Faith

Mar 24

Mothering and Fathering 2

I love the fierce loyalty displayed in this video. Perhaps human parenting is not so different from parenting in the animal kingdom?

 

 

How long do you think parenting lasts? And what makes a good parent?

Would you like to be a parent in the future? What do you think would be the hardest aspect?

Proverbs 1:8-9 says,

 

Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching. What you learn from them will crown you with grace and be a chain of honour around your neck.



What is some of the best advice you have learned from a parent, carer or older family member or friend?

I have received a lot of wisdom from my Father and Mother, but also believe that it takes a village to raise a child!

Let’s pray for our parents and carers:


God, Our Heavenly parent.
You entrusted your Son Jesus, to earthly parents Mary and Joseph,
Bless all parents as they care for their families.
Give them strength and wisdom, tenderness and patience;
support them in the work they have to do, protecting those who look to them,
as we look to you for love and salvation, through Jesus Christ our rock and defender.
Amen.

For further listening, enjoy this mysterious gospel number ‘Father Stretch My Hands’ (100 points to whoever can guess who sampled it)

 

 

Remember to visit our Lent Calendar daily: https://smrtlent.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

 

Tags: Faith
Mar 16

Mothering and Fathering 1

This is a reminder, Mothering Sunday is next Sunday.  Will you/your family do anything special for the day?  Discuss with those around you.

What is Mothering Sunday?  Here’s an explanation,

 

 

I was surprised how few videos there were to choose from on this theme. Perhaps you could make one for next year.

It’s good to celebrate Mums and Mothers and it’s good to celebrate all the good things our churches mean to us. However, some people find this difficult as they have had bad experiences of their mothers or they have absent mothers or they can’t be mothers or their church has let them down. Please spare a thought for people in these sort of situations as it’s especially tough to be sad when others are celebrating.

Bible/Prayer:
We’ll use video to help with our prayers. This video uses verses and images from the Bible which could be seen as more ‘feminine’. There are also short prayers to use. Before you play the video, think of particular situations and mothers and orphans you want to remember. There is a crisis in parts of East Africa and sadly far too many places of conflict in our world.

 

 

Remember to visit our Lent Calendar daily: https://smrtlent.wordpress.com/

 

 

Tags: Faith
Mar 10

I Am Questioning 2

maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com Women International Womens Day Woman Womens Day 281474

 I was particularly struck by this video recently.

 

 

What is the point of the video? How did it affect you?

 

Who are we?

We are women born of the past generations,

we are women present in the here and now,

we dream of a future that is yet to be.

 

Who are we?

We are women made up of all nations and all races,

we include people from all countries of the world,

we come from down the road and round the corner.

 

Who are we?

We represent all cultures and languages,

we consist of all ages and abilities,

we embrace strangers as neighbours.

 

Who are we?

We are called to be God’s people.

Welcoming, embracing, relating, creating,

woven together into God’s community on earth.

Clare McBeath, 2011

  

Last Wednesday marked International Women’s Day, and in this worship I wanted to mark that day again.

 

International Women's Day has two key aims:


• celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women

• declare bold actions you'll take as an individual or organization to help progress the gender agenda

Throughout his life, I see how Jesus celebrated women and took bold steps to progress gender equality. This is embodied in John 4:28, when Jesus has a game changing conversation with a Samaritan woman, who was arguably the first to hear 'first hand' that Jesus was the Messiah.

 

Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people,

29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?”

30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him.

 

How could we continue to celebrate women? What could we do to #BeBoldForChange? Please share your suggestions with me! I will commit to marching, writing, and praying.

 

Prayer:
Loving Father, creator of all.

Grant us humility and wisdom so that we may fight, not to conquer, but to liberate.

To liberate the women silenced by the violence,

from inequality and abuse,

from unjust and discriminatory cultural or religious practices.

And we give thanks,

for women who have confronted warring powers, challenged violence,

and whose lives, directed by necessity, are moved by compassion.

Blessed are you, gracious God,

who has created women in your image,

and in whose name we pray.

Amen.

 

Based on prayers by women of the Presbyterian Church in Colombia.

 

Remember to visit our Lent Calendar daily: https://smrtlent.wordpress.com/

 

 

Tags: Faith
Mar 3

I Am Questioning 1

Watch this video and as it plays ask those key questions.  What? Why? When? Who? How?

 



At the end, share your answers with those around you.  I wonder what you’ve made of it.  I’ve watched it a few times and always see new answers to the questions.

As I’m sure most of you spotted, this is based on Matthew 4, Jesus’ time in the wilderness.

 


Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

 

2 After fasting for forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

 

3 The tempter came to him and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.’

 

4 Jesus answered, ‘It is written: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

 

5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the highest point of the temple.

 

6 ‘If you are the Son of God,’ he said, ‘throw yourself down. For it is written:

 

‘“He will command his angels concerning you,

and they will lift you up in their hands, 

so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”

 

7 Jesus answered him, ‘It is also written: “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”

 

8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour.

 

9 ‘All this I will give you,’ he said, ‘if you will bow down and worship me.’

 

10 Jesus said to him, ‘Away from me, Satan! For it is written: “Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”

 

11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

 

The illustrator, Si Smith, has explored more than just the temptations.  He wonders what happened in the first 40 days.  Art/illustrations are good at asking questions as images often speak in more ways than just words.

How’s your Lent going so far?  Are you experiencing temptation as you’ve given up something you like or are you finding it hard to take up the new thing you’re trying? Jesus found strength in the words of his Bible.  Hopefully you can too.  It can be helpful to share Lent with others, so do try Chaplain Joey’s group on Wednesday lunchtimes or at least share your experiences with your friends.

Here are some words from Psalm 91 (after which Room 91 is named) that can act as a prayer/meditation this week:

 

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

Optional music: Nada Te Turbe (let nothing disturb you), Taizé.

 

 

Remember to visit our Lent Calendar daily: https://smrtlent.wordpress.com/

 

Tags: Faith
Feb 24

Fasting 2

Give up:

For many of us in our western culture of ‘feasting’, the idea of ‘fasting’ or giving up something, may be something alien.

 

What reasons do people give for fasting?

 

Plate and Cutlery CC0 Public Domain

These are some of the reasons I have found to give things up; 

      • • Fasting reveals the thing that controls us.
      • • Fasting reminds us that we are sustained by God.
      • • Fasting helps us keep our balance in life.

        Have you thought about giving something up for 40 hours, or 40 days?

        However, Lent isn’t just about giving up but taking up. One thing you can do is sign up to do 40 generous acts. This video shows the effect it had on people last year. Why not sign up as a tutor group.

 

 

Many Christians see this Lent as a key time to grow in their faith. To try and help people do this in school, I will be leading a series of lunchtime sessions exploring the meaning of Easter starting this Tuesday 28 February at 12.30 in Room 91 for anyone whose interested in pancakes and talking more.

Prayer:

Father God Thank you for the season of Lent.

Help us understand the true meaning of it.

Give us a resilient spirit where we may be giving things up and a generous spirit for things we are taking up.

Lead us forward to become the best people we can be.

Amen

 

For a more in depth, and insightful explanation of the 'three pillars of Lent' check out Father Mike's video:

 

 

 

 

Tags: Faith