Reflection and Sunday Service 26 March

  a green cross motif  19 March 2017

a wee reflection on the week ...
 

     
                       
Events on Westminster Bridge
                      

A man interviewed on the news on Wednesday who witnessed the events on Westminster Bridge was in London for the day to visit his daughter and go to a show once she finished work.  In the meantime, he was wandering around taking in some of the sights.  That struck a chord with me as it is something I have done a good few times over the past three years and walked over that bridge on numerous occasions.  A bystander who struggled to understand what was happening, he reflected the thoughts of many who look on bemused and shocked at the actions of some.  Also, having a son in the police is a reminder of the risky nature of their public service. 

 

Of course, one person caused mayhem and tragedy, while many more rushed to help, comfort, and try to save lives rather than take life. Politicians receive much criticism, but so many give their lives in public service, and most people, if the situation arises are willing to pour their efforts into helping others, while many enter careers which are about helping and making the world a better place.

 

So, an act of terror frightens, shocks, and bewilders us, but it does not strike long-lasting fear into our hearts.  He failed to instil terror though he did cause much pain and grief and reminded us of the fragility of life.

 

Despair should not inhabit us through the actions of one man, but our hopes can be rekindled by the instinct of the many, and the sacrificial gifts of those who give their lives to serve.

 

 

this sunday’s service: 4th Sunday in Lent

          modern - father hugging son

Psalm 32 & Luke 15.11-32

Luke 15. 11-32             

11 Jesus went on to say, “There was once a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to him, ‘Father, give me my share of the property now.’ So the man divided his property between his two sons. 13 After a few days the younger son sold his part of the property and left home with the money. He went to a country far away, where he wasted his money in reckless living. 14 He spent everything he had. Then a severe famine spread over that country, and he was left without a thing. 15 So he went to work for one of the citizens of that country, who sent him out to his farm to take care of the pigs. 16 He wished he could fill himself with the bean pods the pigs ate, but no one gave him anything to eat. 17 At last he came to his senses and said, ‘All my father's hired workers have more than they can eat, and here I am about to starve! 18 I will get up and go to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against God and against you. 19 I am no longer fit to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired workers.”’ 20 So he got up and started back to his father.

 

“He was still a long way from home when his father saw him; his heart was filled with pity, and he ran, threw his arms around his son, and kissed him. 21 ‘Father,’ the son said, ‘I have sinned against God and against you. I am no longer fit to be called your son.’ 22 But the father called to his servants. ‘Hurry!’ he said. ‘Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet. 23 Then go and get the prize calf and kill it, and let us celebrate with a feast! 24 For this son of mine was dead, but now he is alive; he was lost, but now he has been found.’ And so the feasting began.

 

25 “In the meantime the older son was out in the field. On his way back, when he came close to the house, he heard the music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him, ‘What's going on?’ 27 ‘Your brother has come back home,’ the servant answered, ‘and your father has killed the prize calf, because he got him back safe and sound.’ 28 The older brother was so angry that he would not go into the house; so his father came out and begged him to come in. 29 But he spoke back to his father, ‘Look, all these years I have worked for you like a slave, and I have never disobeyed your orders. What have you given me? Not even a goat for me to have a feast with my friends! 30 But this son of yours wasted all your property on prostitutes, and when he comes back home, you kill the prize calf for him!’ 31 ‘My son,’ the father answered, ‘you are always here with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be happy, because your brother was dead, but now he is alive; he was lost, but now he has been found.’”

Notes on the Bible Reading

The story of the prodigal son is one of the Gospel readings that we all know so well, yet a re-reading will give us another glimpse or phrase that has not struck us before. Jesus’ focus in the story is not in fact the prodigal black sheep boy, but the love of the father.   For Mothering Sunday it seems strange to have a reading about sons and their father yet Jesus told this parable as a demonstration of God’s love — a love which is so abundant it never ends no matter what we do. Unconditional love as demonstrated in the reading is not the experience of all the children and young people we encounter, and here we have an opportunity to reveal God’s love: to show that the core of our Christian message is that God loves and values everyone and does that unconditionally.

 

a prayer for Mothering Sunday

 

As Jesus taught us, we commit ourselves

to welcome strangers into our midst,

to care for the poor,

to love our neighbours as ourselves

and to establish justice in our community.

 

In the name of God

and in the power of the Holy Spirit

we pledge ourselves to work for peace:

peace in our homes,

peace in our communities,

peace in our world.

Amen.

 

        mother hugging child

 


                                                 

             
Note:

The Reflection and Sunday Service is taken from the weE bulletin 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

You can have a look at a weE bulletin by clicking here.