmas and Easter Morning every day.
“All scriptures written so long ago were written so that we learning perseverance and the encouragement which the scriptures give, should have hope. Now the God of all perseverance and encouragement give us all the same purpose, following the example of Christ Jesus, so that we may together give glory to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with one heart.”
Posted for all who wait in hope…
Prayer adapted from Romans 15. 4=6 .
Reading through the Gospels, I am always impressed by the dignity and strength of the Lord Jesus in the many situations He found himself in. Jesus did not go out of His way to find trouble. Trouble found Him! On one occasion the people of His home town of Nazareth were ready to throw Him over a cliff! (Luke 4:29) other times, other places, some were ready to stone Him. He never backed down, somehow our Lord walked away – He didn’t run, He walked away until that night in Gethsemane’s Garden when He gave Himself up into the hands of His enemies. The Lamb of God gave Himself up as a ransom for many.
In Peter’s second letter, we are urged to keep faith with our Lord, not to be afraid, not to turn away from following Jesus, and keeping the commandments of God, to be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless.
“And consider that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation” (2 Peter 3:15)
In myself I am far from patient. I don’t find it easy ‘not to be angry‘ with some of the things which happen in the world. Stories of cruelty and abuse make me so angry, but then I remind myself that my Lord Himself said “Woe to those by whom offences come,” Remember, “it would better for him if a millstone were hung about his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that He should offend one of these little ones.” (Luke 17. 2). So often I am offended, cruelty, abuse of any kind, the betrayal of trust, foul language. Don’t those things just make us want to shout out!
And into just such a world as this the Lion of Judah, the Root of David came … He to who all judgement is given (shouldn’t we just quake in our boots, a little at that?) He lived amongst us, quiet, gentle as a lamb, wise as the serpents He trod underfoot every day, harmless as a dove.
I love this photo of a Magnificent Lion quietly taking his ease, look at what his naughty daughter, baby lioness is up to! Now who would dare to chew a lion’s tail? The Lion of Judah is symbolic of the mighty strength of God, I marvel just marvel at His patience, His long-suffering…. but know one day the books will be opened.
Revelation 5. Verses 2, 4,-6, 9 (NKJV)
“And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne, a scroll written inside and on the back sealed with seven seals.
I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it.
But one if the elders said to me, “Do not weep, “Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”
And. I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four Living creatures, and in the midst of the elders stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth.
And they sang a new sing, saying:
You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals;
For you were slain, and have redeemed us to God be Your Blood”
We are coming to the end of a hot, dry summer, the soft, gentle rainfall of the last few weeks was welcome. Grass, dried as yellow straw, now starts to revive, but already the churchyard trees have shed many leaves and the thoughts of many friends will be on taking up where they left off, as holidays and seasonal breaks end.
The Hydrangea in the front garden is now fading, its blooms dusty.
Everything, loses its beauty in time. But also in time fresh new, wonderful things appear to take their place. In just a little time the gardeners will be hiding new bulbs and seeds for Spring, as treasures in the earth to be rediscovered after snow and frost. But first Autumn.
St Giles of Provence, the Saint for whom Rowley’s Parish Church was named is remembered on the 1st September. In his story Giles had a friendship with one special hind whom he loved and protected to his own hurt, the ending of his story tells us that the Lord is able to heal our hurts and use them for good.
1st September to 4th October is Creation-tide, St Francis of Assisi being remembered on the 4th October. Creation-tide and St Francis who delighted in creation and Lady Poverty bring to mind the responsibility mankind has towards all living things, the earth, the seas, all created things.
From both St Giles and St Francis we can learn the lessons of love, of kindness and generosity, but they themselves learned them from our Heavenly Teacher.
“Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God.” (Luke 12. 6)
Yes, I know the Lord Jesus uses this to show how precious His children are to our Heavenly Father, but what earthly Father does not show his love and delight when little hands take their breakfast crumbs to feed the birds, or save a little of lunch to give them.
Marian and Brian keep a large storage box on the lady chapel steps so that we can put in our gifts to Loaves n’ fishes Food Bank – some can put in more than others; that does not matter – like the widows mite, and the cup of cold water given to one of Jesus’ disciples (Matthew 10:42).. a tin of baked beans, a block of chocolate are noticed in Heaven when they come with love from a poorer person just and count like a whole shopping bag full from a richer one, and all have a reward, no act of kindness and love goes unnoticed.
May your last days of Summer and Creation-tide be blessed as God reveals to your heart the treasures and riches of His Father’s heart. Delight in everything His hand has made and given.
“Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful, nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
Give me my scallop-shell of quiet
My staff of faith to walk upon,
My script of joy, immortal diet,
My bottle of Salvation,
My gown of glory, hope’s true gage,
And thus I’ll take my pilgrimage.
(Sir Walter Raleigh [1552~1618]}
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”
I read the words on a favourite paperweight and reflect on the thousands of feet which have set out on the pilgrimage of faith in the 800 plus years that a church has stood on top of Rowley’s hill, The year Walter Raleigh was born the first church building was already more than 300 years old, that church numbered amongst its worshippers, Isabella, cousin to Henry VIII, so amongst those thousands of feet, at least one pair of noble feet, but mostly those pilgrim feet were humble feet, farmers, cottagers, then miners, quarry workers, nailers and chain makers; fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters; not many wealthy or wise; but all determined to be a pilgrim for Christ.
The Prayer Desk waits quietly for the next Priest in St Giles long history to take up the list of names and pray for today’s pilgrims and those who will come put on gospel shoes and take the one step that begins a journey of a thousand miles.
But before that one, first step, a prayer,
“Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me, may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which Thou hast given Me: for You loved Me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24)
No one has ever taken, so I believe that one first step on the upward journey to where Jesus waits, without His prayer, He stands, always at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us.
It is the desire of the Lord Jesus that where He is, We should be where He is ~
I say Amen and pray for all the pilgrims on the road today, and the ones who will believe because of their word, the up shoe laces before taking one step,
~~~~~ then another.
one step, then another.
I got up early one morning
And rushed right into the day;
I had so much to accomplish
That I didn’t have time to pray.
Problems just tumbled about me,
And heavier came each task.
“Why doesn’t God help me?
He answered, “You didn’t ask.”
I wanted to see joy and beauty,
But the day toiled on grey and bleak.
I wondered why God didn’t show me,
He said, “But you didn’t seek.”
I tried to come into God’s presence,
I used all my keys at the lock.
God gently and lovingly chided,
“My child, you didn’t knock”
“Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.”