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Stained glass window of a dove on an orange background, with Acts 1:8 written at the bottom

Friday Connection – 22nd May 2020

Welcome to our 10th Friday Connection
“Is it that time already?” How many times do we ask that sort of question? And just now – is it Ascension Day already? Yes, last Thursday! Time moves on, the Christian calendar moves on as it does each year, no matter what is happening at the present.
One of our readings this week, Acts 1:6-14, carries us in our Christian calendar to remember Jesus leaving his friends to go back to be with God – we are part of a world in our faith that has heaven and earth as the two parts of God’s creation – and Jesus moves between the two parts without effort. He leaves us to carry on the work that he began – that work has been spelled out in verse 8: “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. Then you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria and to the very ends of the earth”
So just like the disciples we are to begin just where God has put us – them in Jerusalem; then the wider area – Judea; the area of Samaria that has “foreigners” living right next door; and finally to all the world. And if that seems a daunting agenda, Jesus says we will be given the power we need to do the work by the Holy Spirit!
But just now, like the disciples, we are to wait 10 days until Pentecost on the very last day of the month – and while we wait we pray using the prayer journal for Thy Kingdom Come,
looking for pointers from God, for the names of people to pray for to come to faith.
The other readings for this Sunday are: Psalm 68:1-10 and 32-35, John 17:1-11 and I Peter 4:12-14. The Psalm’s last verses tell us to sing to God, who rides the skies, just as Jesus has risen to be with God. The Gospel reading asks that all Christians might be one in being God’s people and proclaiming his promises through good times and bad, because he is our faithful God. As one of our songs reminds us: What a mighty God we serve!
With our love and prayers
Irene and Terry
I thank you, Lord, for creating us all in your image,
for giving us hearts that can love like you,
for the goodness of others,
for those who help the poor and needy,
for those who show consideration,
for being able to forgive like you,
for fortitude through life’s trials,
for your glory shining through those seeking to
make the world a better place.
I thank you Lord for sharing your Life with us,
for suffering for our sakes,
for giving yourself up on the Cross,
for the splendour of your Holiness,
for loving us all, now and always,
For all this and more I thank you Lord. Amen
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