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Archive for July, 2004

CCWC 25/07/2004 – Psalm 23

Psalm 23 – David-‘Man of God’

William Muncey

David facts::

Adulterer

Liar & Murderer

friend of Jonathon /killed Goliath

Shepherd

King

Psalmist & Musician

father of Solomon

a man after God’s own heart

He knew how to say sorry Ps.32 & 51

* We are living in troubled times. Life is not always a breeze. *

* Big Brother *

Trouble is everywhere. Dont be anxious.

What does Ps 23 say about this mess? What is the relevancy?

There is always Hope

David had his fair shaire of worries & difficulties – Goliath, Saul, Absalom etc.

Initially we feel worried & after we look back and wonder why v.4 God is with me – have no fear.

Psalm 23

1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

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All Souls Langham Place – 25 July 2004

Thought for the Week

“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16)

It was a moment of dramatic faith, as Jesus? disciple Peter came out with his momentous declaration about the identity of his leader. “What faith!” we sometimes hear people say. Or, “I wish I had your faith!” But “faith” is not a blind leap of reckless abandon, or even some kind of commodity, possessed by some and not by others. It is no more than a measured response to a given set of factors. It’s never “blind.” Faith needs a backcloth. Peter had had these many months of close contact with Jesus. Hed seen him at work, heard his teaching, witnessed his miracles. All this was helpful data, fed into his mindset. We need that too plenty of information!

Faith needs a focus. It’s not faith in anything that the Bible speaks of. It’s all to do with a Person – and when someone is confronted by Jesus through the testimony of others and the impact of the Scriptures – belief in him as “the Christ” can be built up. Faith needs a trigger. For Peter, a question did the trick. “Who do you say I am?” For us it can be a book, a sermon, even ten minutes thought.

Oh, anyone can have faith in Jesus! How much data are you receiving?

All Souls Langham Place – 22 July 2004

All Souls 2004/07/22- Psalm 42-43

‘Where is your God’ – George Parsons

What do you do when you have a bad day? Drugs, retail therapy & sofas!

To be unhappy is not to be ungodly. The godly can go through a bad patch/drought

The Condition Described

* He is longing for God. Yearning for eternal satisfaction. (Ps.42:1-2).

* Unable to eat. he hasn’t sinned but yet he feels God has abandoned him (Ps.42:3,9)

* Spiritual isolation & rejected (Ps.43:2)

* He feels like God is angry with him

* Even a great man like David went through it!

The Causes Explained

* Physical isolation (Ps.42:4, 10) homesick away from other believers in Jerusalem

* Social isolation (Ps.43:1,3 & 10)

* We arenot immune from our circumstances

* Social isolation can cause spiritual isolation need support

The Cure Prescribed

* Put your hope in God. Don’t wallow about like a hog in mud. Express your feelings in prayer (Ps.42:5)

* See things by gods truth (Ps.42:8). The key to this approach is this – God is in control & loves him ergo God also helps me.

* Reason with yourselves with sound theology as prescribed by Martin Lloyd-Jones.

* Gives a prophetic picture of Jesus – the man of sorrows. God has been there before you!

* Cry out! Express yourself as Christ did and look to the cross He bore.

* He was rejected for you. God won’t ever be angry with You again once you become his child! Dont feel guilty, He will forgive you & He will lead you back to himself.

* One day, when He comes again, we will be free!

Be Thou my Vision

Words: Attributed to Dallan Forgaill, 8th Cen­tu­ry (Rob tu mo bhoile, a Comdi cride); trans­lat­ed from an­cient Ir­ish to Eng­lish by Ma­ry E. Byrne, in “Eriú,” Jour­nal of the School of Ir­ish Learn­ing, 1905, and versed by El­ea­nor H. Hull, 1912, alt.

Music: “Slane,” of Ir­ish folk or­i­ore). Slane Hill is about ten miles from Ta­ra in County Meath. It was on Slane Hill around 433 AD that St. Pat­rick de­fied a roy­al edict by light­ing can­dles on East­er Eve. High King Lo­gaire of Ta­ra had de­creed that no one could light a fire be­fore Lo­gaire be­gan the pa­gan spring fes­ti­val by light­ing a fire on Ta­ra Hill. Lo­gaire was so im­pressed by Pat­rick’s de­vo­tion that, de­spite his de­fi­ance (or per­haps be­cause of it­), he let him con­tin­ue his mis­sion­ary work. The rest is history as they say.

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;

Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art

Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,

Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;

I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;

Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;

Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;

Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;

Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:

Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,

Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:

Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,

High King of heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of heaven, my victory won,

May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!

Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,

Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Prophets of a Future Not Our Own

It helps, now and then, to step back

and take the long view.

The kingdom (of God) is not only beyond our efforts,

it is beyond our (imagination).

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the

magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.

Nothing we do is complete, which is another way of saying

that the kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said.

No prayer fully expresses our faith.

No confession brings perfection.

No pastoral visit brings wholeness.

No program accomplishes the church’s mission.

No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about:

We plant seeds that one day will grow.

We water seeds already planted,

knowing that they hold future promise.

We lay foundations that will need further development.

We provide yeast that produces effects beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything

and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.

This enables us to do something,

and to do it very well. It may be incomplete,

but it is a beginning, a step along the way,

an opportunity for God’s grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results,

but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.

We are workers, not master builders,

ministers, not messiahs.

We are prophets of a future not our own.

Amen.

by Archbishop Oscar Romero

LICC – Word for the Week – How to find delight

LICC – Word for the Week – How to find delight

Happy are those.who do not take the path that sinners tread, but their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law they meditate day and night. Psalm 1:2

I can’t remember why, but I once was required to learn Genesis chapter 12 as a school detention punishment. Not very cruel, but certainly unusual, and definitely nothing to do with delight! But even now, 50 years later, meditation and delight are not the first words that come to mind when I reflect on my own experience of engaging with the biblical text. So this first psalm, probably written as an introduction to the whole collection, is a challenge.

The biblical word ‘law’ sometimes simply means commandments, but can often refer to the whole biblical revelation. So our delight is to be found in everything that God has revealed to us in the bible – delight in finding out what the Lord is like, delight in learning how to live so that we please him. Meditation implies giving it quality time, thinking about it, remembering it within the patterns of daily life. However, in practice the process so easily becomes a guilt-ridden burden. The pressures of day-to-day living often lead to a quick read and a quick tick for that day’s passage. Even if we are employed to teach and write about the bible, there is still a tendency for it to become like any other academic discipline, a relationship of delight slipping away.

So how do we meditate? What practices will lead to delight? Jesus said, ‘When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth’. The promise is that the Holy Spirit will illuminate, surprise and delight us. Practically, we have to organise our schedules to give the Spirit space and time to do that, even if just once a week. We need to let the words sink into our hearts and minds, and then to meditate on and pray them into our lives. If we have no time for this, then the branch will not bear fruit and the leaves will wither.

Margaret Killingray

their delight is in the law of the Lord. when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you.

LICC – Connecting with Culture – The history boys

LICC – Connecting with Culture – The history boys

Alan Bennett’s new play (at the Lyttleton Theatre) is about – to use Tony Blair’s famous phrase – education, education, education. It is set in a northern grammar school in the 1980s. The headmaster (with a geography degree from Hull) is determined that his brightest boys should win places at Oxford or Cambridge. The maverick sixth-form master, Hector, has a sparkling rapport with the boys, and his classes are eccentric, stimulating, eclectic, creative, poetic. The head is concerned, however, that Hector’s teaching is ‘unpredictable and unquantifiable’. So, he hires for a few weeks a young teacher with the express brief to train the boys to write the kind of essays that will impress the examiners with their apparent originality. The cynical shallowness of the one contrasts vividly with the passion of the other.

Sparks fly.

The background to the plot is Margaret Thatcher’s obsession with utilitarianism. The long shadows of league tables were yet to fall over our schools. The essential question that the play asks is, ‘What is education for?’ Is it for the imparting of skills and qualifications that will help students to productive careers? Or is it something much less easily measured – the forming of truly rounded human beings, with wide knowledge and questioning minds?

In contemporary discussion about education, Christians seem passionately concerned about religious-education, multi-faith worship and the teaching of evolution. But we do not often hear a Christian voice about the purpose and content of the whole education our children receive. Do we care about the abandonment of any sense of history – indeed of the wisdom and learning of the past; about the denigration of culture; or about the secular worldview that is so much taken for granted that it is not even discussed?

Perhaps we could do better in our churches, too. In the Old Testament, the Israelites were reminded constantly to recall the great events of their history. But many Christians today seem ignorant of the 2,000 years of the history of the Church. To say nothing of the sublime poetry and music that have so enriched our Christian heritage. Bennett’s play offers a timely lesson for us all. It’s truly an education.

Helen Parry

the question that the play asks is, ‘What is education for?’ Bennett’s play offers a timely lesson for us all”

Explore Helen’s article more fully online. Simply click here for extra resources, group-work ideas and the chance to have your say:

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