Lorgues with Fayence in the Var

Part of the Anglican Mission of the Diocese in Europe

.

image

Thursday  Lent Day 30


Read  John 11: 11-27 

Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live.’

Jesus the Resurrection and the Life

imageWhen Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha said to him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.’

Jesus hears that his friend Lazarus is seriously ill. Strangely he doesn’t rush to be with Lazarus and his sisters Martha and Mary, though they are close and deeply loved friends. When he finally arrives, Lazarus is dead and has been buried for four days.In her grief, and confusion about Jesus’ absence Martha expresses a tentative faith in God and a hope in life after death.

Jesus invites her to take a step of personal trust in him. ‘I am the resurrection and the life… Do you believe this?’ he asks.‘Yes, Lord, I believe,’ she replies.


Pause
------------------------------

Think about your faith. What tests it? What strengthens it? How does your faith deepen and grow into a personal trust in Christ?


Pray

------------------------------

Be still, be silent and, as you are able, pray with Martha: ‘Yes, Lord, I believe.’ Pray for all who in grief today reach out to God in faith and hope.



Witness

-----------------------------

Make time today for resurrection — a word, a bunch of flowers, a prayer, a visit. Offer comfort in sadness and point to Christ the source of all hope and life.





.

image

Wednesday  Lent Day 43


Read  John 18 1-27 

The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

image18 After Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas brought a detachment of soldiers together with police from the chief priests and the Pharisees, and they came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that was to happen to him, came forward and asked them, ‘For whom are you looking?’ They answered, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus replied, ‘I am he.’ Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, ‘I am he’, they stepped back and fell to the ground. Again he asked them, ‘For whom are you looking?’ And they said, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus answered, ‘I told you that I am he. So if you are looking for me, let these men go.’ This was to fulfil the word that he had spoken, ‘I did not lose a single one of those whom you gave me.’ Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter, ‘Put your sword back into its sheath. Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?’

Jesus before the High Priest

So the soldiers, their officer, and the Jewish police arrested Jesus and bound him. First they took him to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was better to have one person die for the people.

Peter Denies Jesus

Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, but Peter was standing outside at the gate. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out, spoke to the woman who guarded the gate, and brought Peter in. The woman said to Peter, ‘You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?’ He said, ‘I am not.’ Now the slaves and the police had made a charcoal fire because it was cold, and they were standing round it and warming themselves. Peter also was standing with them and warming himself.

The High Priest Questions Jesus

Then the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching. Jesus answered, ‘I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard what I said to them; they know what I said.’ When he had said this, one of the police standing nearby struck Jesus on the face, saying, ‘Is that how you answer the high priest?’ Jesus answered, ‘If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?’ Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Peter Denies Jesus Again

Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They asked him, ‘You are not also one of his disciples, are you?’ He denied it and said, ‘I am not.’ One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, ‘Did I not see you in the garden with him?’ Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed.

Soldiers seek out Jesus at night. His peace and courage are evident in the simplicity and gentleness of his words.‘I am he.’

Jesus knows why they have come. He knows also who he is. He speaks not with fearful resignation but with strength and quietness.

They are angry, anxious and armed, unsure of who he is or what they are really doing. The drama of this night begins to unfold.

Pause

------------------------------

Take time today to read the story of Jesus’ arrest and let God speak to you through it.


Pray

------------------------------

.Pray that in your journey, in the things that are going on in your life at this moment, you will know who you are; and, in that, find peace and a quiet strength.


Witness

-----------------------------

How might you ‘come forward’ and be available for those who look for you, or look to you, today?


 






.

image

Tuesday  Lent Day 21


Read  John 8:10-11


image

Jesus straightened up and said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, sir.’ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.


Jesus waits. The violent and the voyeurs wander slowly away. The tension eases, a sense of calm gradually returns.

The woman stays near Jesus. Vulnerable and unsure. Is she now at this stranger’s mercy?

Where have they gone, your judges? asks Jesus. Is no one left?
Jesus does not walk away.

He stays and sees. He waits and loves. He does not condemn.
It’s called compassion.


** Pause
------------------------------------------------------------
Where is God asking you not to walk away, but to stay and see, and love with deep compassion?


** Pray
------------------------------------------------------------
Pray today for eyes to see those around you not as objects to be judged or stereotypes to be labelled but people who are loved.


** Witness
------------------------------------------------------------
Make time today to sit with someone, waiting, listening, loving; and speak, when you do, with compassion.





.

image

Thursday  Lent Day 16

Read John 6:35-40


‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.  But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.  For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.  And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.  For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”


The crowd asks Jesus for bread that doesn’t go stale, for food that will feed the world with a life that lasts. ‘Sir, give us this bread always.’
It’s a cry we hear from different voices and in different places across the world today. Hunger is real. It’s physical, emotional, social and spiritual.
Jesus’ answer is simply to point to himself. Come to me. Come and see. Look, see, receive.
This, my life, lived and shared, is bread for the world. Listen to my words, see my signs, know my love, receive my life as your food and drink. I am the bread of life.

Pause-------------------------------------------------- ----------What does it mean to you for Jesus to be the ‘bread of life’? In what ways does he offer you something that lasts and satisfies?

Pray-------------------------------------------------- ----------Pray for all who are hungry today. Pray for those you know who are looking for something to feed their bodies or their souls.

Witness-------------------------------------------------- ----------"Look for an opportunity to invite someone to consider how the words, life and daily presence of Jesus might be bread of life for them."





.

image

Wednesday  Lent Day 36


Read  John 12 27-36 

Jesus Speaks about His Death

image‘Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—“Father, save me from this hour”? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.’ Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.’ The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, ‘An angel has spoken to him.’ Jesus answered, ‘This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgement of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.’ He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die. The crowd answered him, ‘We have heard from the law that the Messiah remains for ever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?’ Jesus said to them, ‘The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.’


The shadows lengthen. The day is coming to an end. Jesus, the light, walks into the gathering darkness, taking leave of friends and followers, taking his leave of life.

The light seems fragile and vulnerable; the darkness, powerful and inescapable. His soul, he says is troubled. Should he ask God for a way out?

The light of trust still shines in Jesus. The light is bright enough to see the path ahead and strong enough for the love and courage to walk it.

Jesus invites us, when darkness is encroaching or persistent, to look for his light and follow it.


Pause
------------------------------

What feels as if it is darkness around you, or perhaps within you? What enables you to see the light that is Christ?


Pray

------------------------------

Pray for those who ‘walk in darkness’ today – in fear or in grief, trapped or blinded. Pray that they, with you, will see the light of Christ.


Witness

-----------------------------

Make time today to bring light into a situation. Choose truth. Seek justice. Walk in love alongside someone.






.

image

Monday  Lent Day 6

Read John 2:12-16 

He drove all of them out of the temple, poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables.

Jesus Cleanses the Temple

After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother, his brothers, and his disciples; and they remained there for a few days.


imageThe Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money-changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. He told those who were selling the doves, ‘Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a market-place!’ 


Pause

In what ways can you make space for others to encounter God today? Do you possibly need to do the same for yourself?

Pray

Pray for all who find themselves pushed away when they seek to find God, especially for anyone on your heart today. Pray for the Church, that God would turn us inside out.

Witness

Make time today to create some space for somebody else. Pause long enough to notice when someone is pushed out or pushed away and do something about it.


.

image

Lent Day 2

Read John 1:6-13 

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.


Jesus, the Word through whom all creation exists becomes part of that creation, born as a baby in vulnerability. He embraces and knows all the fragility, beauty and sorrow of life.


As we look at Jesus we see how life can be when it is lived to the full – a life marked by trust and forgiveness, by prayer and faith, by goodness and grace even when things are tough.

As we receive Jesus we receive the gift of his life. Our lives, like his, shaped in every moment and each situation by relationship with God the Father. It is love which gives us life: the deep unconditional love of God who calls us his children.


Pause

Take time today to think about what it means for you to receive Jesus and the life and love God offers us through him.

Pray

Ask God for the gift of faith to open your heart to the love of God that is always open to you; and pray for all the children of God.

Witness

Make time today to live the unconditional gift of God’s love. In a relationship, seek simply to give, to love and not seek anything in return.



.

image

Saturday  Lent Day 4

Read John 1:35-42 

The First Disciples of Jesus

The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, ‘Look, here is the Lamb of God!’ The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, ‘What are you looking for?’ They said to him, ‘Rabbi’ (which translated means Teacher), ‘where are you staying?’ He said to them, ‘Come and see.’ They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon. One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his brother Simon and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which is translated Anointed). He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, ‘You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas’ (which is translated Peter).

The short first week of this Lent journey through John’s Gospel concludes with words of John the Baptist. He points to Jesus, as the one through whom there is forgiveness and peace with God, and says, Look, See, Receive.

That is, in a nutshell, the invitation of John’s Gospel. Look at Jesus. See God in him. Receive Life through him. It’s an invitation that comes to us from Jesus himself. When two of John the Baptist’s followers approached him, he didn’t give them a long essay or a list of rules, he simply said: ‘Come and see.’

That’s where our discipleship begins and ends, and it’s also the heart of our witness and evangelism. Come and look, and as you see, receive.


Pause

Take time at the end of this week, to reflect on the gift that Jesus Christ brings to your life. What words characterise, for you, that gift?

Pray

Thank God for Jesus Christ and all that is yours through him. Pray for those you know to whom God is saying: come, see, receive.

Witness


Today, try to be a visible sign of a life that is both forgiven and forgiving. It might simply be a word, or a handshake, or picking up the phone.



.

image

Wednesday  Lent Day 15

Read John 6:22-34


‘Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.’

Read - John 6: 22-34 -------------------------------------------------- ----------
When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.  Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do?  Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.” Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”
Jesus talks with the crowds about their experience on the far side of the lake and the miracle with the loaves and fishes that fed them. He reminds them of the miraculous manna which appeared each morning and fed people in the desert centuries ago: by the end of the day it was gone. It’s not all about miracles, he says. What matters is what lasts and goes on feeding you. It’s easy to look for miracles in our own situations, or for quick answers or simple solutions.Jesus offers something different: bread that lasts, truth that feeds, love that lives, life eternal.
Pause-------------------------------------------------- ----------What in your life has short-lived worth? What has lasting value? In which do you invest most time?
Pray-------------------------------------------------- ----------Pray for all who are seeking something in their lives that lasts. Pray for those you know and love, that they might find Christ to be the bread that endures. 
Witness-------------------------------------------------- ----------In a world where so much is transient, make time to do something for someone else with a lasting consequence.make time to do something for someone else with a lasting consequence.make time to do something for someone else with a lasting consequence.





.

image

Wednesday  Lent Day 22


Read  John 8: 12-15 


Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.’

Jesus the Light of the World

image

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.’ Then the Pharisees said to him, ‘You are testifying on your own behalf; your testimony is not valid.’ Jesus answered, ‘Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid because I know where I have come from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. You judge by human standards; I judge no one.

This is the second of Jesus stunning self-descriptions, the ‘I am’ sayings: I am the light of the world.Massive claims, but not overblown self-importance. Rather these seven sayings are Jesus’ invitation to see him, to come to him and to find life in him. Come, see, receive.  As we come to Jesus.

As we spend time with him, listening to his words and walking his way. So we begin to see more clearly,for he is light. In that light, we see ourselves, we see others and we see the world differently. In that light we know ourselves and we know him, and we find the darkness is banished.


** Pause

------------------------------

How might the light of Christ shine more brightly in and through your life? What can you do today to enable that to happen?


** Pray
------------------------------

Most merciful redeemer, friend and brother, may we know you more clearly, love you more dearly, and follow you more nearly, day by day. Amen.


**Witness

-------------------------------

Make time today for light. Speak truth. Pray with faith. Love deeply. Banish darkness.










.

image

Saturday  Lent Day 25


Read  John 9: 1-12 


‘The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, “Go to Siloam and wash.” Then I went and washed and received my sight.’

9 As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.’ When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, saying to him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam’ (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see. The neighbours and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, ‘Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?’ Some were saying, ‘It is he.’ Others were saying, ‘No, but it is someone like him.’ He kept saying, ‘I am the man.’ But they kept asking him, ‘Then how were your eyes opened?’ He answered, ‘The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, “Go to Siloam and wash.” Then I went and washed and received my sight.’ They said to him, ‘Where is he?’ He said, ‘I do not know.’


This week’s reflections have centred on aspects of being set free. Anger, fear and sin giving way to light, truth, love and forgiveness. For John, the great theme is sight. What makes us spiritually ‘blind’ and who enables us to see? What pushes us to live in darkness and who brings us into the light?

It is brought together in this story of the man who had been blind from birth, and the ensuing debate between Jesus and the religious leaders. The blind man, unnoticed and ignored by many, is seen by Jesus. With mud and water, through touch and love, by the power of God. Jesus heals him. He sees. We see.

------------------------------


Pause
------------------------------

What blind spots are there in your life? What might the light of Christ enable and encourage you to see?


Pray

------------------------------

Ask God to help you see, more clearly, the beauty and the needs around you, and the goodness and the muddle within you, and God in it all.



Witness
-----------------------------

Make time today to see someone, or a tricky situation, in a new way. Let God use that new perspective to help you make a difference.




.

image

Tuesday  Lent Day 35


Read  John 12 18-27 

Some Greeks Wish to See Jesus

imageNow among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’ Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honour.


Lovingly anointed in Bethany; joyfully welcomed in Jerusalem; Jesus continues on his journey, his leaving.

Some people make a request to his disciples: ‘we wish to see Jesus’. Jesus’ unexpected reply is to invite them to see God’s glory, made visible in his suffering and death.

A seed falling, dying, lets go of life – it’s a kind of leaving. Yet from that comes life. Not one solitary life reborn but abundant life, a plant giving birth to a whole harvest of fruit, with countless more seeds.

God’s glory is seen in the life of Jesus. It is also seen in the death of Jesus and the abundance of life that comes from that. Jesus invites us to see that God’s glory is similarly made visible in our own letting go.


Pause
------------------------------

Look for the signs of life around you, and reflect on the seeds which have produced it. Let God speak to you about your own life.


Pray

------------------------------

Thank God for the willingness of Christ to let his life fall to the ground, and for the life that is yours through that. Pray for all who ask: ‘we wish to see Jesus’.


Witness

-----------------------------


Plant a seed today – in your garden, in a relationship or amongst the pains of the world..





LIVE LENT Let Your Light Shine

LIVE LENT Day 1

imageToday is Ash Wednesday, a day to remember that we are ‘dust and ashes’ and to look our mortality in the face. We do so not to make us miserable or morbid. The reason is actually just the opposite. As we embrace our mortality we find freedom to take hold afresh of the gift of life.

Like Lent, the Gospel of John begins with words about life. The beautiful diverse and fragile life of creation. The personal, precious and complex life of our own existence. All this is a gift, spoken into being by God through Jesus, the Word.

The life we live is not always beautiful or easy. It is often dark. As we see within it the gift of God and the beauty of God, we discern a light that shines brightly and can never be put out.

John 1:1-5The Word Became Flesh

imageIn the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being, in him was life,[a] and the life was the light of all people.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.


.

image

Lent Day 3

Read John 1:13-17


And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, ‘This was he of whom I said, “He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.”’) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known


Pause

How does Jesus make God visible to you? What do his life and words tell you about who God is and what God is like?

Pray

Glory is seeing something of God in the ordinariness of our humanity. Pray that others may see God’s glory in you and thank him for those who reveal God’s glory to you.

Witness


In what ordinary situation might you bring a bit of God’s surprising glory? It might begin, as it did for Jesus, by taking time to be close to God’s heart.



.

image

Sunday  Lent Day 5

Read John 2:1-11 

The steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from.’

The Wedding at Cana

image2 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ Now standing there were six stone water-jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the jars with water.’ And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, ‘Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.’ So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, ‘Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.’ Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

Jesus attends a wedding at Cana at which disaster strikes: the wine runs out! Jesus’ mother asks for his help. At Jesus’ instructions water is poured into some large jars, they are filled to the brim. As the water is then drawn out from the jars it is transformed. Water has become wine. Not just any wine, but the best.

John describes this miracle as ‘the first of his signs’. The glory of God, seen in the Word made flesh, is seen also in this miracle of transformation. God takes the ordinary and the exhausted and makes it new.
That’s the glory of God. It’s seen in Jesus, and it’s all around us.


Pause

Are there areas of your life which have ‘run out’ or become weary? Name them, own them and offer them like an empty water jar to God.

Pray

Ask God to show you the unexpected life and beauty that, through his transforming presence, can be found within you and in others.

Witness

In wisdom, love and gentleness, seek to draw out something new and life-giving from a person or situation you encounter.In wisdom, love and gentleness, seek to draw out something new and life-giving from a person or situation you encounter.



.

image

Monday  Lent Day 34


Read  John 12: 12-18 


Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem

imageThe next day the great crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem.  So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting,‘Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord—the King of Israel!’ Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it; as it is written:
‘Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion. Look, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!’His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written of him and had been done to him.  So the crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to testify.   It was also because they heard that he had performed this sign that the crowd went to meet him.

Jesus says goodbye to Bethany and walks the short distance to the Mount of Olives and from there down the hill into the city of Jerusalem.

He leaves the intimacy of the home of his friends and finds a noisy, joyful crowd waiting to welcome him. Loud, colourful, vibrant—a striking contrast to Mary’s quiet moment of anointing. But, for these people also, this is an expression of love and readiness to follow.

Their song is one of praise, and it is also one of expectation and hope. It anticipates change. Blessed is the one who comes to lead us into a new future, for here is one who has brought someone back to life.

He comes in humility, riding a donkey, not a stallion.


Pause
------------------------------

What might it mean for you to welcome Christ to share this day with you? What new future will he bring, and how does he bring it?


Pray

------------------------------

With open hand and open heart, welcome Christ: ‘Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.’


Witness

-----------------------------


Make time today for fragrance: a gift of perfume, burn some incense, touch someone's life with tenderness and love.





.

image

Monday  Lent Day 20


When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’ And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.image


------------------------------------------------------------

Jesus writes on the ground. He pauses. Maybe he’s drawing a line in the sand. The men stop too, waiting. Maybe they are beginning to listen to their own hearts, maybe they are beginning to open their eyes to the woman.

Look at yourselves, Jesus says. Start there and then you might be able to see others more truly. Look at yourself first and if you still feel you have the right to throw a stone, then do it. Anger dissipates in shame and in a recovering of sight. They walk away, beginning with the eldest.


Pause
------------------------------------------------------------
When we are in pain, or helpless, or under attack; it’s easy to blame others. What helps you stop, listen and begin to see a situation and yourself more clearly?


Pray
------------------------------------------------------------
Let Jesus speak to you in quietness, and as you listen, know yourself as you are; know that, as you are, you are loved.


Witness
------------------------------------------------------------
Stop. Listen. Take a fresh look. Do something to change a situation or relationship. Speak a word of gentle truth



.

image

Friday  Lent Day 24


Read  John 8: 34-38 

‘So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.’

Day Twenty-four - Forgiveness

Jesus answered them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there for ever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you look for an opportunity to kill me, because there is no place in you for my word. I declare what I have seen in the Father’s presence; as for you, you should do what you have heard from the Father.’image

Whatever words we might use to describe it and however we would understand it, we would probably all agree that sin ties us up. It is true personally and corporately. It’s the effect we see of wrong actions, words, and attitudes whether lies, greed, oppression or fear. Sin damages, destroys and imprisons. ‘Everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin,’ says Jesus. Our slavery to sin has a massive effect on those around us, on people

elsewhere in the world and on the fragile creation in which we live.The truth and love, the life and death, of Jesus
sets us free from the power of sin to tie us up. That freedom comes as we takehold of God’s gift of forgiveness.

Pause
------------------------------

Take some time today to think about the effect of sin in your life and on those you love or work with. Ask God’s forgiveness. Ask for strength to put things right.

Pray

------------------------------

Pray for all those whose lives are damaged by sin, either their own or others’. Pray that Christ would set them free.

Witness
------------------------------

Give a gift – by offering forgiveness, or by receiving forgiveness. Let that gift unlock your heart as well.





















LIVE LENT Let Your Light Shine

image

Read a short introduction of the course from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York

"The gospel is God’s rescue mission to bring us from darkness to light. This is the work of Jesus, the light of the world.

But Jesus is not the only one called the light of the world by this title. He himself turns to his followers and says, ‘You are the light of the world… so let your light shine.’

To witness is to let your light shine. A light shines simply by virtue of being a light. A follower of Jesus witnesses simply by virtue of being a Christian. We have been brought into his light, now he appoints us to bring his light to others. This is what witness is.

These Lent reflections take you on a journey through the Gospel of John and give you an opportunity to explore what the gift of Jesus and the challenge of Jesus mean for you, in the context of your daily life."

In the middle of John’s Gospel is a verse that goes to the heart of it:

Jesus said, ‘I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly’

It is our prayer these reflections help and encourage you as you take hold of God’s gift of life and live it – to the full. God offers us this life for the sake of others. The light he gives us in Jesus Christ is not to be hidden but to shine – it’s a gift to be lived and shared. Indeed, the more we share it and let it shine, the brighter it burns.

Archbishop Justin Welby & Archbishop John Sentamuimage



.

image

Sunday  Lent Day 12

Read John 6:1-9


‘There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?’

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick.  Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples.  The Jewish Passover Festival was near.
 When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” 6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages[a] to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”

 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up,  “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”The crowds follow Jesus to the far side of lake Galilee, longing to see more, to hear more and, perhaps, to understand more.
It is a deserted place and the people are some distance from their homes. They are hungry. Jesus asks his disciples to find food for them.................................

Andrew finds a boy with a picnic that he is willing to share. It’s one picnic, one boy, and one disciple who found him. It’s just crumbs amongst such a crowd of people. But in Jesus’ hands it becomes so much more…
Pause-------------------------------------------------- ----------What are the ‘crumbs’ in your life that seem inadequate for you and for those who come to you for help? Faith, love, hope? Time, energy, patience?
Pray-------------------------------------------------- ----------What might happen if you, like the boy and his picnic, put those ‘crumbs’ into God’s hands? Do it now as you pray, ‘Thy kingdom come’
Witness-------------------------------------------------- ----------Make time today to feed another with food, love or kindness. Offer what you have, even if it feels inadequate, with thanks and generosity









.

image

Sunday  Lent Day 19

Read John 8:1-6  


While Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him and he sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, they said to him, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?’ They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.

The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and made her stand before all of them. Early one morning in Jerusalem Jesus visits the temple. People listen to his words. Some hear a voice speaking with love, truth, wisdom and insight. Others seem unable to listen to the words, but only to see one who had no right to speak in that place, or their place. They become angry. They bring a woman, a ‘sinner’, to Jesus. We’ll show her. We’ll show him. Jesus sees a gang of men with fists, stones, anger and
blindness seeking to silence his words with violence.


Pause

When were you
last angry? What caused it? What was its effect on you and others  

 

Pray

that your anger might be less about defending yourself and more a motivation to seek the
good and well-being of others.

   

Witness

                                                                                                                                                                            Make a conscious effort today to unclench a fist, put down a stone, and reach out an open hand
of forgiveness and love.








.

image

Monday  Lent Day 13

Read John 6:1-9


Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted.

** Read - John 6: 10-14
------------------------------

Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there).  Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.

When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.”  So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.

After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.”

Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted.


Jesus receives the loaves, he offers them to God in thanks and blessing, he breaks the bread, and shares it. Picture him doing it. See the pattern of his actions in your imagination.

Receiving, giving thanks, breaking and sharing. It’s the familiar pattern in Holy Communion (also called The Eucharist, and The Lord’s Supper). It’s a pattern for us, for our lives, for our gifts, for all we are and all we receive. It’s a pattern to practise – receive, give thanks, hold with open hands before God and share.
The crowd was fed and satisfied. More crumbs were left over and gathered together.

It was a miracle. It’s another sign of glory. It’s the way things work with God. Try it.


** Pause
------------------------------

--

Thank God today for the gifts he has placed in your hands. Life, health, people, love, opportunities, abilities… hold them lightly.

** Pray

-------------------------------------------------- ----------

Pause to pray as Jesus did, receive these gifts, thank God for them and offer them to him and seek his grace and guidance in sharing them.

** Witness

-------------------------------------------------- ----------

Give something away that you’ve been holding onto. Would it be of more benefit to a foodbank, charity shop, or friend or neighbour?.

.

image

Sunday  Lent Day 33


Read  John 12: 1-8 


Mary Anoints Jesus

image12 Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, ‘Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?’ (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.’


Passiontide begins today. It’s the latter part of Lent when reflections turn to Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem and his suffering – his passion – there. The journey begins in Bethany where Jesus returns to the home of Martha and Mary, and their brother Lazarus.

Mary, in an act of deep devotion – costly, fragrant and intimate – anoints Jesus’ feet with perfume, wiping them with her hair.
Judas complains that this is wasteful extravagance. Could not the perfume have been sold and the money used to feed the poor?

Mary’s loving act anoints the feet that will walk the painful path to the cross, and in doing so helps prepare and support Jesus for his own supremely costly act of love.



Pause
------------------------------

Reflect today on love and how we express it. In what ways is God’s love made known to you? How does it touch you?


Pray

------------------------------

Express your love for God; as you are able, use your body—kneeling, lifting hands, or in stillness.


Witness

-----------------------------

Make time today for fragrance: a gift of perfume, burn some incense, touch someone's life with tenderness and love.





.

image

Saturday  Lent Day 18

Read John 7:37-39    



While Jesus was standing there, he cried out, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink.’
Rivers of Living Water
On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me,  and let the one who believes in me drink. As[a] the scripture has said, “Out of the believer’s heart[b] shall flow rivers of living water.” Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit,[c] because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Jesus returns to Jerusalem for a religious festival. It is a risky visit, because already some people are looking for a way to kill him. His teaching has puzzled some and provoked others. However, some people, intrigued by his teaching, want to know more. Jesus explains to them that all he says and does flows from his relationship with God; a life-giving union of love and trust. Again he offers his invitation. Come to me. Come, see, listen and receive. If you are thirsty, he says, come to me and drink. Receive the Spirit who, like a river of living water, is the one who draws us and all the world into relationship with God. As it was for Jesus so it can be for us.

** Pause-------------------------------------------------- ----------Think back on all that you have learned this week. Is there one thing you can do to know more of the reality that Jesus the bread and water of life brings?

** Pray-------------------------------------------------- ----------Pray for all who are thirsty for water or for life. Pray for all who long for God and are puzzled or confounded.

** Witness-------------------------------------------------- ----------Make some time to write down the story of your relationship with God, how it began, how it has grown, what it means today. Look for an opportunity to share the story.









.

image

Saturday  Lent Day 11

Read John 5:1-11


The Healing at the Pool

Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda[a] and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.


Jesus returns to Jerusalem. In the city is a pool surrounded by many sick people waiting for the water to be stirred (perhaps by a natural spring). They wait because they believe that at the moment the water is disturbed those who first enter it are healed. For some it is a long and heart-breaking wait.

Jesus sees a man who has always found himself at the back of the queue. Too ill ever to get to the water soon enough. He has been ill for 38 years Jesus sees him. Jesus speaks to him. Jesus challenges him. ‘Stand up,’ he says. The man gets up and he is healed.


Pause

-------------------------------------------------- ----------

Think back on all that you have learned this week. Is there one thing you can do to help God bring change to your life? Do it today. How might you help bring God’s change to others?

Pray

-------------------------------------------------- ----------

Pray for all those who today are waiting for help or healing. Pray for someone who particularly comes to mind, and ask God to show what you can do to help.

Witness

-------------------------------------------------- ----------

Don’t be frustrated that others seem to find things easier, stand up and live your faith today as you are, the person God has made and loves …thy will be done.








.

image

Monday  Lent Day 34


Read  John 12: 12-18 


Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem

imageThe next day the great crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem.  So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting,‘Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord—the King of Israel!’ Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it; as it is written:
‘Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion. Look, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!’His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written of him and had been done to him.  So the crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to testify.   It was also because they heard that he had performed this sign that the crowd went to meet him.

Jesus says goodbye to Bethany and walks the short distance to the Mount of Olives and from there down the hill into the city of Jerusalem.

He leaves the intimacy of the home of his friends and finds a noisy, joyful crowd waiting to welcome him. Loud, colourful, vibrant—a striking contrast to Mary’s quiet moment of anointing. But, for these people also, this is an expression of love and readiness to follow.

Their song is one of praise, and it is also one of expectation and hope. It anticipates change. Blessed is the one who comes to lead us into a new future, for here is one who has brought someone back to life.

He comes in humility, riding a donkey, not a stallion.


Pause
------------------------------

What might it mean for you to welcome Christ to share this day with you? What new future will he bring, and how does he bring it?


Pray

------------------------------

With open hand and open heart, welcome Christ: ‘Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.’


Witness

-----------------------------


Make time today for fragrance: a gift of perfume, burn some incense, touch someone's life with tenderness and love.





.

image

Saturday  Lent Day 32


Read  John 11: 37-44 


Jesus Raises Lazarus to Life

imageThen Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, ‘Take away the stone.’ Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, ‘Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead for four days.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?’ So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upwards and said, ‘Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.’ When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, and let him go.’



The stone is rolled away. Lazarus is summoned back to life. It’s a sign of glory.

The glory of God that transforms our ordinariness and our pain, the glory of God that raises the dead to life.

Jesus the resurrection invites us to come to him and to put our trust in him. If you believe you will see the glory of God, in others and in yourself.

Jesus calls us, like Lazarus, out of the tombs that confine us and summons us to life. Be alive, he says. Live with joy as signs of God’s glory.


Pause
------------------------------

What has challenged you in this week’s reflections? How would you describe the life to which Jesus is inviting and calling you?


Pray

------------------------------

Listen for the voice of Jesus, and, as you are able, respond. Pray for all who struggle to believe.


Witness

-----------------------------

.Seek the words and the opportunity to invite someone to trust in Jesus and, as they do so, to discover God’s glory in their life.





.

image

Friday  Lent Day 10

Read John 4:46-53

Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your son will live.’ The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started on his way.

 Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine.And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum.  When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who  “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him,“you will never believe.” 

 The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”

 “Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.”

The man took Jesus at his word and departed.  While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living.  When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him.”

Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and his whole household believed.

Pause

Take time today... for faith. What’s going on in your life at the moment that calls for trust? What steps does your faith in God invite you to take?

Pray

Pray for a courageous, generous and gentle faith. Pray, too, for all those who seek healing for those they love.

Witness

Step out in faith today. Take a risk for God and someone else. Build a bridge. Ask for help. Offer to pray. Speak gently about your faith.



.

image

Thursday  Lent Day 9

Read John 4:1-15

God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

Jesus and the Woman of Samaria

imageNow when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard, ‘Jesus is making and baptizing more disciples than John’— although it was not Jesus himself but his disciples who baptized— he left Judea and started back to Galilee. But he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon.

A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, ‘Give me a drink’. (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?’ (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, “Give me a drink”, you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?’ Jesus said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.’


Pause

Where is there a sense of thirst in your life? What is the source of that thirst? How do you seek to satisfy it?

Pray

Ask God’s grace to drink deeply of the water of God’s love. Pray for all who are thirsty today. Pray for those who long for love and thirst for God.

Witness

Make time today to give a gift which brings refreshment. Buy someone a drink. Stop and listen. Be open to starting a conversation about the love of God.


.

image

Friday  Lent Day 31


Read  John 11: 28-37 

When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’

Jesus Weeps

imageWhen she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, ‘The Teacher is here and is calling for you.’ And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’ When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said to him, ‘Lord, come and see.’ Jesus began to weep. So the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him!’ But some of them said, ‘Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?’

Mary expresses her sorrow in the same words as her sister: ‘if you had been here, Lord… ’. She is heartbroken and cannot understand why Jesus did not come earlier. She weeps. Jesus is ‘deeply moved’ and ‘greatly distressed’. Jesus weeps.

Jesus has no words for Mary. There is no invitation to trust as there was for Martha. Simply Jesus’ own tears from hisbroken heart. His tears and pain take him to the grave of Lazarus, and deeply moved by his own grief and that of those around him Jesus cries out. He calls Lazarus out of the tomb..


Pause
------------------------------Take time today to reflect on times of disappointment or bereavement you have been through? Where was God in these? How did he make his presence known?


Pray

------------------------------

Pray for people who are broken-hearted and disappointed, for those who are at a loss or without hope. Pray for resurrection.


Witness

-----------------------------

Make time today to notice the sadness of another, and be moved by it. Let that grief you feel enable you to cry out to God for them.





.

image

Saturday  Lent Day 32


Read  John 11: 37-44 


Jesus Raises Lazarus to Life

imageThen Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, ‘Take away the stone.’ Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, ‘Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead for four days.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?’ So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upwards and said, ‘Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.’ When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, and let him go.’



The stone is rolled away. Lazarus is summoned back to life. It’s a sign of glory.

The glory of God that transforms our ordinariness and our pain, the glory of God that raises the dead to life.

Jesus the resurrection invites us to come to him and to put our trust in him. If you believe you will see the glory of God, in others and in yourself.

Jesus calls us, like Lazarus, out of the tombs that confine us and summons us to life. Be alive, he says. Live with joy as signs of God’s glory.


Pause
------------------------------

What has challenged you in this week’s reflections? How would you describe the life to which Jesus is inviting and calling you?


Pray

------------------------------

Listen for the voice of Jesus, and, as you are able, respond. Pray for all who struggle to believe.


Witness

-----------------------------

.Seek the words and the opportunity to invite someone to trust in Jesus and, as they do so, to discover God’s glory in their life.





.

image

Wednesday  Lent Day 

Read John 3:14-21

God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

image

God so loved the world

And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

‘Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgement, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.’

Jesus continues his conversation with Nicodemus. He leads him to see that what lies at the heart of the life he is talking about is love.

The life of God that Jesus makes visible is love. The new life that the wind of the Spirit breathes into us, is love. The reason that Jesus is in the world is love.

God’s love doesn’t condemn or exclude. God’s love is always giving, always reaching out and always seeking to bring life to all it touches. It’s a love which sets us free. It’s a love seen most deeply and most clearly in Jesus’ life, in his death and in his resurrection.


Pause

Why is that we find it all too easy to replace love with condemnation? We can even do it in how we talk about God.

Pray

Ask God to help you know how much you are loved. Ask God to help you love others with that same unconditional acceptance.

Witness

Offer a word today that encourages and welcomes. Resist the temptation to jump to judge or condemn. It might help to start by listening.


.

image

Tuesday  Lent Day 28


Read  John 10: 11-18 


‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.’

image‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.’


I am, Jesus says, for the fourth time. A good shepherd cares for his sheep because he has invested his life in them, unlike the one merely hired to look after them.

He knows his sheep and they know him. His care is personal, based on a relationship of love and trust.

The Good Shepherd will do anything for their protection and well-being, even giving his own life.

It’s a poignant, powerful image which begins to point us to Holy Week and the journey the Good Shepherd takes for his sheep.


Pause
------------------------------

In what do you invest your life? For what or whom would you lay down your life? Christ laid down his life for you – what, then, is your value?


Pray

------------------------------

Invest a little time in silence and solitude today and let God speak to you about your true worth. Pray for those who look to you to shepherd them.


Witness

-----------------------------

Make time today to care for someone, friend or stranger, with tenderness and goodness. Invest your love and time in them.





.

image

Tuesday  Lent Day 7

Read John 3:1-10 

The wind blows where it chooses, you do not know where it comes from. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.

Nicodemus Visits Jesus

image3 Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.’ Jesus answered him, ‘Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.’ Nicodemus said to him, ‘How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?’ Jesus answered, ‘Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, “You must be born from above.” The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.’ Nicodemus said to him, ‘How can these things be?’ Jesus answered him, ‘Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?

Nicodemus comes to see Jesus in the privacy of the night. He’s respectable and religious. Jesus seems to prize neither.

Nicodemus seeks him out because Jesus has a grasp of life and truth that, despite Nicodemus’ education and his religious expertise, has eluded him.

Jesus tells him he needs to start again, to be born again. It’s how Jesus describes what happens when we make a new start with God.

Let God’s Spirit, as unpredictable as the wind, bring life to you. Don’t force it. Let it happen. That’s his message to Nicodemus, and to us.


Pause

In what ways is God’s interaction with your life like the wind? When has it felt like a breeze, and when like a gale?

Pray

Ask God for the strength to let go of pride, fear, worry, anger or other burdens and pray: ‘Breathe on me breath of God, fill me with life anew.’

Witness

Where might the wind of God’s Spirit blow you today? Be a breath of fresh air for someone and help them make a new start.


.

image

Monday  Lent Day 27


Read  John 10: 1-10 


Jesus the Good Shepherd

image10 ‘Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.’ Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

So again Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

I am, Jesus says, for the third time. A shepherd guards the entrance to the sheep fold. My body is the door. I am the gate. It’s an image of protection; there is safety to be found in Jesus.It’s an image of provision, there is nourishmentto be found through Jesus.It’s an image of personal, costly commitment.

Jesus the gate, like the mothers we celebrate today, protects and provides for us with love that is willing to put itself between us and danger.


------------------------------


Pause
------------------------------

What or who offers you security? Where does your life find its nourishment? How would you say Jesus meets these needs in you?


Pray

------------------------------

Pray for all who do not know today the love and protection of a mother or another carer. Pray for those God has given you to guard and provide for.





Witness
-----------------------------

Make time today for the most vulnerable people in society: refugees, homeless people, the exploited, the very young, the old. Do something practical.





.

image

Friday  Lent Day 17

Read John 6:66-69      Reality


Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him.  So Jesus asked the twelve, ‘Do you also wish to go away?’  Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life.  We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.’
Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life.
..............
Jesus challenges the crowd who are looking for more miracles and he confronts the religious for resting on their ancestral laurels. People begin to walk away. Even some of his followers seem to be puzzled and disenchanted. This teaching is too difficult for us, they say. Jesus offers life but it seems not everybody’s ready or able to take hold of it.His twelve close disciples remain. Peter puts it bluntly. You’re the real thing. We’ve seen it. We’ve heard it. We’ve met you. How can we go anywhere else? 
Pause-------------------------------------------------- ----------Reflect on the words of Jesus that are ‘the real thing’ to you.What is it about Jesus that makes you want to follow him even when it is hard or puzzling?
 Pray-------------------------------------------------- ----------Pray for those you know who struggle to follow Christ. Pray that they might see the reality of Christ even in the mess and muddle.Witness-------------------------------------------------- ----------Make time today to live the reality of something Jesus said, to be a signpost to someone who is struggling to see the way to go.
Witness-------------------------------------------------- ----------Make time today to live the reality of something Jesus said, to be a signpost to someone who is struggling to see the way to go.Witness-------------------------------------------------- ----------Make time today to live the reality of something Jesus said, to be a signpost to someone who is struggling to see the way to go.










Powered by ChurchBuilder