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Bible open to the Psalms with the words, "It's your breath in our lungs so we pour out our praise" handwritten onto the page

Friday Connection – 15th May 2020

Welcome to our Ninth Friday Connection – 15th May 2020

Do you feel life is on hold, life is dream-like, or life is just different. While we are not meeting in church our Christian life is not on hold – indeed Christian life is not a dream but full and purposeful, a Christian life can be quite different to the lives of so many who do not know Jesus and the full life that knowing Him means. Though we are living differently from eight or nine weeks ago we need more than ever to stay close to Jesus and each other by whatever means we can as we encourage and charge each other to go forward in whatever situation we find ourselves.

As we look at the readings for the week we are encouraged. The Psalm for the week is so joyful and reassuring so please read it and know our God: Praise our God, all peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard; he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver. Read it all and be glad. Likewise as we look at the Gospel reading we are challenged to go forward with courage.

John 14:15-21 Another Helper

Here we are in week nine carrying on our thoughts from last week – we are walking with Jesus as he continues to support his disciples and encourage them for the work he is going to leave them to do when he returns to be with his heavenly Father. We need to listen carefully for the words are intended for us too.

Jesus in effect says that he will still be around when he goes back to God – an event we remember this coming Thursday – Ascension Day. He will do this by sending his own Spirit, his own breath, his inner life. He uses a special word for this – he calls the Spirit “another helper”. This is a term that is many sided. It doesn’t simply mean someone who comes to lend assistance in our lives – it does mean that as well – the Spirit comes to give us strength and energy to do what we have to do, to live for God and witness to his love in the world – yes, even in times like these. It means two other things: another word that is used is “comforter” – to give an extra strength to meet special needs; yet another word is “advocate” – to help us to speak up for Jesus.

So in the days of this week, and the days that lie ahead, the Spirit of Jesus will be with us at every step in every situation, to be our helper, comforter, and enabler, giving us the words and actions we need.

Don’t forget to make use of the Prayer Journal you have received from this Thursday to Pentecost Sunday on 31 May – we can wait on God as the first disciples waited for their gift of the Spirit – and pray for five people we know to come to know Jesus for themselves.

With our love and prayers
Irene and Terry

The readings for the coming Sunday are:
Psalm 66: 8-20; Acts 17: 22-31; 1 Peter 3: 13-22; John 14: 15-21

A white dove flying across a rainbow, with the verse from Phillipians chapter 4 verses 4 to 7

Rejoice in the Lord always

Philippians Ch 4 v 4-7
Rejoice in the Lord always… The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

This is a good Bible passage to keep in mind every day as it reminds us that God is our constant in changing situations. There are many others so keep up your Bible study and remember that there will be faith related stories on Radio Lincolnshire on Sunday morning at 7.30am. The Radio 4 service (Sunday Worship) begins just after 8am and, of course, Songs of Praise is on television.

I know you will be praying for friends and family and the whole situation at the moment but what about making Friday the special time when we pray especially for our own church family and look forward to seeing each other at worship in a few weeks’ time? We know that we are urged to pray continually, 1 Thessalonians 5:17 exhorts us to “Pray continually.” Jesus prayed to his Father all the time and if we pray like this we build up our relationship with God, strengthening us and helping us go forward with courage.

With our love and prayers, Terry and Irene