Daily Message


August's Daily Message

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1 August 2020Rector’s Daily Reflections: No. 94 Friday 31st July 2020

Thought for Today

Earlier this morning, before it got too hot, I thought I would go for a walk around the village. On my return, as I was passing the church, I was stopped in my tracks. What had done this? It was something I saw. And what was it that I saw?

In some ways, is was a very familiar sight – the church building, the tombstones, the brick wall, the old tiled roof. But there was something about the early morning sunlight which transformed the scene. The sunlight brought out all the varied textures and colours – all the different greys and greens of the lichen on the tombstones and the pinky browns of the brickwork.

It was a joy to behold the variegated colours and textures. The colours of our modern world are often bold, even brash. This was the complete opposite. If colours and textures can communicate feelings, this morning’s scene spoke of gentleness and the slow and careful passage of time.

It brings to mind a poem by the 19th century priest and poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins, called Pied Beauty. Perhaps you know the poem. The first lines are: “Glory be to God for dappled-things - For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim”, and the poem continues in similar vein. It finishes with an expression of thankful praise to God, who “fathers-forth” all this beauty.

Perhaps you, too, feel God’s touch in the sheer beauty of the natural world; or perhaps you feel it in the warmth of love shared between friends and family members; or perhaps you experience it in the excitement we feel over plans for a better future.

God is at work in our lives a myriad and one ways. I wonder where we feel God’s touch today?

Prayer for Today

Lord, help us to recognise your gentle touch in our lives,
the gentle touch of your love and compassion,
your mercy and your peace. Amen.
2 August 2020Rector’s Daily Reflections: No. 94 Friday 31st July 2020

Thought for Today

Earlier this morning, before it got too hot, I thought I would go for a walk around the village. On my return, as I was passing the church, I was stopped in my tracks. What had done this? It was something I saw. And what was it that I saw?

In some ways, is was a very familiar sight – the church building, the tombstones, the brick wall, the old tiled roof. But there was something about the early morning sunlight which transformed the scene. The sunlight brought out all the varied textures and colours – all the different greys and greens of the lichen on the tombstones and the pinky browns of the brickwork.

It was a joy to behold the variegated colours and textures. The colours of our modern world are often bold, even brash. This was the complete opposite. If colours and textures can communicate feelings, this morning’s scene spoke of gentleness and the slow and careful passage of time.

It brings to mind a poem by the 19th century priest and poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins, called Pied Beauty. Perhaps you know the poem. The first lines are: “Glory be to God for dappled-things - For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim”, and the poem continues in similar vein. It finishes with an expression of thankful praise to God, who “fathers-forth” all this beauty.

Perhaps you, too, feel God’s touch in the sheer beauty of the natural world; or perhaps you feel it in the warmth of love shared between friends and family members; or perhaps you experience it in the excitement we feel over plans for a better future.

God is at work in our lives a myriad and one ways. I wonder where we feel God’s touch today?

Prayer for Today

Lord, help us to recognise your gentle touch in our lives,
the gentle touch of your love and compassion,
your mercy and your peace. Amen.
3 August 2020Rector’s Daily Reflections: No. 95 Monday 3rd August 2020

Thought for the Day

Earlier today, I was driving along a lane and coming towards a bridge. I could see that there was an adult bird in the middle of the road, and so I stopped to let it get across to the other side. I then noticed that on the other side of the road was a ball of fluffy black feathers with two very long legs. It paused and then decided it was safe to cross the road. The two birds crossed safely, and I continued on my way.

The birds in question were moorhens. I rather like moorhens and prefer them to coots. I’m not sure why - perhaps it’s because I like the red and yellow of their beaks, which provides a nice contrast to the black feathers on the rest of their bodies.

I enjoy watching wildfowl. When I was growing up, for several years I lived in a village in Leicestershire. In the garden of the house where we lived, there was a large pond. My parents allowed us to get some ducks for the pond - a pair of mallards, and some Muscovy ducks. The mallards produced a brood of ducklings every year, but I think very few survived. I can’t remember the Muscovy ducks ever breeding – there always seemed to be the same number every year.

As I paused the car this morning to allow the moorhen mother and her chick to cross the road, I got thinking about the value of being able to find time to pause in the busyness of our lives. I think we all know that it’s good to pause from time to time, but sometimes it’s hard to find the opportunity to do so.

August is traditionally a time when things slow down, perhaps a time to go on holiday before the schools go back in September and the cycle of the year starts over once again. Everyone’s situation is different, and sometimes it’s just not possible to get a break. But whether you are able to get away or not, I do hope you will find the opportunity to pause – if only for a short while.

Prayer for Today

Lord, you know how much we have to do – in the middle of our busyness,
help us to find moments to pause and see afresh the beauty of your world. Amen.
4 August 2020Rector’s Daily Reflections: No. 96 Tuesday 4th August 2020

Thought for the Day

Earlier today, I was looking out of the kitchen window and saw a young deer, grazing contentedly under the boughs of an apple tree. Yes, deer are destructive pests, but even destructive pests are permitted to look cute, and this young deer was about as cute as could be.

The sight of the deer has brought to mind a piece of music written by the composer Herbert Howells. Howells was born in Gloucestershire in 1892, and is perhaps best known for his choral music, especially music written for use in church services. One of his pieces is a setting of words from Psalm 42. In the old translation, the opening words of this psalm are these: “Like as the hart desireth the water brooks, so longeth my soul after thee, O God”; and so the piece of music is known as “Like as an hart”. As you may or may not be aware, the word “hart” is simply an old-fashioned word for a deer. The psalm is a passionate expression of desire for God, and Howell’s music communicates a powerful and memorable sense of spiritual yearning. I first heard it some 30 years ago, and the piece has remained in my memory ever since.

Psalm 42 was written some two and a half, perhaps three thousand years ago. The author’s heart was heavy, and ill at ease. He feels crushed and overwhelmed and complains that God has forgotten him. And yet, at the same time, he has confidence in God’s loving kindness. In the modern translation, the opening verses of the psalm read as follows: “As the deer longs for the water brooks, so longs my soul for you, O God. My soul is at thirst for God, even for the living God; where shall I come before the presence of God?”

The author of psalm 42 was aware that he had a deep desire for God. He had a spiritual thirst, which only God could satisfy. I think most of us have a spiritual thirst within us. Sometimes we try to slake our thirst with things which aren’t God. But the thirst remains, for each one of us is made for a relationship with God, and we will not find a sense of fulfilment and purpose until we find God.

Prayer for Today

Lord, we come before you with the deepest yearnings of our heart;
Re-assure us and guide us, as we face the challenges in our lives. Amen.
5 August 2020Rector’s Daily Reflections: No.97 Wednesday 5th August 2020

Thought for the Day

I was reading something earlier today, and the words really stuck in my mind. It was a quote from a book of the Bible called the Letter to the Galatians. This letter was written by an early Christian called Paul to Christians living in an area called Galatia. In this letter, Paul gives the Galatians lots of practical teaching about how they should live their lives, including the following advice: “Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfil the law of Christ”. It was this piece of advice which I came across in my reading earlier today.

What a good piece of advice! Sometimes we can be tempted to think that we can bear our burdens by ourselves, and that we don’t really need other people’s help. Perhaps we’re too embarrassed to ask other people for help, or we feel vulnerable if we admit that actually we need a bit of help. But very few of us can get through life without the support of others, even during normal times. When times are unusually stressful, I think we need the support of one another more than ever. We need to share our burdens. If we try to carry them by ourselves, there is a real danger that we’ll simply collapse under the pressure.

And there’s another aspect to Paul’s advice which is worth noting. Paul gives us a picture of mutual support: we are to bear one another’s burdens. So, it’s not a case of one person saying, “here I am, I’m the completely competent professional, let me listen to your problems”. Rather, it’s a matter of human beings supporting one other in the challenges of day to day living.

And finally, I’m struck by the fact that Paul doesn’t say that we are to try to sort out each other’s problems. Rather, he encourages us to bear each other’s burdens. In other words, we are to focus on helping one another to cope with the stresses and strains which come our way. Bearing one another’s burdens comes first; practical help to try and solve problems comes later.

I wonder who is helping us to bear our own burdens at present?

Prayer for Today

Lord, give me the humility to ask for help,
and a willingness to share the burdens of others. Amen.
6 August 2020Rector’s Daily Reflections: No. 98 Thursday 6th August 2020

Thought for the Day

Would you say that you were a courageous person? And if so, what form does your courage take?

I’m thinking about courage at the moment because I’ve recently had a fascinating conversation with someone who is passionate about the well-being of their local community. They were talking about a town where, recently, a large community centre had been built. The person took the view that there hadn’t been proper consultation and the community centre in question was in fact a white elephant. So, they suggested that this brand new community centre should be demolished, and the land used for housing, the money from the housing going to provide more appropriate facilities in a different area of the town. I wasn’t in a position to judge the merits of this particular suggestion, but I was impressed by the courage and commitment which lay behind it. I think many people would have hesitated to suggest that a newly completed community centre be demolished, on the grounds that it was allegedly not fit for purpose. But it was a considered suggestion from someone who had a heart for the wellbeing of their community, and it was a suggestion that deserved to be heard.

It takes courage to voice a genuinely held opinion, which is unpopular or unusual. It takes courage to try and mend a broken relationship. It takes courage to face our worries about finances or health. It takes courage to admit that we have been wrong about something or about someone. It takes courage to show our weaknesses and our vulnerability.

And in a world which often values cynicism and a superficial glibness, it can take courage to be open about our own beliefs and values. The Bible is full of invitations to be courageous. Let me finish with one which comes at the end of Psalm 31: “Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord.”

Prayer for Today

Lord, sometimes we get frightened about all sorts of things;
Give us the courage we need, as we face the challenges of life. Amen.
7 August 2020Rector’s Daily Reflections: No.99 Friday 7th August 2020

Thought for the Day

Do you ever have those times when you feel that you want to do something to improve a situation, but feel overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the problem? We look at our own, limited resources and feel that anything we can do is frankly not going to make a tiny bit of difference. So why bother?

In these sorts of situations, it is tempting to give up and do nothing at all. But there are other possibilities.

Sometimes we assume that there’s only one way of looking at an ethical issue - only one way of judging what is a good thing to do in a particular situation In fact, there are many different ways of assessing the value of an action. Some cultures can become very narrow minded in their approach to ethics and assume that there’s only one moral yardstick. Well, there isn’t. Yes, it is perfectly permissible to judge the moral value of an action by its effectiveness: does the act in question bring about the desired result? But actions can have an inherent value, regardless of their effect. We cannot justify robbing someone simply because it is an effective way of obtaining the contents of their wallet. When we show love and care towards another person, that has value in and of itself. An act of love and care is a good thing in and of itself, regardless of whether it actually changes anything.

And sometimes we need to be open to the possibility that small actions can have surprising results. You’ll doubtless be familiar with the story of the feeding of the 5,000. A huge crowd numbering 5000 men, “besides women and children”, needs to be fed. The disciples have 5 loaves and 2 fish. The disciples would have been well within their rights to say to Jesus that it wasn’t worth bothering trying to feed the crowd with these meagre resources. But Jesus told them to give him the bread and fish; he blessed the bread and the fish; and all 5000 were fed. Small actions can make a huge difference.

So, let’s not get too dispirited when we face huge problems. There’s always something we can do.

Prayer for Today

Lord, some of the problems we face seem so overwhelming;
Help us to do what we can,
and leave the rest in your hands. Amen.
8 August 2020Rector’s Daily Reflections: No.99 Friday 7th August 2020

Thought for the Day

Do you ever have those times when you feel that you want to do something to improve a situation, but feel overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the problem? We look at our own, limited resources and feel that anything we can do is frankly not going to make a tiny bit of difference. So why bother?

In these sorts of situations, it is tempting to give up and do nothing at all. But there are other possibilities.

Sometimes we assume that there’s only one way of looking at an ethical issue - only one way of judging what is a good thing to do in a particular situation In fact, there are many different ways of assessing the value of an action. Some cultures can become very narrow minded in their approach to ethics and assume that there’s only one moral yardstick. Well, there isn’t. Yes, it is perfectly permissible to judge the moral value of an action by its effectiveness: does the act in question bring about the desired result? But actions can have an inherent value, regardless of their effect. We cannot justify robbing someone simply because it is an effective way of obtaining the contents of their wallet. When we show love and care towards another person, that has value in and of itself. An act of love and care is a good thing in and of itself, regardless of whether it actually changes anything.

And sometimes we need to be open to the possibility that small actions can have surprising results. You’ll doubtless be familiar with the story of the feeding of the 5,000. A huge crowd numbering 5000 men, “besides women and children”, needs to be fed. The disciples have 5 loaves and 2 fish. The disciples would have been well within their rights to say to Jesus that it wasn’t worth bothering trying to feed the crowd with these meagre resources. But Jesus told them to give him the bread and fish; he blessed the bread and the fish; and all 5000 were fed. Small actions can make a huge difference.

So, let’s not get too dispirited when we face huge problems. There’s always something we can do.

Prayer for Today

Lord, some of the problems we face seem so overwhelming;
Help us to do what we can,
and leave the rest in your hands. Amen.
9 August 2020Rector’s Daily Reflections: No.99 Friday 7th August 2020

Thought for the Day

Do you ever have those times when you feel that you want to do something to improve a situation, but feel overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the problem? We look at our own, limited resources and feel that anything we can do is frankly not going to make a tiny bit of difference. So why bother?

In these sorts of situations, it is tempting to give up and do nothing at all. But there are other possibilities.

Sometimes we assume that there’s only one way of looking at an ethical issue - only one way of judging what is a good thing to do in a particular situation In fact, there are many different ways of assessing the value of an action. Some cultures can become very narrow minded in their approach to ethics and assume that there’s only one moral yardstick. Well, there isn’t. Yes, it is perfectly permissible to judge the moral value of an action by its effectiveness: does the act in question bring about the desired result? But actions can have an inherent value, regardless of their effect. We cannot justify robbing someone simply because it is an effective way of obtaining the contents of their wallet. When we show love and care towards another person, that has value in and of itself. An act of love and care is a good thing in and of itself, regardless of whether it actually changes anything.

And sometimes we need to be open to the possibility that small actions can have surprising results. You’ll doubtless be familiar with the story of the feeding of the 5,000. A huge crowd numbering 5000 men, “besides women and children”, needs to be fed. The disciples have 5 loaves and 2 fish. The disciples would have been well within their rights to say to Jesus that it wasn’t worth bothering trying to feed the crowd with these meagre resources. But Jesus told them to give him the bread and fish; he blessed the bread and the fish; and all 5000 were fed. Small actions can make a huge difference.

So, let’s not get too dispirited when we face huge problems. There’s always something we can do.

Prayer for Today

Lord, some of the problems we face seem so overwhelming;
Help us to do what we can,
and leave the rest in your hands. Amen.
10 August 2020Rector’s Daily Reflections: No.100 Monday 10th August 2020

Thought for the Day

Well, fancy that – the one hundredth Rector’s Reflection. In case you are wondering, I’m going to keep writing them for the foreseeable future. So, God willing, they’ll keep on coming!

So today is the one hundredth reflection. This has brought to my mind a great hymn, which has given comfort to countless thousands of Christians since it was first written back in the 16th century. The hymn I’m thinking of is “All people that on earth do dwell”. The words of the hymn are based on an old poem which appears in the bible, known as Psalm 100. During the 16th century, a custom emerged whereby ordinary folk would sing the words of the psalms to particular tunes. This singing could take place anywhere - in the workplace, at home, in church, in large public gatherings. Particular tunes became associated with particular psalms, and so there was a tune called “Old 100th”, which was the tune normally sung to Psalm 100. It was called “Old 100th” because it was associated with the “old” translation of the psalms - there was a more up to date translation, which some people didn’t like!

“All people that on earth do dwell” is still sung today, usually to the “Old 100th” tune. Why is this? I think it is because the language is simple and profound. It goes straight to the heart of the Christian faith. It declares that God is good and that he cares for each one of us. Our response as human beings to God’s goodness, mercy and truth, is to praise him and to serve him.

The hymn helps to provide focus for our lives. Yes, we’re all busy. Yes, life is complicated and there’s a million and one things on our minds. Yes, we’re all different and the circumstances of our lives are different. Yes, we might have our doubts about aspects of religion. But when it comes down to it, there’s perhaps only the one question for us to consider: are we living our lives in a way which shows thankfulness to God for his goodness and mercy?

Prayer for Today

Lord, your goodness is all around us – give us the eyes to see it;
Lord, you care for this and every generation - help us to put our trust in you.
Amen.
11 August 2020Rector’s Daily Reflections No.101 Tuesday 11th August 2020

Thought for the Day

Today, 11th August, is the feast day of St. Clare of Assisi. Who was she? Clare was the daughter of an Italian nobleman, and she was one of the first followers of St. Francis of Assisi. She died on this day on 11th August 1253. Clare established a religious order, popularly known as the Poor Clares, for women who wish to live together in community, seeking to follow the teachings of Jesus through a simple lifestyle full of joy and prayer.
Clare was someone with a total commitment to following Jesus, and a deep faith. Christians down the centuries have been comforted and challenged by her writings.

Clare has many profound things to say about love. Take the following quote: “We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become. If we love things, we become a thing. If we love nothing, we become nothing. Imitation is not a literal mimicking of Christ, rather it means becoming the image of the beloved, an image disclosed through transformation. This means we are to become vessels of God’s compassionate love for others”.

This quote gives much food for thought. If it is true that we become what we love, I wonder what we are currently in the process of becoming? If we are completely honest with ourselves, and had to write down a list of say our top 5 loves, what would the list look like? Are our loves directed towards that which will bring life and joy, or are the things we love bringing destruction and disappointment?

And is our loving currently focussed simply on our own agenda, on satisfying our own needs and ambitions? If so, Clare invites us to a very different outlook on life. She invites us to become “vessels of God’s compassionate love for others”.

I wonder: are we allowing God’s compassionate love to flow in and through our lives?

Prayer for Today

Lord, help us to become channels for your compassionate love;
May your light shine in us,
and may your joy flow through us. Amen.
12 August 2020Rector’s Daily Reflections: No. 102 Wednesday 12th August 2020

Thought for the Day

Here’s a question for you: what would you say it means to be fully human? What does it mean to be a human being?

You may well be asking yourself why I have chosen to ask this particular question. It’s because I think there is a tendency at times of stress for us all to become less than human. At present, there’s a lot of stress around in our society. There are so many sources of stress: worries over job security; worries about finances; worries about schooling and about the fairness of exam results; worries about increasing social inequality; worries about a second wave of the virus; and worries about so much else besides. And I haven’t even mentioned the impact of Brexit and Climate Change!

To be human is to accept that we all make mistakes, that we don’t know all the answers, and that we can’t get by on our own resources - we need help from one another. To be human is to be compassionate and to work together for the common good. And to be human is to recognise our limitations.

At times of stress, it’s so easy to forget what makes us human. We can single out somebody or some group and say that they are to blame for all our problems. To do this is to dehumanise other people, at the same time as we are dehumanizing ourselves. We can impose impossible expectations on what we feel we ourselves or other people should be doing. We can be unprepared to accept that actually, none of us is perfect and all of us make mistakes.

Finally, when there’s a lot of stress around, there can be an increasing pressure to provide rapid solutions to complex issues. It’s easy to forget that one of the things makes us truly human is our brain, which enables us to tackle complexity - provided we give ourselves the time we need to think things through.

Prayer for Today

Lord, at times of stress, it’s so easy to become less than human;
Help us to accept that we all have our limitations,
and that we all need each other. Amen.
13 August 2020Rector’s Daily Reflections: No.103 Thursday 13th August 2020

Thought for the Day

A question for you: do you like snakes? What’s the longest snake you’ve ever seen?

If you are into snakes, and would like to see a seriously impressive specimen, I would recommend a visit to Blewbury, and a walk down Watts Lane. The snake in question rests along a low brick wall and has been gradually growing longer over the last few months. It has reached an impressive length. I have not measured it exactly, but my best guess is that it’s about 40 foot long.

Now, you’re probably thinking to yourself: a 40-foot-long snake? Surely, I’m exaggerating! Let me assure you, the snake in question is indeed about 40 foot long. But it’s not the usual sort of snake. It’s made out of chain of stones, each stone decorated in its own particular way. Several of the stones have a rainbow painted on them, to give thanks for the work of the NHS. At the head of the snake is a notice, which reads: “Our friendly neighbourhood snake. Be a giver, not a taker”.

Today, the church remembers Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. When we think of Florence Nightingale, we often picture her nursing soldiers during the Crimean War. But there was so much more to her remarkable life. For example, in 1860, she established the first secular nursing school in the world. She was also highly skilled in the analysis and presentation of statistical data.

Florence had an intense devotion to Jesus Christ. She was a member of the Church of England, although it is fair to say that some of her religious views would have raised a few eyebrows among her contemporaries.

Florence was someone who was a “giver, not a taker”.

I wonder: if we were to look honestly at our own lives, would we say we are givers or takers?

Prayer for Today

Lord, you have given so much to each one of us;
We ask for one more gift – the willingness to share what we have with others. Amen.
14 August 2020Rector’s Daily Reflections: No. 104 Friday 14th August 2020

Thought for the Day

Earlier this morning, I decided to do something which I hadn’t done in ages. The weather was cool and fresh, and there was some light rain. So, I thought I would take my umbrella and go for a walk in the rain. After a series of hot and muggy days, it really was a treat to feel the cool freshness of the early morning air, and hear the rain gently dripping from the trees.

As I was walking through the rain, my mind turned to one of the stories in the bible - the story of Noah and the flood. It’s found in the 1st book of bible, which is called the book of Genesis. The book of Genesis contains various stories which were important to the Jewish people, primarily because they taught profound lessons about God, and about human nature. Men and women have continued to reflect upon these stories, ever since they were first written down some two or three thousand years ago. Did the various stories have their origins in actual events that happened long ago? People have debated this question down the centuries and continue to do so.

The story of Noah and the flood will be familiar. The background is a world in which human beings are behaving badly. God decides the only thing to do is to send a flood to get rid of them all. But there is one human being who lives a good life - his name is Noah. So, God allows Noah to survive the flood - Noah’s family, together with various animals, enter a boat, which enables them to float on top of the waters. The story ends with God blessing Noah, and God’s solemn promise never again to send a flood to destroy the human race.

The story of Noah and the flood reminds us that while God is a God of Justice, he is also a God of Mercy – and his mercy always has the final say. Yes, God will punish injustice, oppression, and evil. But God is always a God of mercy; he is continually at work to bring about a new beginning, in our lives as individuals, in our communities and in our world.


Prayer for Today

Heavenly Father,
when the rain comes down, and the sky looks dark,
help us to trust in your mercy and wait for the blessings to come. Amen.
15 August 2020Rector’s Daily Reflections: No. 104 Friday 14th August 2020

Thought for the Day

Earlier this morning, I decided to do something which I hadn’t done in ages. The weather was cool and fresh, and there was some light rain. So, I thought I would take my umbrella and go for a walk in the rain. After a series of hot and muggy days, it really was a treat to feel the cool freshness of the early morning air, and hear the rain gently dripping from the trees.

As I was walking through the rain, my mind turned to one of the stories in the bible - the story of Noah and the flood. It’s found in the 1st book of bible, which is called the book of Genesis. The book of Genesis contains various stories which were important to the Jewish people, primarily because they taught profound lessons about God, and about human nature. Men and women have continued to reflect upon these stories, ever since they were first written down some two or three thousand years ago. Did the various stories have their origins in actual events that happened long ago? People have debated this question down the centuries and continue to do so.

The story of Noah and the flood will be familiar. The background is a world in which human beings are behaving badly. God decides the only thing to do is to send a flood to get rid of them all. But there is one human being who lives a good life - his name is Noah. So, God allows Noah to survive the flood - Noah’s family, together with various animals, enter a boat, which enables them to float on top of the waters. The story ends with God blessing Noah, and God’s solemn promise never again to send a flood to destroy the human race.

The story of Noah and the flood reminds us that while God is a God of Justice, he is also a God of Mercy – and his mercy always has the final say. Yes, God will punish injustice, oppression, and evil. But God is always a God of mercy; he is continually at work to bring about a new beginning, in our lives as individuals, in our communities and in our world.


Prayer for Today

Heavenly Father,
when the rain comes down, and the sky looks dark,
help us to trust in your mercy and wait for the blessings to come. Amen.
16 August 2020Rector’s Daily Reflections: No. 104 Friday 14th August 2020

Thought for the Day

Earlier this morning, I decided to do something which I hadn’t done in ages. The weather was cool and fresh, and there was some light rain. So, I thought I would take my umbrella and go for a walk in the rain. After a series of hot and muggy days, it really was a treat to feel the cool freshness of the early morning air, and hear the rain gently dripping from the trees.

As I was walking through the rain, my mind turned to one of the stories in the bible - the story of Noah and the flood. It’s found in the 1st book of bible, which is called the book of Genesis. The book of Genesis contains various stories which were important to the Jewish people, primarily because they taught profound lessons about God, and about human nature. Men and women have continued to reflect upon these stories, ever since they were first written down some two or three thousand years ago. Did the various stories have their origins in actual events that happened long ago? People have debated this question down the centuries and continue to do so.

The story of Noah and the flood will be familiar. The background is a world in which human beings are behaving badly. God decides the only thing to do is to send a flood to get rid of them all. But there is one human being who lives a good life - his name is Noah. So, God allows Noah to survive the flood - Noah’s family, together with various animals, enter a boat, which enables them to float on top of the waters. The story ends with God blessing Noah, and God’s solemn promise never again to send a flood to destroy the human race.

The story of Noah and the flood reminds us that while God is a God of Justice, he is also a God of Mercy – and his mercy always has the final say. Yes, God will punish injustice, oppression, and evil. But God is always a God of mercy; he is continually at work to bring about a new beginning, in our lives as individuals, in our communities and in our world.


Prayer for Today

Heavenly Father,
when the rain comes down, and the sky looks dark,
help us to trust in your mercy and wait for the blessings to come. Amen.
17 August 2020Rector’s Daily Reflections: No. 104 Friday 14th August 2020

Thought for the Day

Earlier this morning, I decided to do something which I hadn’t done in ages. The weather was cool and fresh, and there was some light rain. So, I thought I would take my umbrella and go for a walk in the rain. After a series of hot and muggy days, it really was a treat to feel the cool freshness of the early morning air, and hear the rain gently dripping from the trees.

As I was walking through the rain, my mind turned to one of the stories in the bible - the story of Noah and the flood. It’s found in the 1st book of bible, which is called the book of Genesis. The book of Genesis contains various stories which were important to the Jewish people, primarily because they taught profound lessons about God, and about human nature. Men and women have continued to reflect upon these stories, ever since they were first written down some two or three thousand years ago. Did the various stories have their origins in actual events that happened long ago? People have debated this question down the centuries and continue to do so.

The story of Noah and the flood will be familiar. The background is a world in which human beings are behaving badly. God decides the only thing to do is to send a flood to get rid of them all. But there is one human being who lives a good life - his name is Noah. So, God allows Noah to survive the flood - Noah’s family, together with various animals, enter a boat, which enables them to float on top of the waters. The story ends with God blessing Noah, and God’s solemn promise never again to send a flood to destroy the human race.

The story of Noah and the flood reminds us that while God is a God of Justice, he is also a God of Mercy – and his mercy always has the final say. Yes, God will punish injustice, oppression, and evil. But God is always a God of mercy; he is continually at work to bring about a new beginning, in our lives as individuals, in our communities and in our world.


Prayer for Today

Heavenly Father,
when the rain comes down, and the sky looks dark,
help us to trust in your mercy and wait for the blessings to come. Amen.
18 August 2020
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