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I Value Faith 1 and Remembrance 2017

 

Faith graffiti flickr photo by duncan shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license

 

How would you describe faith?  Sometimes we lack the words to describe how or what we are thinking.

Which one of these three songs best sums up how you feel about faith at the moment?

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus, in Matthew 17:20:

 

Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.

 

It can be so hard to have faith, but if what Jesus said is true, what ‘mountains’ would you like to move in your life? In the city of Bristol? In the world? Take some time to think and to pray about these things.

For this fortnight of faith, I have taken the words of Psalm 31 and edited and rewrote them to make this shorter prayer of faith for troubled times.

 

PSALM 31

LORD, I come to you for protection. I put my trust in you;

Do as you have promised and rescue me.

Be my armoured car, my walled city, my safe house.

Lead me and guide me. Protect me from tripwires and traps.

You are faithful, and I trust you because you rescued me in times gone by.

You saw all my suffering and you cared about it!

 

Help me now, as my mind and body feel hurt and confused. Like a fearful failure, I’m full up on sorrow.

 

Friends and family appear like enemies. People I know ignore me on the street.

I am completely forgotten like someone dead. I’m afraid, and I’m alone.

 

But I trust you, and I claim you as my God. My life is in your hands.

Save me from my nightmares. Smile on me, and shine down sun on me.

I pray you don’t disappoint me. I know you store up blessings for all who honour and trust you.

You are their shelter from storms, a protection from vicious gossip, and a bed to lie down on.

The LORD looks out for the faithful.

So all who trust the LORD be cheerful and brave.

Amen.

 

 

Remembrance 2017

 

Poppies image

 

We are asked to remember at this time of the year.  I’m not remembering nations or political parties or even issues of right and wrong.  I’m remembering how many individuals are affected by war and terrorism, of course, not just individuals but their families, communities and precious resources. 

Please keep a minute’s silence as we remember those on our minds and hearts this Remembrance-tide.

Here’s a prayer to finish:

O God of truth and justice,

we hold before you those whose memory we cherish,

and those whose names we will never know.

Help us to lift our eyes above the torment of this broken world,

and grant us the grace to pray for those who wish us harm.

As we honour the past, may we put our faith in your future;

for you are the source of life and hope,

now and for ever.

Amen