Yesterday, it was the 6th Sunday of Easter. Those weeks seem to have passed by quickly, with so much happening.
Our focus for yesterday’s service was John 14: 15-21 and Max led a game of Simon Says and spoke about God’s love for us and the need to follow Jesus’ commandments. This is Max’s summary of his talk:
‘As Christians there are lots of religious things we don’t have to do, like following the rules of Shabbat, or the Jewish food restrictions. But when Jesus says do something, we should do it. This is because as his people we should love him, and if we love him we will do what he asks.
If Simon says stand on one leg and rub you belly in an anti-clockwise circle while patting your head, that would be very hard. Try it for yourselves! Likewise, Jesus wants us to do some very hard things, like forgiving people and loving people we may not even like. But because we love him, we have to try. This is how we get to know Jesus better.’
One way of showing our love for God and for others is in our giving, and it is great news that, after setting up our Christian Aid online giving envelope last week, where our target was £300, this Benefice has raised between £550 and £600 for the Christian Aid Coronavirus Appeal to help Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and Africa by providing clean water, good sanitation and medical supplies. Thank you, so much, for all your contributions; I recognise that some of you may have also sent a cheque or donated by phone.
Thank you, also, for your contributions to the Foodbank; this Benefice is doing a great job! This week they need tinned potatoes, sponge puddings, snack meat, eg. ravioli, sausages in beans, spaghetti bolognaise, cooking sauces (korma, sweet ‘n’ sour, mushroom, hunter’s chicken, chilli con carne, honey and mustard etc,) hot chocolate, tinned carrots, mashed potato and tinned spaghetti. They also need some large sized nappies.
You may have heard that priests are now able to go into churches to pray if they live close by and are able to stream services from their churches. However, congregations are not able to worship in churches at the moment and for this and a number of other, largely practical, reasons, I have decided to continue recording our services from The Rectory and will lead services from church at such a time when we are able to worship together.
Just a reminder that it is Betty’s funeral service in Horndon, this Friday at 1pm. The same restrictions as before apply, but I am sure that if anyone feels able to stand in the road to offer their support, Eddie, Lin and the family would appreciate it. Please do hold them all in your prayers
at this difficult time. And please do continue to pray for Roy and Lyn (H), Dave (H), Steve (O) and the Anderson Family, following their recent bereavement.
On the subject of prayer, Ascension Day, this Thursday, (which we will actually be celebrating at our online 10am Sunday Morning Service on Sunday 24th May), marks the beginning of the Church of England’s Thy Kingdom Come initiative. Thy Kingdom Come is a global prayer movement that invites Christians around the world to pray between Ascension Day (21st May) and Pentecost (31st May) for more people to come to know Jesus. I invite you to join with me in doing that. If you would like some resources to help you with this, you can find information by clicking on this link: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/church-resources/thy-kingdom-come
Also, the Lectionary Bible readings for this week are:
|Day||Morning Prayer||Evening Prayer|
|Monday 18th May||Numbers 16 1-35 Luke 6 27-38||Deuteronomy 26 1 Peter 4 1-11|
|Tuesday 19th Day||Numbers 16 36-end Luke 6 39-end||Deuteronomy 28 1-14 1 Peter 4 12-end|
|Wednesday 20th May||Numbers 17 1-11 Luke 5 7 1-10||2 Samuel 23 1-5 Colossians 2 20- 3 -4|
|Thursday 21st May Ascension Day||Isaiah 52 7-end Hebrews 7 26-end||2 Kings 2 1-15 Mark 16 14-end|
|Friday 22nd May||Numbers 20 1-13 Luke 7 11-17||Deuteronomy 29 2-15 1 John 1 1- 2 -6|
|Saturday 23rd May||Numbers 21 4-9 Luke 7 18 -35||Deuteronomy 30 1 John 2 7 -17|
And if you have been using the Morning and Evening Prayer booklets, Ascension Day would be the time to revert back to the original Morning and Evening Prayer booklets which I delivered when the lockdown begun.
Take care, do let me know of any prayer needs, or practical needs, particularly relating to gardening, as one couple have kindly offered their help, and I look forward to seeing you in the not-too-distant future.
With love and prayers,