Reflection and Sunday Service 15 April

  a green cross motif 15 April 2018

a wee reflection on the week ...
 


 

During a week in the Lake District where the weather fluctuated between glorious and pouring with rain, I came across this story about Dorothy Wordsworth, sister of the poet William Wordsworth.  She was a diligent diarist, and an entry for 15 April 1802 describes a walk with her brother from their Lake District home in Grasmere. She describes the morning as ‘threatening, misty but mild’ and they set off, accompanied by a friend who, after a short way turned back. Dorothy records that ‘the wind was furious’ so much so that she and William also thought of turning back; but they kept going, even though ‘the wind seized our breath’ and ‘the lake was rough’. There are references to primroses, wood sorrel, hawthorns, anemones, violets. Then she mentions ‘a few daffodils close to the waterside’, adding: ‘but as we went along there were more and yet more… a long belt of them along the shore, about the breadth of a country turnpike road……I never saw daffodils so beautiful….they tossed and reeled and danced and seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind that blew upon them over the lake’.

What if the weather had forced them back home to the comfort of Dove cottage?  Would one of the best loved poems in the English language have been inspired and written?  It was in the midst of a difficult, windy, uncertain journey that the daffodils danced so brightly and looked so vivid.

There are difficult journeys in life taking us through uncertain terrain, and inclement weather which can tempt us to turn back.  But those journeys may well be the ones which enable us to see the beauty, recognise the light, and witness the dance of the daffodils.

 

this sunday’s service

READINGS FOR THE WEEK

2 Corinthians 5:11-6:2       &            Luke 24:36-48    

2 Corinthians 5:11-6:2       Friendship with God through Christ

11 We know what it means to fear the Lord, and so we try to persuade others. God knows us completely, and I hope that in your hearts you know me as well. 12 We are not trying again to recommend ourselves to you; rather, we are trying to give you a good reason to be proud of us, so that you will be able to answer those who boast about people's appearance and not about their character. 13 Are we really insane? It is for God's sake. Or are we sane? Then it is for your sake. 14 We are ruled by the love of Christ, now that we recognize that one man died for everyone, which means that they all share in his death. 15 He died for all, so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but only for him who died and was raised to life for their sake.

16 No longer, then, do we judge anyone by human standards. Even if at one time we judged Christ according to human standards, we no longer do so. 17 Anyone who is joined to Christ is a new being; the old is gone, the new has come. 18 All this is done by God, who through Christ changed us from enemies into his friends and gave us the task of making others his friends also. 19 Our message is that God was making all human beings his friends through Christ. God did not keep an account of their sins, and he has given us the message which tells how he makes them his friends.

20 Here we are, then, speaking for Christ, as though God himself were making his appeal through us. We plead on Christ's behalf: let God change you from enemies into his friends! 21 Christ was without sin, but for our sake God made him share our sin in order that in union with him we might share the righteousness of God.

6 In our work together with God, then, we beg you who have received God's grace not to let it be wasted. 2 Hear what God says:

“When the time came for me to show you favour,

    I heard you;

when the day arrived for me to save you,

    I helped you.”

Listen! This is the hour to receive God's favour; today is the day to be saved!

Amen.

 

Luke 24:36-48     Jesus Appears to His Disciples

36 While the two were telling them this, suddenly the Lord himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

37 They were terrified, thinking that they were seeing a ghost. 38 But he said to them, “Why are you alarmed? Why are these doubts coming up in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet and see that it is I myself. Feel me, and you will know, for a ghost doesn't have flesh and bones, as you can see I have.”

40 He said this and showed them his hands and his feet. 41 They still could not believe, they were so full of joy and wonder; so he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of cooked fish, 43 which he took and ate in their presence.

44 Then he said to them, “These are the very things I told you about while I was still with you: everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the writings of the prophets, and the Psalms had to come true.”

45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “This is what is written: the Messiah must suffer and must rise from death three days later, 47 and in his name the message about repentance and the forgiveness of sins must be preached to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.

Amen.

 

COMMENTS

This passage tells of disciples who, when seeing the risen Jesus, are startled and terrified. He spoke the familiar Jewish greeting, ‘shalom (peace) be with you’. However, they had yet to discover the true meaning of the shalom he offered. Why, in the midst of their joy were they still disbelieving? Nothing in their understanding of the Old Testament prepared them for a Messiah who would suffer, die and rise again. Jesus opens their minds. As they begin to understand, there is a commission to share faith in the risen Lord.

 

PRAYER

by  Larry Warner


Lord Jesus,

help me to know you, to love you, to follow you.

help alleviate my fears

and fan the embers of trust within me.

Give me the strength to say “Yes” to your invitations,

the courage to continue my journey with you.

Remind me that you are

the Way

the Truth

and the Life,

and apart from you there is no life,

but with you,

and with you alone

is fulness of life,

life everlasting,

life eternal.

Amen.

 

                                             


Note:

The Reflection and Sunday Service is taken from the weEbulletin which the minister emails each week to those interested whether or not they belong to the church. If you wish to be on the mailing list please let the minister, Stewart McPherson know.
Email: SMcPherson@churchofscotland.org.uk

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