Month: June 2019

Beware the Wolf is always around

Despite having no Incumbent in the Vicarage, St Giles carries on, with a number of us gathering on Wednesday mornings for a short Communion with Revd Carole Christensen or Revd. Barrie Roberts. These Wednesday gatherings are loved because they are quiet, tucked away in the Lady Chapel, under the watchful gaze of Mary and Joseph looking over the infant Jesus in his Manger bed. They are times to remember that we also are being “watched over” as we go about our everyday, ordinary lives. We are, after all the Good Shepherd’s sheep, in need of His comfort and care.

Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 7. 15-20

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves, you will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? In the same way every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that bears good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits.”

Sometimes the wolf operates from the inside, much as the serpent operated on the inside of Eden, he lies low at the back of our minds, waiting to convince us that it is perfectly alright to have a foot in both camps, one in the world and one in church. He is pretty sneaky Mr Wolf, one of his favourite lines is “Off course it’s alright to do this or that, everybody does this, these days.” Or, the one that really scares Christian folk, so much that they say nothing at all, when they see the thorns and thistles growing like wildfire, “Perhaps you ought not to think like that people will say you are a prude, worse still a bigot!”

Some Thorns and Thistles:

Jealousy, Quarrelling,

Those are probably the ones, the devil has most success with,

The Longer List: (Some really poisonous ones here) Gal 5:19-20

Fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing and things like these.

Phew!

Good Fruit (of the Spirit) 5. 22-23

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

It is of course self-control that checks our inner wolf. To exercise self-control is to be tuned in to the Holy Spirit, it is to turn up the volume to listen to the Word of God and cultivate a holy deafness to the deceitful wisdom of the world, flesh and devil.

The false prophet is sneaky, and seeks to make a profit from pedalling his tacky wares, the good prophet has no other agenda than that set by the Lord, our sanctification, blessing, our place as a good tree in God’s heavenly orchard.

O Lord our God,

Grant us grace to desire you with our whole heart;

That so desiring, we may seek and find you;

And so finding may love you;

And so loving may hate those sins from which you have delivered us;

Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


Scriptures from NRSV

Prayer: St Anselm (1109)

Photos; Upper Portion Stained Glass Window-St Giles Lady Chapel (artist Benjamin E, Warren. And Nave

Details of St Giles Services please visit our website

http://www.stgiles-church-rowley.co.uk/

The Father in the secret place

I have known just one or two people in my life, who knowing the scriptures from childhood have always persevered in keeping their ways of living as close to the scriptures as they possibly could. These would be the ones who did not use ‘planned giving envelopes’ for their weekly giving, or use Standing orders at the bank …. but gave anyway week in week out, willingly and cheerfully. They simply did not want anyone to know what they gave.

The same people could also be relied on to be generous with time spent in a quiet corner doing useful work they didn’t want praise or credit for. You may know a few people like that, but it won’t be many.

Our times are not the times of our Lord, our times are times of celebs, and the desire for at least 20 minutes fame.

Today’s Appointed Gospel Reading for Holy Communion

Be careful not to parade your uprightness in public to attract attention; otherwise you will lose all reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give alms do not have it trumpeted before you; this is what the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win human admiration. In truth I tell you they have had their reward. But when you give alms, your left hand should not know what your right is doing ; your almsgiving must be in secret, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.

And when you pray, do not imitate the hypocrites: they love to say their prayers standing up in the synagogues and at the street corners for people to see them. In truth I tell you they have had their reward. But when you pray, go to your private room, shut yourself in and so pray to your Father who is in that secret place, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.

When you are fasting do not put on a gloomy look as the hypocrites do: they go about looking unsightly to let people know they are fasting. In truth I tell you they have had their reward. But when you fast, put scent on your head and wash your face, so that no one will know you are fasting except your Father who sees all that is done in secret, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.#1


These gentle words from our wise a Teacher, instruct us, in fact, to do the very opposite to the norms of our society. He promises no prizes for self promotion, even in generous giving, eloquent public prayer, and self denial of the hungry kind. He points out, not unkindly that people who ‘like others to know what their right hand is doing’ whether in giving or service are paid in full in this life now, in other words they do these things for public applause and get it!

Whereas, the one who gives secretly does it to meet some need in the knowledge that this is a loving duty owing to our Father, and that the Father who knows all secrets knows the true prayer our hearts are praying, and He alone answers prayer.

Maybe to ‘do all for God’ is the hardest thing a Christian is called to do. Prayer is the incense offered on the Father’s altar, the precious grains of the Prayer which the angel offers is ‘purified from self interest’ – it is the best we can give. Given not for reward but in love and for love of the One who freely gives us all good things.


One thing I have asked of the Lord,

This is what I seek:

That I may dwell in the house of the Lord

All the days of my life;

To behold the beauty of the Lord

And to seek Him in His temple.

Lord, give us a heart like that of Jesus,

A heart, believing, true and clean,

A heart and secret room fit to receive our Royal Guest,

Cleanse us from all earthly desire and ambition that we may

Seek only your Throne and offer up our purest worship their

In the knowledge that it is only by the Blood of Jesus,

We can enter in to the Most Holy Place.

Amen


Flowers arranged by Carole Annetts/Vera Round (St Giles Flower Arrangers)

Prayer from St Giles Intercessions Team

#2 Reading from Matthew 6: 1-6, 16-18

New Jerusalem Bible used

And to the children He said, “Come to me”

Moms, Dads, Grandmas and Grandpas please don’t leave it to someone else to teach your little children, that they have a Father in heaven who loved them so much that He sent Jesus to be their life-long and forever Friend and Saviour. Or, that there is a book in heaven in which Ezra, the Record Keeper Angel writes the names of all who love God.

I am an older Christian, one of several children and would have loved to have owned just one little book such as these; however it was not to be, pennies were short and I didn’t get to own a bible of my own until I received my first wage packet aged 15, a small hardback bible, with pictures was bought for a few ‘shillings’

I can’t even remember where I first heard the name of Jesus, but I can remember at the age of three talking to my Father in heaven; I whispered a few words and fell soundly asleep, slept through a storm which blew a window in and showered the bed in which myself and small sister were sleeping with glass shards.. I never knew this until I woke up in my moms bed the next morning and she told the story of the nights happenings. All through my childhood, teens and adulthood I have confided in God. I do not know of any prayer which has gone unheard; even if the answer has been no, or wait awhile, I have been heard. And I have listened just as your little ones hear what you say to them, just as they place every confidence and trust in what you tell and teach them.

The very best teachers we can have are those who love us and the teacher most blessed in God’s eyes is the one who gives and plants with one of His little ones the Seed and Word of faith


Jesus has promised my Shepherd to be,

That’s why I love Him so;

And to the children he said, ‘Come to Me,’

That’s why I love Him so.

Chorus: That’s why I love Him,

That’s why I love Him,

Because He first loved me……

When I’m tempted and tried,

He is close by my side,

That’s why I love Him so.

(Hymn by Scott Lawrence


St Giles, Messy Church why not click here and see what our Messy Church Group get up to, if you live in Rowley, come and help us make a mess.

What would you ask Jesus?

#1 “So I say to you: ask and it will be given to you; search and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; everyone who searches finds; everyone who knocks will have the door opened. What father among you, if his son asked for a fish, would hand him a snake? Or if he asked for an egg, hand him a scorpion? If you then, evil as you are, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will the Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

#2 “Whatever you ask in my name I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. If you love me you will keep my commandments, I shall ask the Father and he will give you another Paraclete* to be with you for ever.”

When I look at this portion of the Caritas Window in the lady chapel, I see ‘Black Country Faces” ~ thin, angular faces as they would have been in the early 1900s when the window was painted, and, I sometimes ask myself:

What is the little boy asking Jesus for?


As we approach Pentecost Sunday, what are you asking Jesus to do for you?

What are you asking the Father for?


#3 Come , O Spirit of God, and make within us your dwelling place and home.

May our darkness be dispelled by your light,

And our troubles calmed by your peace;

May all evil be redeemed by your love,

All pain transformed through the suffering of Christ,

And all dying glorified in his risen life. Amen

#4 Lord, your Kingdom come on earth, your will be done as it is in Heaven. We ask for the heart of a little child, a heart that brings all needs and thanks to your knee; a heart that speaks the truth to you and says, sorry for what it does amiss; a heart that gazes up to your face and seeks out your approval and gaze of love in return; a heart that always knocks, but knows the door to your’s is always open. Send your Spirit Lord and claim us as your own. Amen

*Gk word means ‘advocate’ – ‘counsellor’ – ‘protector’

#1 Luke 11. 9-13, #John 14. 13-16, #3 Collect for Night Prayer Ascension Day to Pentecost (Common Worship) #4 One of St Giles Intercessions Team