Strangely enough that is what came out for me in my bible.reading this morning from Ephesians 1:3-14
📍 Blessed with every spiritual blessing:- Chosen to be blameless Adopted as legal heirs Have grace freely bestowed upon us Redemption Forgiveness of our sins God’s own possession Sealed with the Holy Spirit
🖊 As Christians we are ALL given these blessings, they are lavished upon us, this is now what we have and who we.are.in Christ.
No matter our physical circumstances or status these are.our blessings and if we can’t find anything else in our lives to give thanks for, we can give thanks for all these spiritual blessings.
God has given them to us generously, according to His riches, according to His good pleasure and for the Praise of His glory. There is no way then that we should be living as spiritual paupers, or as unthankful people, instead we should be living rich lives, full of gratitude for all our many blessings.
So today, no matter what our circumstances look like we are richly blessed and for that I am grateful.
With more Lockdown and travel restrictions being imposed in parts of our country, one of the things my elderly mum very much misses is that human connection. None of her children live nearby, she has friends, very good friends and lots of cousins she would normally she would meet up with, so to face more isolation in yet again another lockdown is actually just depressing for her. She has done so well, she was in a routine, she was going out for walks and chatting to people from a safe distance, and in the summer she could even sit in her front garden and chat to people passing by.
But now? Drawing the curtains against the dark at 4 O’clock in the afternoon is isolating, taking a walk involves wearing multiple layers of clothing and waterproofs which weighs down and frankly just seems too difficult at times.
These restrictions on family/friends/social life are so hard on the elderly and those living alone, they need to see a friendly face, they need to be able to get out and socialize or the danger is that they will wilt under the isolation, they need contact to keep them going, give them something to do, have a focus other than themselves.
And what about touch? Some people have not experienced human touch for months. No kissing as a greeting, no hugging to say goodbye, no holding hands in empathy, no laying your hand on an arm as an act of solidarity. Nothing, none of that warmth of human contact. Just cold and empty.
What is it about touch? There is no substitute for it. It comforts and reassures in ways that other gestures and words cannot. Touch can be like medicine to relieve stress, calm nerves and ease tension. Without touch, without that feel of another human being, life is lonely.
I wonder if that is why Jesus when He was healing people often reached out and touched them, they needed more than a Word of healing, they need the feel of compassion, the feel of being heard and seen, the feel of worth.
He took Peter’s mother-in-law by the hand and took away her fever (Matthew 8:14-15). He touched the eyes of two blind men and gave them sight (Matthew 9:27-31). He touched the ears and the tongue of a deaf mute and gave him hearing and speech (Mark 7:31-35). He even touched a leper to make him clean (Mark 1:40-42) and He allowed a hemorrhaging woman to reach out and touch Him (Luke 8:44). Touch, oh to be touched by the Saviour!
Lord, when we can’t be there, when we can’t reach out and touch, will You do that for us? Will you reach out and touch our loved ones? As You reached out to those in need, will you please reach out now and touch those who are lonely, those who are struggling, those who are weeping with no-one to even see, those with heavy, heavy hearts and those who just don’t know how they are going to survive another lockdown, please reach down and touch them.
Joining with the #Five Minute Friday group of writers to free write on a one word prompt for 5 minutes. Today’s prompt is: Grief.
Grief is such a mixture of emotions, a real rollercoaster, it is also a very personal and very indivualistic thing, with people responding/coping with grief in different ways,
There is no right way to grieve, you have to just find your own way through it, you have to make space for it in your life and you have to cut yourself a little slack along the way.
One thing I do know is that suppressing grief does not work, it will find its way out in someway and at sometime. It may manifest itself in bitterness and resentment; it may catch you unawares years later when faced with a similar situation. So grief is a process, one we have to allow to do its work. If we hadn’t felt so deeply, we wouldn’t be feeling the grief so deeply, we have loved and lost; we had expectations and they were killed; we had hope and it was extinguished. We need to come to a place of acceptance of these things and allow grief to do it’s work in our life, till we can again see the light of life and find the Lord of life who will wipe away every tear.
to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; (Is 61:3)
Joining with the#Five Minute Friday group of writers today to free-write on a one word prompt. Today’s prompt is: Cancel.
So what I want to emphatically say, that despite all the rumours – Christmas IS NOT cancelled! No matter what stage of Lockdown or restrictions we are in at the time Christmas is still NOT cancelled.!!!!
We still have the good news to share, we are still commanded to ‘go and tell’, and if anything, and at such a time as this we should indeed be shouting it from the rooftops, from the mountains that the Saviour has come!
At what may be bleak times, then we hold out the light of the gospel, we tell and show of a Saviour who came to seek and save the lost, the weary and hurt. We hold out hope and light and tell of the good news and we show it, we shine it, we bring infectious joy to it so that the reality of it is both felt and telt* (Scots word for told).
Go tell it on the mountain Over the hills and everywhere Go tell it on the mountain Our Jesus Christ is born
For our mid-week meditation this week sharing my post from our Church’s ‘Peace in the Storm’ Series:
‘On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, we shall remember them’
We remember those who gave their lives in both World Wars, and the many others who have given their lives in conflicts since 1945. We remember those who loved and lost, those who fought and died, those who returned in body, but not in mind, those who came back and who still bear the scars and still suffer the nightmares, those who cannot forget; those who carry their scars beneath their medals and ofcourse those still serving, still sacrificing.
There was another one, another man who also served & sacrificed and bears scars, He has been called by some as ‘the Man of Sorrows’. The scars He bears are the scars left by our sin, the scars when He took our punishment upon Himself, the scars of injustice, the scars of greater wars, the scars of friends who betrayed, the scars of humanity, sickness and conflict.
Jesus the Man of Sorrows, bears our scars, you can see the nail prints on His hands and feet, you can see where the sword pierced His side, those scars of love are still visiible, for it was love for us which held Him to that cross, it was love for us that caused Him to suffer for us, that we may have peace, and reconciliation with God. Once we were at enmity with God, but through Jesus we have peace with Him.
So, today as we remember those who gave, those who suffered that we may live in a country in a time of relative peace, may we be grateful, may we honour those men and women in our two-minute silence. And may we also remember that Man of Sorrows and the scars He bore for us, the One who gave and forgave and honour Him with our lives.
Joining with the #Five Minute Friday group of writers today to freewrite on a one word prompt. Today’s prompt is: Ahead
I have recently taken over a very small role within my church, it is unseen and probably few even know that it is me that is doing it! However, as it any role you at first just follow on doing what was done before, but now I am beginning to see a way ahead.
I have been planning the weeks up till the New Year! I have a bit of direction, even a bit of a vision and you know what, deep down inside that gives me a bit of a thrill!
It may not be big, it may not be seen, but there is a plan and there is a way ahead; to God be the glory given.