Soul Food - 18 September
I think it is called an Indian summer isn’t it? Beautiful weather which we were lucky enough to spend with friends from the congregation who’d invited us to lunch after the morning service on Sunday.
I hope everyone at St. Peter’s felt spiritual uplift from the morning gatherings – I certainly felt very good about them. I preached about the gifts of the Christian faith which we offer to all that are willing to receive them – the free gifts of Grace; https://revmartinjacques.blogspot.com/2019/09/the-free-gift-of-grace.html
Sunday 22nd September – Trinity 14 – Proper 20
Amos 8: 4-7. My favourite prophet. He is direct and brutally frank about how God views people who treat others to whom they feel superior with contempt. He assures them that God sees all and in Christian terms we want them to see the error of their ways and repent. Swearing by the “pride of Jacob” is an unusual phrase but it is probably used to describe the land of Israel.
1 Timothy 2: 1-7. We should pray for everyone because God desires everyone to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. Here we also have a rationale for all civic services, prayers for the Queen etc. that can rankle with both catholic and protestant alike. But as social enfleshed beings we have to live in the societies in which we find ourselves and whatever we feel about the social order of the day or what we might want to defend or change, God requires that we pray for all people, and to live in peace as far as it is anything to do with us.
Luke 16: 1-13. A difficult parable to unpack but one firstly must assume that dishonesty is not being praised, but rather shrewdness or prudence. Jesus noting that in a crisis, worldly people are much shrewder that the children of light. In the “crisis” situation of the inbreaking of the Kingdom of God Christians need to be much shrewder and decisive in making positive decisions and using worldly wealth to further the aims of the Kingdom.
In a new initiative, stemming from Louise’s talk at the Dinner club we have decided to stage occasional talks on Wednesday evenings in the Peter hall at 7pm that reflect common concerns held by many people. We have three planned so far.
2nd October – Dementia. Recognising it, living with it, how to best avoid it, chances of having it etc. – Presented by Prof. Louise Jacques.
23rd October – Mental health. Keeping a healthy mind. Presented by Rev. Karen Young who is also a mental health nurse.
11th December – End of life and questions of death. A presentation we hope will be given by myself and David Boorer from Palmers funeral care offering spiritual and practical information.
Over 30 people attended our first Alpha course which started in the Peter Hall last Monday 16th at 7pm. It is a ten-week course, and each session is self-contained dealing with one particular aspect of Christianity. A great start.
The Lighter side!
· I dream of a better world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned.
And I’ll take the opportunity here to introduce what many people know is my favourite joke of all….still makes me chuckle
· 668, the neighbour of the beast
Thought for the day
Our home group subject last Thursday was Patience. Patience is a virtue as they say and also one of the fruits of the spirit. Patience and endurance are linked but not the same thing.
Patience is learned over time and most people agreed with the fact that as we get older we learn more patience or at least to be less impetuous. I agree with this fact and I have certainly learned that a quick response in the heat of the moment is often the wrong response. I have also learned that no matter how important the crisis happens to be, leaving some time and not responding straight away often leaves space for other things to happen which mitigate the situation. I think patience is an attribute of wisdom, though I demur from claiming that I am getting much wiser but as my old Granddad used to say, “There’s no point getting old if you don’t get crafty”.
The Prayer for today
Lord, teach us to be patient – with life, with people, and with ourselves. We sometimes try to hurry things along too much, and we push for answers before the time is right.
Teach us to trust Your sense of timing rather than our own and to surrender our will to Your greater and wiser plan.
Help us let life unfold slowly and teach us to savour each experience and learn the lessons behind each story.
Love and peace,