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… and consider the long suffering of our Lord

“Do not weep. Behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David has prevailed

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”

Amen.

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Peace

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

The Lord is risen, His Peace is with us, let us cherish it this Easter Day and always, from my Church, St Giles Rowley Regis, and my friends to you and yours “The Peace of the Lord with you, always”

Do you know who is calling you?

Posted from a little boat in a big ocean, by some one who loves the Shepherds voice.. and knows the Lord is faithful and true to His Word. If it is promised, He will do it. The blessings of Holy Week be with us all

Coracle And Tide

Hear what the Good Shepherd says “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring , and they will hear my voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd”How do we answer the One who died for us.

Is it yes or is it no?

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I once was lost, now I’m found

Return of the Prodigal Son (Rembrandt, St Petersburg, The Hermitage)

Possibly one of the most well known paintings and possibly one of the most well known stories in the New Testament. It comes in St Luke’s Gospel, chapter 15, immediately following the stories of the lost sheep and the lost coin.

The Parable of the Lost Son

11 Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. 13 And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. 14 But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. 15 Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.

17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’

20 “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring[b] out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.

25 “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’

28 “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. 29 So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’

31 “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. 32 It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’”

“And no one gave him anything” (verse 16)

How sad it is that Christians seem to have nothing to offer in the way of a word of witness to help today’s lost sons and daughters begin the journey back home to their loving Father.

What have we done with the Gospel treasure entrusted to us?

Buried it maybe?

Many, in these last few days have recalled, being invited and going to hear Billy Graham, many have recalled it was something he said which started them thinking differently, turned their thinking around, so that they, literally came to themselves and began their journey back home.

Billy Graham preached a Gospel of Repentance, the Old Testament Prophets preached Repentance, John the Baptist preached a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, and Jesus began his ministry (Mark 1:15) saying “The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the Gospel”

Me?

I can’t do otherwise than say, “I serve a risen Saviour who is in the world today, eager to turn hearts and minds around and bring lost sons and daughters home”

Waiting for The Carol Service

“”Once upon a time, I used to sing in the choir. In my day we wore white surplice, violet robe with ladies and girls sporting a three cornered hat. The small ones, girls and boys wore a frilly ruff and hated them!

Times change and St Giles Singers no longer sport the traditional garb, although always smartly turned out; and boys and girls no longer tug at ruffs, but the singing is angelic and I am waiting patiently for Sunday Evening’s  9 Lessons and Carols. 

This year I haven’t been able to sit in on the Singing Practices so there will be surprises, but no surprise can equal the one given  the shepherds out in the fields when the angel of the Lord showed up. Smelly Shepherds, in that day were held in as much respect as those who live on the streets today, unprepared,  ( we use that word in our Communion Service ~ “our hearts were unprepared”) wearing grubby apparel, sleeping in the open doing nothing to enhance their appearance, those shepherds were the last people expecting the Angel of the Lord, yet appear He did, together with a multitude of heavenly beings, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased” (Luke 2:14] (E.S. V)

I look forward to the Carol Service, and unprepared as I am, to seeing peace reigning on the earth.

Lord, I  pray for gentlenes, and your strength to be forgiving.  Lord Jesus  I ask for patience that I might understand and the blessing of endurance like yours to stand for all things that are just, and right, holy and good that I may know your peace and praise God aright all my days.Amen

(Image Pixabay)

All Good Things Are Worth Waiting For 

I love this window, the babe, the Redeemer reveals His Sacred Face.  I think of Mary and Joseph Waiting for Him, getting together the things a baby needs, watching and waiting.  Outside of Church and Lady Chapel the world rushes on and yet, there are some, mums and dads to be, maybe who are, even in the throes  of busyness ~ just waiting ~ whatever you are waiting for ~ we pray you are rewarded with joy. Posted with love from Rowley Church to all who will visit this coming Christmastide.

Towards Christmas

St Giles Church, Rowley Regis circa 1840

My friend Ken, often says Rowley folk have been a little careless with their churches, because we have had 4 churches on the top of the hill since 1199, that’s a long time, since before Magna Carta was signed, there has been a church on the hill, and even before the church was built a churchyard. We are coming to the end of 2017, frosty nights and mornings begin to make their presence felt and the churchyard trees are almost stripped bare; the crab apples have disappeared into squirrel larders, or maybe visiting badgers have enjoyed midnight picnics.

It seems strange, looking at this old drawing, that once upon a time, there were no trees; and so few gravestones, back in those days, Rowley was a village with very few houses, the tall building on the right, we called the ‘Mansion House’ when I was growing up – it wasn’t demolished until the early 1970s – all things change. Time doesn’t stand still, but I would like to think that tomorrow’s children will still have trees, that blue-tits, robins, woodpeckers and a friendly owl will still be around, and that the present 4th Church will still be playing host for School Carol Services, that the great tenor bell cast in Tudor times will still be calling out welcome to visitors to the Christmas Midnight Service, and that loving hands will be making a Holly Crown for the Advent Candles.

Who knows what the years may bring? It’s December 1st  and Joyce Walker is taking a winter break, dreaming a dream, that our old churchyard, and long forgotten stories will spring to new life as The Living Churchyard Project unfolds – but first the Winter,  Carols, Christmas the Snow. 

Is this really Santa?  Maybe Larry Emms, St Giles neighbour and friend knows?

“Thank you Larry, Terry, and the, so very many, more Rowley friends who came to visit the Christmas Fayre in the Church Hall – you helped raise £1679 towards keeping the children warm as they visit church over Christmas.”  ~ from The Churchwardens, (Yvonne and Jean) and the Elves.