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Readings for this week
Psalm 31: 1-5, 15-16
Prayer and Praise for Deliverance from Enemies
To the leader. A Psalm of David.
1 In you, O Lord, I seek refuge;
do not let me ever be put to shame;
in your righteousness deliver me.
2 Incline your ear to me;
rescue me speedily.
Be a rock of refuge for me,
a strong fortress to save me.
3 You are indeed my rock and my fortress;
for your name’s sake lead me and guide me,
4 take me out of the net that is hidden for me,
for you are my refuge.
5 Into your hand I commit my spirit;
you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.
15 My times are in your hand;
deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors.
16 Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your steadfast love.
14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.
The Promise of the Holy Spirit
15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. 17 This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
18 “I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. 19 In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Reflection for the 5th Sunday of Easter
Reflection on Genesis 1 v 14-19
I wonder what the most outlandish thing is you have ever done?
May be it was dressing up in fancy dress for a party? A good friend of mine dresses up for a Eurovision Song Contest Party in a national costume drawn at random. May be it was coming home from work, leaving your briefcase at the door and then running into the garden and jumping fully clothed (in your work suit) into the paddling pool with children. Yes that happened in the Jones household one summer evening much to the girls’ shrieks of laughter and Sharon’s too.
One evening at 2am Sharon and I decided to go up the white horse and lie on blanket to watch shooting stars/meteor shower that was expected that day. Whilst we waited for the shower/stars to appear we gazed up at the night sky and enthralled by the myriad of stars and planets we could see. We even saw the space station moving across the sky (it is a bright spot that moves across the sky and can be seen on a clear night with the naked eye).
As I read this week’s verses it got me thinking just how amazing the night sky is if we only take time to look up and really think about what we can see. A couple of nights ago I again went out to look at the night sky – at the moon, the stars and the space station.
As I looked up at that night it reminded me of
The Beauty and Complexity of a Creation
Everything fits so neatly and just so together. I don’t know if you have ever watched ‘The Repair Show’ – here people bring prized possessions that are broken/damaged to be restored. One of my favourite sections is when the clock and instrument repairer tackles a broken clock. He takes all the multitude of pieces and very delicately checks and repairs each individual part before putting all the intricate parts together again. Each part has a role and function to play. Without every part working as it should, the whole piece will not work. David in Psalm 8 describes the work of creation as the work of God’s fingers not his hands. Each piece has been carefully and precisely put in place with purpose and thought. In the book ‘Saying Yes to Life’ Professor Martin Rees gives the example if there was only hydrogen on earth and no oxygen then the complex structures necessary for life would not be created and evolve. Our night sky is a reminder of the complexity and beauty of Creation
How much God cares for us
The night sky can appear so vast (it would take 28 years to get to the edge of the current known universe), so awesome that it can be difficult to get our heads around the scale and magnitude of space. Yet this vastness, awesomeness is itself a reminder just how important we are to God. How much he loves and cares. Each one of us is but a speck in this vast universe, yet the God who created this amazing universe we look up and see, also cares each one of us, who are so minute in relation to the rest of universe.
In Matthew 10:30 Jesus describes how God knows and cares for us so much that He even knows the number of hairs on our head (an easy job in my case!). How amazing is it that the God who created this amazing universe we see at night cares for each one of us, no matter how insignificant we feel?
God’s love is constant
Just as the sun comes each morning, so the appearance of the Sun, Moon and Stars each night reminds us not only that does God love each one of us but that love is constant and never ending. It is always there. We may not always be able to see it (the night sky can be clouded over) but the night sky is still there. So it is with God’s love. Romans 38-39 sums it up perfectly.
…Nothing can separate us from the love of God
Ashley Jones, Licensed Lay Minister, White Horse Team