Pray With Us

Dear All,

Tomorrow we celebrate the feast of Christ the King, and the end of our Church Year with Advent beginning next Sunday.

Maybe for some of us, this idea of Christ as KING is tricky – difficult to visualise!  So today’s reflections focus on God’s Kingdom – and our part in bringing it into being here & now.  We hope something of what is here you will find engaging & will help in celebrating the feast.  The material doesn’t need much comment: it doesn’t minimise the day to day struggles we have in trying to make it a reality in our daily lives – our task: to make God’s Kingdom Come!

Let us pray for the breaking in of God’s Kingdom of light & peace in our world today – Your Kingdom Come!

We conclude with a sung blessing for you all – ‘The Peace of Christ be with you’, from Heavenly Peace by Geoffrey Nobes.

With our love & prayer for you all

 

Ripples

I have a stone.

I throw it in the pond of the world.

and watch the ripples spread out.

The stone is my prayer,

my God is working through me.

The stone is my inspiration from God.

The Spirit helps me to throw it.

Other stones are thrown into

the pond of the world as well as mine,

other peoples prayers & inspirations.

The ripples from their stones & mine

spread out & meet –

sometimes uniting,

sometimes bouncing off each other

to form more complicated patterns.

In this pond of the world

our ripples spread out & interact

and together, with our God,

we build the Kingdom.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

ripple that seems to go on forever. It seems to flow out so far that it touches all parts of the pond. Not one square inch of the pond’s surface is left unaffected by the ripple. The entire pond has been impacted and touched by the action of that one stone. The pond is the world and the stone is each and every action you chose to take in your life.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

 

 

Working with Love

by Khalil Gibran

And what is it to work with love? 

It is to weave the cloth 
with threads drawn from your heart, 
even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.

It is to build a house with affection, 
even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.

It is to sow seeds with tenderness 
and reap the harvest with joy, 
even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.

 

 

 

The hardest part is people

The hardest part is people.

So Lord, help me face them

Without rancour or disappointment.

Help me to see the pain behind their actions

Rather than the malice;

The suffering rather than the rage.

And in myself, as I struggle

With the vise of my own desire –

Give me strength to quiet my heart,

To quicken my empathy, to act in gratitude rather than need.

Remind me that the peace I find

In the slow track of the seasons

Or an uncurling fern frond,

Is married to the despair I feel

In the face of nuclear war.

Remind me that each small bird shares atoms

With anthrax. With tetanus, with acid rain,

That each time I close my heart

To another I add to the darkness;

Help me always follow kindness.

 

 

Changing the Face of the Mountain

Once upon a time in Kenya in a remote, unfriendly village called Kamamusa that clung to the side of a mountain, there lived an old lady called Bibi Tumaini whose habits seemed strange to her neighbours. Since the severe cold kept most villagers crowded together near their fireplaces, they did not cultivate the art of hospitality, and rarely spoke to anyone outside their immediate families. The frosty and unproductive mountainside beckoned no one towards its slopes, even in the less cold seasons of the year. Only the children climbed the mountain secretly because their parents had forbidden them. The children always met the old lady. Most of the time Bibi Tumaini was bending over, digging a little hole in the ground, and dropping a ‘tiny something’ into it. The courageous children would ask, “Granny, what are you doing?” Her reply was always the same, “I am changing the face of the mountain.”

The children grew and most left the village for the big cities. After several years a woman called Mazingira returned to share with her husband and children the harsh environment of her youth. When she came back Mazingira did not recognize the place of her childhood. The mountainside was ablaze with an impressive assortment of colourful flowers swaying in the gentle breeze. Bushes and young trees lent their foliage as shade to the many children and adults along the foot of the mountain. Families and neighbours gathered and had parties together. They all spoke to each other, laughed and played games.

The woman who had returned stopped one of the villagers to ask: “When did all this come about? What happened to the unwelcoming and unproductive mountainside of my childhood?” The villager replied: “Do you remember the strange old lady who lived here, the one who would wander up and down the mountainside?” It was she who planted all these seeds. She went out every day intent on her sowing — believing all the while that the results would bear fruit.” Mazingira recalled the image of this old and bent figure from her childhood. At last, she understood the meaning of those words: “I am changing the face of the mountain.”