19th April 2021 – Rev Paul Bettison
Well, Ralph Vaughan Williams has pulled it off again. ‘The Lark Ascending’ has, for the ninth time, been voted number one. Classic fm listeners were encouraged to choose their three favourite pieces of music and the top three hundred formed the Hall of Fame. Tempted by the prospect of winning a prize, I registered my vote. But it wasn’t easy. What constitutes my favourites depends on the mood that I happen to be in at the time.
According to a recent survey William Blake’s poem Jerusalem, set to music by Sir Hubert Parry, was rated first in the list of the nation’s favourite hymns. It wouldn’t be my choice, but again, what I would choose depends on how I’m feeling, and what for me life is like at the time. Maybe the same could be said for you.
So this ‘Thought’ is an invitation to pause for a while and ask the question ‘Which hymn or piece of music best addresses or expresses my feelings today?’ or perhaps ‘Which reflects my faith or brings me hope?’
21st April – image
23rd April – Philip Bee
You worry and fret about so many things, and yet few are needed, indeed only one.’ (Luke 10: 41-42)
Mary and Martha are two very different characters in the Bible. On one occasion, they offer the hospitality of their home to Jesus who is passing. Martha is the do-er, busying herself with the physical needs of her guests; Mary is the reflector, who sits with Jesus to listen intently to the wisdom he offers. When Martha complains that she has everything to do while her sister is “resting”, Jesus encourages her to stop worrying about the material world and focus instead on the one thing necessary to fulfil her spiritual potential – her engagement with God.
Time for God
Two women offer hospitality home to Jesus who is passing by their home.
Martha, the do-er, busies herself with the physical needs of her guests; Mary, the reflector, sits with Jesus to listen intently to the wisdom he offers.
When Martha complains that she has everything to do while her sister just sits, Jesus reminds her that hospitality includes the discipline of sitting with, not just the activity of providing for.
Engagement with God comes through as we offer him our hospitality.
Loving God, forgive my tendency to be distracted by the demands of everyday life. Grant me the grace to listen intently for your Word. Amen.
26th April – image
28th April – Philip Bee
Over thousands of years, people have wondered: What does God look like? Christian faith holds that Jesus crucified on the cross gives us a proper image of what God is like. A crucified Jesus is not a pretty sight. Beauty, though, is not about looks, but about how we love one another in self-sacrificial ways. It is the kindness, care and compassion of a person that makes them beautiful. The same qualities make us beautiful to others.
You are clothed with honour and majesty, wrapped in light as with a garment.
Beautiful God, make me appreciative of the goodness in those around me. Make me alert to the needs of other people and able to respond with love. Amen.
Who are the people that have been beautiful to you?
30th April – Image