Posted by: lepages | November 3, 2009

Reflections…

Some thoughts/reflections/prayers from my time with God over the last 5/6 days….

“Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night.” Philippians 2:15 The Message

Lord, help me to be and to do these things – to be like a breath of fresh air because I take your presence with me. Help me to live life to the full and so let others see the joy of following the living God – and help me to communicate your Message wherever you give me the opportunity. In Jesus’ name and for his glory I pray. Amen

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good.
His love is eternal.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love is eternal.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords.
His love is eternal.
He alone does great wonders.
His love is eternal.
He made the heavens skillfully.
His love is eternal.
He spread the land on the waters.
His love is eternal.
He made the great lights:
His love is eternal.
the sun to rule by day,
His love is eternal.
the moon and stars to rule by night.
His love is eternal.

Psalm 136:1-9 Holman Christian Standard Bible

I was so inspired as I read this Psalm – inspired by who God is in his nature – inspired by what God has done in his creativity – and all in the context of the fact that he is an eternal God who loves eternally – a love that never fails. If you read on in the Psalm beyond the verses above you’ll find statement after statement of how God has acted in showing his eternal love to his people. The remarkable thing is we could probably all add extra stanzas in and intersperse them with ‘His love is eternal’ – some things would be major things, like in my case…

He preserved my life against all the odds
His love is eternal

or they could just be minor things like….

He gives me pleasure in my hobbies
His love is eternal

You might like to read the psalm and add your own phrases in with the repeated insert ‘His love is eternal’ There is something powerful about reading it out loud as it affirms the truth in your life.

“Look down beloved. What’s at the end of our wrists, open hands or closed fists? What are we holding so tightly? Spouse, children, career, money, routine? The traditions of our church? Can we really keep what we won’t let go of? Perhaps we can, but not without regret.” Gary Robinson, Preaching Vol.24 No.6

I often have closed fists (literally!) Even as I sit reflecting again on this I realised my left fist was clenched shut….. maybe its about keeping fingers warm…. whenever I run my fists are always closed… I don’t think its just that I’m preparing to punch someone… but it makes me think is this symbolic of my holding on to any things in life? Its easy to hold on to things. I’ve been realising that as I’ve been reflecting on leadership as I’ve been reading Philip Greenslade’s book ‘Leadership’. A number of things have been impressing themselves on me through this time of sabbatical. One of them is about the servant nature of Christian leadership, in the context of community and ‘one anothering’. Perhaps the hardest thing about my sabbatical is stepping out of the community of God’s people – but its valuable to be doing that, because it is impressing on me afresh the value of the community of God’s people and the place that it offers to welcome others in. How will this work out as I return from sabbatical? Things to reflect on further.

The above quote from Gary Robinson was taken from a sermon about Abraham facing the call to sacrifice the son he loved, Issac. Abraham was willing because he trusted God to provide for him and see him through – and he did – he returned with his son. I wonder if there are things which we need to be prepared to sacrifice for the sake of the kingdom of God?

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