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Lent 40 - Psalm Sunday

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Psalm 118:1-2, 9-29 Today is the final day of Lent, when we usher in Holy Week tomorrow and continue to journey together with Jesus towards the cross. Today's Psalm is a song of praise in the midst of dark times. It reminds us to seek refuge in God when the world is in turmoil.  I cannot think of a more appropriate time to stamp the words of this Psalm on our hearts and declare them together as God's people.  Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let Israel say: “His love endures forever.” It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes. All the nations surrounded me, but in the name of the Lord I cut them down. They surrounded me on every side, but in the name of the Lord I cut them down. They swarmed around me like bees, but they were consumed as quickly as burning thorns; in the name of the Lord I cut them down. I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my s

Lent 39 - Psalm Saturday

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Psalm 31:9-16 We are presented with another two beautiful Psalm readings this week. The first is this extract from Psalm 31. In this Psalm, David cries out to God in a time of distress. Perhaps, if you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed about a personal situation, or the situation in our country or the world at the moment, you can declare these words with David today. Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief. My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak. Because of all my enemies, I am the utter contempt of my neighbours and an object of dread to my closest friends— those who see me on the street flee from me. I am forgotten as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery. For I hear many whispering, “Terror on every side!” They conspire against me and plot to take my life. But I trust in you, Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times

Lent 38 - Imitating Christ's Humility

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Philippians 2:1-11 In our reading this morning, the apostle Paul urges followers of Jesus to display the same humility as Jesus did in his interactions with others. What does it mean to be humble? According to Paul, it means doing nothing for selfish purposes. It means valuing others above ourselves and putting the needs of others before our own. Unfortunately, these are not traits that we often see in Christians and Churches in the world today. To be charitable as a Christian today means to first satisfy our own needs and then if we have anything left, to give it away to the poor. I understand the desire to ensure that we have enough; that we are able to live comfortably; that we are able to provide an exciting future for our family and children. I have the same desires. But I can't help but think that this is not the way of Christ. Everything about Jesus' life and teaching was about lowering himself so that others could be exalted - even to the point of death on the cross.  W

Lent 37 - The way of the servant

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Isaiah 50:4-9 The prophet Isaiah describes the way of God's servant in this passage. He says that every morning, a servant of God should wake up with the intention of learning and listening to the Spirit of God in the world.  I love this piece of advice.  How often do we wake up with the intention of "showing the world who's boss?" We presume that we have something to offer the world and they better listen to what we have to say.  There might be some truth in this; we probably do have something to offer the world. But the way of the servant of God always has the goal to learn more; to grow in their understanding; to seek God's movement in the world. Even Jesus encouraged his disciples to be more curious; to ask more questions. Jesus rarely answered people's questions outright; he almost always asked another question.  I am always very wary of people who claim to know the absolute truth about anything. The only real absolute truth is Jesus. So instead of waking

Lent 36 - God with us

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  John 12:12-16 There is a profound truth that we discover in the story of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem. It is the truth that, even when our expectations try to interfere, God is always with us.  This does not mean that God is an innocent bystander who is lingering nearby to observe us and monitor our words and actions. God is with us in the sense that when we cry, God cries with us; when we laugh, God laughs with us; When our burdens are too heavy to bare, God carries our load; When we are too weak to carry on, God carries us. God might not always arrive as we may expect or deal with our enemies in the manner that we would like, but God always shows up.  If we can get past our small-minded, self-serving expectations that we place on God then we too can earnestly stand with God’s people and declare: “Hosanna! Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and Glory in the highest! Hosanna!” Prayer: King Jesus, thank You that You are always with me. Blessed ar

Lent 35 - False Expectations

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  John 12:12-16 God’s people were correct in thinking that God was sending them a new king in Jesus, but they were not happy with the type of king that God had sent.  God remembered the people of Israel and provided them with a King. But when their King arrived, they were not thankful because they had a skewed idea of how their king was going to look and behave. While on Sunday the people praised and sang as Jesus entered the City of Jerusalem, a couple of days later on Friday, the people called for Jesus’ crucifixion and supported the murderer Barabbas instead. They were not happy with the King that Jesus claimed to be. Their expectation got in the way of God’s plan for them. The people of Jerusalem were so caught up in their own idea of what their promised Messiah was going to look like, do and say, that they completely missed what God was doing right in front of them. How often is this true for us today? What unrealistic and self-conceived expectations have we placed on God’s plan f

Lent 34 - The Servant King

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John 12:12-16 This week, we are faced with the story of Palm Sunday, where Jesus triumphantly entered Jerusalem as King, the week before his crucifixion. As we near the end of our Lent journey for this year, we are drawing closer to the greatest moment in the Christian calendar, the Easter story. Let us not miss this opportunity to reflect on what this time means for us as God's people living in the world today. God’s people had once lived in a mighty kingdom, peaking under the leadership of King David. The prophets promised the Israelite people that God would provide them with a new King who would save them, but that dream seemed very distant from where they currently found themselves living under the rule of an oppressive Roman Empire. They currently felt abandoned and helpless. But then rumours began to spread of this charismatic Jesus fellow who was said to be performing miraculous healings and driving out demons in every town that he visited. And now he was coming to Jerusalem

Lent 33 - Psalm Sunday

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Psalm 119:9-16 Today's Psalm speaks about what it means to be pure. After we have confessed our sins to God, how do we live lives that honour God's Word, which is Jesus Christ? As we accept the new life that Christ offers us, let us declare the words of this Psalm as our newfound commitment to the light of the world. How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word. Prayer: Mother God, Your grace covers all of my shortcomings and transgressions. I offer my life to glorify You, but I am too weak to do it on my own. I need Y

Lent 32 - Psalm Saturday

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Psalm 51:1-12 This week's lectionary readings consist of two Psalm readings. I, therefore, offer you an additional Psalm to reflect on today. Today's reading is a Psalm of confession. After we have reflected on repentance and forgiveness this past week, let us use this Psalm as an opportunity to confess our sins to God and accept the forgiveness that God offers to us all. Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter th

Lent 31 - Jesus' Prayer Life

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Hebrews 5:5-10 Today's reading informs us that throughout his life, Jesus offered up prayers and petitions to God with fervent cries and tears. We also learn that Jesus' prayers were heard by God, not because he was God's Son, but because of his reverent submission and obedience to God. This realisation should be so encouraging to us as Christians today. Just as Jesus had a direct line to God, so do we also have direct access to God through the Spirit of the High Priest who lives within us, Jesus Christ. There is no greater honour and privilege that we have as Christians than to pray. Even when the world is falling apart around us and we don't know what to do, we can pray. Even when we do not have the words to say, the Spirit intercedes on our behalf. And yet prayer is still one of the most neglected spiritual practices in our world today. Perhaps it is because people have a false that they have to say the perfect words or set aside the same amount of time every day to

Lent 30 - The New Covenant

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  Jeremiah 31:31-34 The Israelite people were very familiar with the idea of a covenant. God had entered into covenants with the Israelites through many people including Moses, Noah, Abraham, Adam and more.  In the past, the Israelites had to obey their side of the covenant agreement by obeying God's laws. If they broke their side of the agreement, they would have to pay for their sins in the form of a sacrifice of some kind. The prophet Jeremiah claimed that soon God would be making a new covenant with the people of Israel. When this new covenant is made, the law would be in their minds and written on their hearts. This new covenant that Jeremiah speaks about was inaugurated by Jesus Christ, the Son of God. This new covenant was not about merely obeying God's laws, it gave God's people access to a personal relationship with God. This new covenant was so expansive and inclusive that "all will know God, from the least to the greatest." Unfortunately, God's peop

Lent 29 - The Light of the World

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John 12:35-36 After predicting his death, Jesus told his disciples that they "will have the light with them just a little while longer" and that they should "believe in the light while they have access to it, so that they may become children of light." There is nothing quite as challenging as navigating through an unfamiliar place in the dark before your eyes have properly adjusted. We encounter a similar challenge as we attempt to navigate our lives in this world if we choose to walk in the dark. Jesus is the light of the world. We always have access to Jesus' light living within us today. We need Jesus' light to illuminate the dark places in the world around us. Just like our eyes adjust to the dark, if we live our lives guided by Jesus' shining light, our eyes will adjust to what we are seeing and we will be able to see the world in a new perspective - through the loving eyes of Jesus. There is a famous Christian hymn called "Turn your eyes upon

Lent 28 - Jesus predicts his death

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John 12:27-33 At various points in Jesus' ministry, he spoke about his coming death. The disciples often did not know what Jesus was talking about when Jesus predicted his literal death.  As we draw nearer to Easter, we prepare to mourn Jesus' death and begin to reflect on the implications of the cross on our lives today. I wonder what our response would have been if we were with Jesus and he predicted that he would be persecuted and killed for what he stood for? Would we too have denied Jesus' words or would we have had the courage to fall in line with Jesus and be persecuted with him for what he stood for and believed in? Would we perhaps have doubted the resurrection like Thomas; denied knowing him like Peter; or even betrayed him like Judas?  I am sure we would all claim that we would have stuck by Jesus until the end, but if we are honest with ourselves, we might not like what we discover.  As we prepare to reflect on Jesus' final days, let us consider if we are li

Lent 27 - Death to life

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John 12:23-26 The Bible is full of phrases that seem to contradict themselves. We are told that we see unseen things; we conquer by yielding; we reign by serving; we are exalted by being humble; we become wise by being fools for Christ's sake. Another stark contradiction is found in our Scripture reading for today: We live by dying . The kernel of wheat needs to die in order to produce many new seeds.  There are certain things in our lives that need to die in order for us to experience abundant life in Christ.  I could give you a list of things that could be causing you to pull away from Christ, but we all know what the things are in our lives that are preventing us from drawing near to God. It could be hatred, unforgiveness, busyness, fear, the list is endless.  We each have our own personal struggles. Until we are serious about letting these parts of our lives die, we will always struggle to experience new seeds of love, joy, peace, etc. Prayer: Lord God, I acknowledge that there

Lent 26 - Psalm Sunday

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Psalm 107:1-3,17-22 Today's reading is a Psalm of praise that reminds us that God will save all of those who call on the name of the LORD, no matter their past iniquities.  Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story— those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south. Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities. They loathed all food and drew near the gates of death. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind. Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of his works with songs of joy. Prayer: Loving God, You are worthy of all praise. You are a good, good parent. Thank You for Your unconditio

Lent 25 - The After

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Ephesians 2:1-10 The apostle Paul was an incredibly gifted writer. He used his words to tug on our emotions and focus on what is truly important.  After reminding us of our innate tendencies to choose darkness over light, Paul reminds us that even though we fall short of God's expectations for us, God still loves us and saves us. It is because of God's love for us, not by any work of our own, that we are forgiven and saved. This is why, no matter how many times we fail and make mistakes, we do not have to work our way back into God's favour. All we need to do is repent of our shortcoming, return to Christ, and we receive another chance; a fresh start. In our 11th devotion for this Lent season, we learnt about how, like Abraham, we are made righteous because of our faith. The danger with this understanding is that we can end up thinking that we still need to do something in order to receive God's faith - after all, having faith is doing something, right? Paul goes furthe

Lent 24 - The Before

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  Ephesians 2:1-4 The apostle Paul shares a grim synopsis about those who choose to live in darkness, rather than seeking the light. He says that all people have been dead in their transgressions and sins. This was because they followed the ways of the world and the evil one.  Most of us get to a point in our lives when we realise that we are not living the lives that we should be. Some people's stories are more tragic than others, but most realise that to some extent, we are not as good as we would like to be. Paul echoes this thought in verse 3 when he says that at some time, all of us have gratified the cravings of the flesh and followed its thoughts and desires. We can take comfort in knowing that we are not alone in these feelings of disappointment in ourselves.  The Good News of the Gospel is that we are loved and forgiven of our past mistakes and failings, regardless of what we have done. We have been given a new life to live in honour and glory of the God who has saved us.

Lent 23 - Light vs Darkness

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John 3:18-21 I love verse 19 in our reading for today: "Light has come into the world, but people love darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil." What a fitting description of our world today.  Many people claim that the world is a horrible place; that people are evil and there is no hope for redemption.  I have a different view. There is much good and light in the world. The problem is that much of humanity chooses to love and seek darkness instead. When the Light came into the world in the form of Jesus, we were shown how to bring light into the world by living lives of mercy, peace and justice. And yet most of humanity still chooses to love darkness by living lives of resentment, violence and selfish gain. I am sure that we would all love to see a world with more light and goodness. I believe that in order for this reality to be realised, we need to live by the truths that Jesus taught: more love, more forgiveness, more grace, more peace, more giving, and mo

Lent 22 - The famous verse

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  John 3:16-17 Today's scripture reading is arguable the most well known and quoted bible verse in recent history. Athletes have had this verse painted on their skin for big sports games. It is often put as bumper stickers on cars. Those of us who went to Sunday School will remember quoting it as a memory verse many times over:  "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, so that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." One of the problems with well-known verses such as this one is that they can lose their meaning. We know them so well that we do not stop to really think about what they are saying.  There is a reason that this verse is so popular. The core of what we believe is summed up in these few words - this is the Gospel! The God who created the world loves all of creation; the entire cosmos and humanity. God loves the world so much that God sent Jesus to show us the way and save us through his life, death and resurrection.

Lent 21 - Jesus, the bronze snake

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John 3:14-15 In a discussion with the religious leader Nicodemus, Jesus refers to the story that we read yesterday. He tells Nicodemus that "just as Moses lifted up the bronze snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up." Sometimes, I think that Christians try so hard to be the mediator between people and God. We seem to believe that if we  don't tell people what to believe, how to behave and what to say, then we are doing a disservice to God. With this mindset, we end up using fancy tactics to try and sell  God to people. Jesus reminds us that He  is the one who needs to be lifted up. He  is the only mediator between people and God. Instead of trying to shove our ideas of God down peoples throats, perhaps all we need to do is introduce them to Jesus and let Him do the rest.  People do not experience eternal life by coming to our church, singing our songs or becoming experts on our bibles. All of these things might assist them if used correctly, but the o

Lent 20 - The Bronze Snake

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  Numbers 21:4-9 Today we are faced with a strange story. The Israelites were stuck in the wilderness and they were growing impatient. They spoke against God and encountered venomous snakes in their camp, causing many of their numbers to die. The people repented, Moses prayed to God and God provided them with a way out. He tells Moses to make a bronze snake, put it on a pole and if anyone gets bitten, they must look at the bronze snake and they will be saved. What a strange story indeed! There is a lot going on here, but the first question that pops into my head is "why are the Israelites saved by erecting a bronze snake here, but a few chapters earlier in Exodus 32, they are punished for erecting a golden calf? What is the difference between the two?" The simplest answer is that in Exodus they made the golden calf to become a replacement for God after they felt abandoned by Moses. In our story today, the bronze snake was meant to remind the people that it was God that saves

Lent 19 - Psalm Sunday

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Psalm 19 This week's Psalm is a declaration of the glory of God. Even God's law is good. The whole of Creation is continuously praising the Creator God. When we choose to worship God, we are joining in with the whole of Creation. Even when we do not worship, the earth still silently sings God's praises. The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun. It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth. The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.

Lent 18 - Rejoicing in God's Laws

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Psalm 19:7-13 Imagine rejoicing in a list of rules? Imagine if you had arrived at school and declared: "The rules of this school are more precious than gold; it is a joy and a pleasure to obey them all." I don't think you would have made many friends that way! I do not know of many children who like following rules. But as we grow older, we begin to understand that certain rules are there for a reason - they are there for our own benefit.  As we have reflected on the ten commandments over the past few days, we have been reminded that God's laws were implemented for the good of God's people. We have also learnt that obedience to these commandments will naturally flow out of a life lived in love for God and our neighbour.  When we understand this, it makes it a bit easier to comprehend why God's people would rejoice in God's laws.  As Christians, we are now living under a new law - that of the grace of Jesus Christ. This new covenant has been written on our

Lent 17 - Living a Ten Commandment Life

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Exodus 20:1-17 Matthew 22:34-40 When confronted by the religious leaders and asked what is the greatest commandment in the Law, Jesus responded by saying: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbour as yourself. All the Law and the prophets hang on these two commandments." I think that this is the difference between obeying the ten commandments as a list of strict rules and living a ten commandment life. When we make it a priority to glorify God in everything that we do, we will naturally adhere to the ten commandments without even thinking about it. When faced with a choice to steal or not, which option would glorify God? The same can be said for when we focus on loving our neighbour, we will naturally follow the 10 commandments as well. When faced with the option of murder, or committing adultery, what decision would we take if we are abl

Lent 16 - The Ten Commandments

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  Exodus 20:1-17 Many people seem to think that God gave the Israelites the ten commandments because God is a strict teacher who just wants humans to follow rules, regardless of the outcome.  If we read the ten commandments at face value today, we discover that none of them are really unfair or unrealistic to follow. Even the most devout atheists would agree that murder is wrong and you shouldn't try to steal your neighbour's wife. If we consider what we learnt yesterday, that the message of the cross sounds foolish until we put it into practice and discover its true wisdom, we find a similar reality when it comes to the ten commandments.  We can huff and puff about being legalistic and not enjoying being "rule-followers," but the truth of the matter is that this list of commandments that Moses passed on to the people of Israel many, many years ago is still extremely relevant to our lives today. The ten commandments are not a set of rules that we are meant to follow r

Lent 15 - The Message of the Cross

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1 Corinthians 1:18-25 Have you ever found yourself reading a story about Jesus and being confused or unsure about something that Jesus said? Perhaps you wonder, "why would Jesus ask someone to give away everything they own?" or "how on earth am I supposed to love my worst enemies, even the people who have hurt me the most?" or "why does Jesus not stand up and fight for himself, even when he is sentenced to death?" I think that these feelings of shock that we have when we read Jesus' story is what Paul talks about in Corinthians when he says that the message of the cross is foolishness to those who do not understand. What I have found is that once my initial shock wears off and I am willing to put into practice what Jesus has said and lived, it is then that I discover the wisdom in Jesus' words, even though I did not understand it at first.  When I begin giving away my possessions, I discover that I am blessed by helping those in need and I rely les

Lent 14 - Jesus gets angry

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John 2:13-17 This passage reminds us of Jesus' human nature. Jesus experienced the full spectrum of human emotions as we do today. He wept, he was tempted, and he got angry. Many people have used this passage of scripture to justify getting angry for whatever reason. When they swear at other drivers on the road or lose their temper with their spouse and children, they will claim, "but Jesus got angry too." It is important for us to take note of what Jesus got angry at. In this instance, Jesus got angry because people were desecrating the temple of God.  If we consider what we looked at yesterday, about how our bodies are temples of God, then perhaps we too should get angry when people's bodies are used and abused for selfish, unjust purposes. I would argue that our temples of God include our physical, emotional and spiritual bodies. Therefore, if someone is physically, emotionally or spiritually abused, we should share Jesus' righteous anger at their unjust situat

Lent 13 - The Temple of God

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John 2:18-22 Jesus tells the religious leaders that if they destroy the temple, he will raise it again in three days. The religious leaders misunderstand Jesus and presume that he meant the literal temple, but Jesus was talking about his body as a temple of God. While Jesus was speaking of raising his own body in this example, his claim reminds us that our bodies too are temples of God.  As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” God has entrusted humanity with the responsibility to care for all of God's Creation. This does not only include fauna and flora but our bodies as well. To many people, this means ensuring that they remain fit and healthy, but I believe that it goes further than this. To care for our bodies as temples of God means that we use our bodies to glorify God in all the ways that we

Lent 12 - Psalm Sunday

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Psalm 22:23-31 Today's Psalm is a reminder that all of creation worships God. We have the option to join in with the worship or to fight against the natural order and try to go our own way. Which option will you choose? You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honour him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel! For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help. From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; before those who fear you, I will fulfil my vows. The poor will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the Lord will praise him— may your hearts live forever! All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations. All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him— thos

Lent 11 - Righteousness by faith

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Romans 4:13-25 Today we carry on with our reflections on Abrahams story.  Many believe that Abraham was called and sent by God because he was such a good person. The apostle Paul reminds us, in his letter to the Roman church, that Abraham was seen as righteous because of his faith, not because of his actions. Paul goes on to remind us that Abraham's faith was not only accredited as righteousness to him personally, but to his descendants as well. Isn't it incredible how one person's faith can have such a tangible, lasting impact on generations of people to follow? Abraham's faith is praised because he "gave glory to God, even in the midst of doubt and unbelief" (verse 20). We are going to struggle with doubts and unbelief in our life, but to have faith like Abraham means continuing to trust in God and "being fully persuaded that God has the power to do what God has promised" (verse 22). If we have faith in God in this way, then even when we fail to li

Lent 10 - The Timeless Call

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Genesis 17:1-7 Abraham was 99 years old when God called him and made a covenant with him. It is true that Abraham lived for longer than the average human today, but even he thought that he was too old to be of any use as a servant of God at his age. I think that too often we let age define what we are able to do, especially when it comes to God's work in the world. We constantly hear people say, "I missed my opportunity to get involved in that ministry," or "I wish I had signed up earlier in my life so that I could have made a greater impact here." It is never too late to answer God's call on your life.  Even if you are only able to contribute to a certain calling for a few months or years, the influence that you make could have a lasting impact for many future generations.  Abraham's main contribution to the story of God's people was that he was a pioneer for generations to come. Even though he doubted his ability, he was faithful to God's call

Lent 9 - The Transfiguration

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Mark 9:2-9 There are certain times during our lives where we feel closer to God. Perhaps it is during certain seasons such as Christmas, Easter or even Lent. Perhaps it is at a certain time of the day, when we set time aside to pray or read our bibles. It is great to have these special moments in our lives when we feel closer to God but unfortunately, we cannot stay there forever. In our reading this morning, while on the mountain and overwhelmed by the experience of Jesus’ transfiguration, Peter wants to set up tents to prolong the experience that he was having. Peter was perhaps the first of many to try and make this sacred experience more permanent. As much as we would like to, no-one gets to stay on the mountain forever. All of us that meet with God in special moments have to eventually return to the real world. Often, the real world is not a nice place to be. There is much pain, heartbreak and evil waiting for us at the bottom of the mountain. The good news of the Gospel story is

Lent 8 - The modern-day Kingdom of God

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Mark 9:1 Jesus often spoke about the Kingdom of God. While I still believe that this phrase is a beautiful phrase to describe God's reign on earth, it can sometimes get lost in translation. We need to remember that when Jesus termed this phrase, he was addressing a very different context to what we live in today. The people of Jesus' time were living under the rule of the mighty Roman Empire. They were very familiar with what a Kingdom looked like and what values were important to a worldly kingdom. Therefore, when Jesus spoke about this new Kingdom of love, joy, peace and hope, the people would have immediately noticed the stark differences between the Kingdom of the world and the Kingdom of God. So this got me thinking... If Jesus was born into humanity today, what phrase would he use to describe the Kingdom of God  so that today's generation would better understand what he was talking about? Maybe, because of our fascination with consumerism and always wanting more, he w