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[12 Days] Twelfth Day…

Read: Revelation 22:16 (CEV)

Revelation 22:16 I am Jesus! And I am the one who sent my angel to tell all of you these things for the churches. I am David’s Great Descendant, [c] and I am also the bright morning star. 17The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!”

Everyone who hears this should say, “Come!” If you are thirsty, come! If you want life-giving water, come and take it. It’s free!

Reflect:

Today is officially the end of Christmas for another year. The decorations are coming down (if they have not done already) and we now look towards Lent, Easter and Pentecost. I love this section from the book of revelation. I like the way this translation gives a sense of urgency in Jesus’ words. So, may we hear his words today – , “Come!” If you are thirsty, come! If you want life-giving water, come and take it. It’s free!

Advent and Christmas are about Jesus. The coming of Immanuel. It is about preparing for Jesus’ second coming – may we live each day knowing that we have done all we can to prepare for the return of the King.

The Spirit and the Church say, “Come!”

Respond:

Father, may we know your grace. We want to live doing all we can to prepare for the return of the king. May the living waters of Christ cleanse us, may the Spirit descend upon us, and the blessing of God be with us this day and always. Amen


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Posted by on January 5, 2012 in 12 Days of Christmas, Jesus

 

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[12 Days] Eleventh Day…

Read: John 14:15-21 (CEB)

John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 I will ask the Father, and he will send another Companion, who will be with you forever. 17 This Companion is the Spirit of Truth, whom the world can’t receive because it neither sees him nor recognizes him. You know him, because he lives with you and will be with you.

18 “I won’t leave you as orphans. I will come to you. 19 Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Because I live, you will live too. 20 On that day you will know that I am in my Father, you are in me, and I am in you. 21Whoever has my commandments and keeps them loves me. Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”

Reflect:

We reach day eleven and for most of us Christmas is now a distant memory. Replaced with the return of normality, whatever that may look like.

Our passage for today reflects some of the themes of advent and Christmas itself; namely that God is with us.

I love this translations use of the word companion. Many other translations use the phrase Advocate or Helper. But, companion adds a new flavour to the work of the Holy Spirit and ties in well with the truth that Jesus speaks in the remainder of the passage.

We have the risk taking, grace awakening, dream filled, person of the Holy Spirit walking with us every step of the way.

We are no longer orphans.

Respond:

Holy Spirit thank you for your presence with us. Thank you that we are not alone, we have you as our guide. May we get to know you as you lead us in your truth. Reveal Jesus to us, this and every day. For His glory. Amen

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2012 in 12 Days of Christmas, Jesus

 

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[12 Days] Tenth Day…

Read: Psalm 24:1-2  (CEB)

Psalm 24:1 The earth is the LORD’s
and everything in it,
the world and its inhabitants too.
2 Because God is the one
who established it on the seas;
God set it firmly on the waters.

Reflect:

Tuesday morning. For most it is first day back to ‘normal’.

A great day to reflect on the past days of Christmas and look forward. Our Bible passage for today is not specifically Christmas orientated but does speak of a single truth that may help as work invades once more.

The Bible is quite clear, the earth is the Lord’s, he made it, therefore it is his.The coming of Jesus is a huge exclamation point on these verses. Rob Bell added to this thought as several others like it when he said,

The Earth is filled with the Glory of God, He never has to turn up, we have to notice Him

We need to continue to reawaken our minds to notice God. Jesus asks us to follow Him in everything we do. Be it work, marriage, parenting, shopping or any other task. It is the same question to a cleaner, a government official, a full time mum/dad or to those who work in an office.

Jesus asks us to follow him, to be Him in the places we live, the homes we visit, in the shops we use and especially in the places we work.

Let us make today count. The earth is the LORD’s and everything in it.

Respond:

Father, I thank you for my work, especially in this time.
Open my eyes today that I might see you at work.
Show me where you are at work in my colleagues lives,
That I may be a blessing to them and serve them.

May I stay awake to your presence with me today.
Bless those who I work with, those I like and those I struggle with.
May I be your grace and peace to them.

May I through your strength,
Put away all gossip, bitterness and anger
So, that I may be able to see you face in all that I meet.

Holy Spirit speak through me today,
Be in every conversation that I have
May I be a true and faithful witness to you at work today. Teach me to take risks for your mission.

In Jesus’ name

Amen

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2012 in 12 Days of Christmas, Jesus

 

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[12 Days] Ninth Day…

Read: Luke 15:1-10 (ETR Version)

Luke 15:1 Many tax collectors and sinners came to listen to Jesus. 2 Then the Pharisees and the teachers of the law began to complain, “Look, this man welcomes sinners and even eats with them!”

3 Then Jesus told them this story: 4 “Suppose one of you has 100 sheep, but one of them gets lost. What will you do? You will leave the other 99 sheep there in the field and go out and look for the lost sheep. You will continue to search for it until you find it. 5 And when you find it, you will be very happy. You will carry it 6 home, go to your friends and neighbors and say to them, ‘Be happy with me because I found my lost sheep!’ 7 In the same way, I tell you, heaven is a happy place when one sinner decides to change. There is more joy for that one sinner than for 99 good people who don’t need to change.

8 “Suppose a woman has ten silver coins, but she loses one of them. She will take a light and clean the house. She will look carefully for the coin until she finds it. 9 And when she finds it, she will call her friends and neighbors and say to them, ‘Be happy with me because I have found the coin that I lost!’ 10 In the same way, it’s a happy time for the angels of God when one sinner decides to change.”

Reflect:

For many today will be the ‘last day’ before work and work despair may well and truly of hit by now. So, what better time then to focus on the mission of God I hear you say and I’d agree.

The New Year is now up and running and this may be our last time to reflect before the school runs, sandwich making, to-do list, early morning starts and our 99mph days kick back into gear. As you read the Bible passage for today – let your mind wander and wonder, what if the vision behind these stories is true?

What if there was a God who would search for you in the same way as the shepherd and the woman did?

Respond:

Father God, thank you for the overflow of your love. Thank you for your grace that found me. Thank you that you sent Jesus to come and find us. Holy Spirit as this year unfolds may I learn more about your ways and may I live knowing that I am found. In Jesus name. Amen.

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2012 in 12 Days of Christmas, Jesus

 

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[12 Days] Six Days…

Read: Genesis 1:1-5 (The Message)

Genesis 1-2First this: God created the Heavens and Earth—all you see, all you don’t see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God’s Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss.

3-5 God spoke: “Light!”
And light appeared.
God saw that light was good
and separated light from dark.
God named the light Day,
he named the dark Night.
It was evening, it was morning—
Day One.

You may like to carry on reading the creation narrative here.

Reflect:

We reach day six in our series and the obvious link is the six days of creation. We are not going to debate the creation narrative in this post – but look to our creator. Later on in the Biblical narrative we read some of King Solomon’s words that encourage us to remember our creator in the days of our youth. Or in other words while we still can, we choose to remember our creator.

The Gospel of John points us to the fact everything, whether seen or unseen was created for and through Jesus. As we start the countdown to returning to work/school/’normal’ life may we all find time in our busy schedules to regularly remember our creator.

Respond:

In the name of the Father, Son and Spirit, Lord I come. Before I forget your creation, before I forget your love, before I forget your story. I choose to remember my creator, his love and his story. May I learn to carve time out of my schedule to spend remembering you. Amen

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2011 in 12 Days of Christmas, Jesus

 

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[12 Days] Fifth Day…

Read Psalm 1

Psalm 1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the LORD,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.

4 Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

Reflect
Today we reach day number five.

Five in the Bible is most often associated with the first five books of the Bible, namely Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Or the books of Moses or the books of the law.

Our scripture reading today is all about meditating on God’s word. Psalm 1 calls us to meditate on the word of God day and night. Later in the Gospels, Jesus said he had not come to change anything from the law, but that he was fulfilling the law. Filling it out, putting flesh on it.

Have you ever read the Bible in a year? Will you in 2012?

Have you consciously tried to look at every passage you read looking for Jesus?

He is there, putting flesh on the very words of God.

Respond

Holy Spirit, help me find Jesus. As I read, study, digest, mull over and generally flick through your word would you show me Jesus. Turn my gaze to Jesus, may all that thrills my soul by Him and Him alone. Amen

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2011 in 12 Days of Christmas, Jesus

 

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[12 Days] Feast of Stephen…

Read: Acts 6:1-7 (Message Translation)

Acts 1-4 During this time, as the disciples were increasing in numbers by leaps and bounds, hard feelings developed among the Greek-speaking believers—”Hellenists”—toward the Hebrew-speaking believers because their widows were being discriminated against in the daily food lines. So the Twelve called a meeting of the disciples. They said, “It wouldn’t be right for us to abandon our responsibilities for preaching and teaching the Word of God to help with the care of the poor. So, friends, choose seven men from among you whom everyone trusts, men full of the Holy Spirit and good sense, and we’ll assign them this task. Meanwhile, we’ll stick to our assigned tasks of prayer and speaking God’s Word.”

5-6The congregation thought this was a great idea. They went ahead and chose—

Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit,
Philip,
Procorus,
Nicanor,
Timon,
Parmenas,
Nicolas, a convert from Antioch.
Then they presented them to the apostles. Praying, the apostles laid on hands and commissioned them for their task.

7The Word of God prospered. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased dramatically. Not least, a great many priests submitted themselves to the faith.

Reflect:

Today, is the feast of Stephen and on this day it is generally Stephen’s martyrdom that we focus on. But, we’re going to focus in on Stephen’s reputation.

Stephen was well known amongst the new thriving church, he was know for his faith and being full of the Holy Spirit. From this reputation, the apostles knew that he could be trusted with greater responsibility.

What are you well known for?

Respond:

Father of all, thank you for the life and example of Stephen. Thank you for his servant heart and submission to you and your vision. Thank you for those throughout the years who have given their lives to further your gospel. May I be known as a follower of Jesus. May my reputation honour your name. Holy Spirit, make your ways know to me. In Jesus’ name. Amen

 

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2011 in 12 Days of Christmas, Jesus

 

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