Where do you get your strength?

#45 If you knew what you would find along your journey, would you still go? Jesus said, ‘See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death; then they will hand him over to the Gentiles; they will mock him, and spit upon him, and flog him, and kill him; and after three days he will rise again.’ #mark10v32to34 Even as the Son of God surely it took courage and bravery to face that in the knowledge of exactly what would happen? Look back on the last year at those unexpected things that have happened. Despite the fact that you may not have chosen them, you have shown courage and bravery as you have moved through difficult times. #thankgod for His guidance and strength…if you aren’t out of the other side of it, I pray that you will be soon. #morningprayer

Crying Out For Calais

#44 #home and #comfort are perhaps things that we have come to take for granted in some parts of the world. Yesterday was a bit of a chilly day and I spent much of the day on the sofa reading. I felt comfortable, safe and secure, as I pray many of us do at home. With the #refugeecrisis however I expect the #refugeecamps are a very different picture, with very little comfort or homeliness. When it’s cold, many people will just have to be cold, when it rains, their clothes are wet. They don’t have a wardrobe of clothes to consult, often they have only what they stand up in. In our #morningprayer reading yesterday Jesus was asked about entering the Kingdom of God. He said ‘Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.’ I’m not sure that Jesus was referring to literal wealth as much as a mindset regarding how you use, or do not use your wealth. Equally, I would not consider myself a rich person at all, but as I think about the disparity between my home, comfort and possessions, and those of #refugees in #calais, the only conclusion I can come to is that I must act. How could we do anything but say #refugeeswelcome – after all we are ALL children of God, aren’t we?
www.crowdfunder.co.uk/crying-out-for-calais (at Ripon College Cuddesdon)

Being Authentic

#42 #gandhi led a salt march as part of a larger protest campaign against British rule in India in 1930. The British government were making huge amounts of money through salt “production” and yet it was there for all to take. Gandhi recognised that people need salt: to season, to cleanse and heal and to clean. A quote from the #morningprayer reading, #mark9v38toend got me thinking: “Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.” Perhaps this is talking about the healing nature of salt, perhaps the idea that rubbing salt in a wound can make things worse…and yet we still need to be at peace. Another interpretation could be how salt enhances a dish and brings out the flavour…we should be bringing out the true flavour of ourselves and being authentically who God created us to be. Whichever it is, be at peace today! (at Ripon College Cuddesdon)

Best China

#41 If someone came round for a cup of tea, would you get out your best china? If you wouldn’t, why wouldn’t you? Would it depend on who it was? Or how important they might be to you? Would it perhaps depend on how much they can be trusted with special things?! The #morningprayer passage #rev8v1to5 yesterday is complex but it got me thinking about what I #offer to God, and what I offer to others and whether the two are different…and whether they should be…? If you want to offer your best, #offeryourbest to EVERYONE! Costly perhaps, but isn’t that what we are called to? (at Ripon College Cuddesdon)

Finding Your Inner Child

#40 “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” Clearly these are not my photography skills (well the photo of the card is!) but I received this card in the post and it got me thinking about #mark9v30to37 in #morningprayer. Later in the day I was busy upcycling and had a few children from the community come and ask me what I was doing. I explained to one girl and she was clearly thinking. I asked if that was ok, her response amused me…“well I guess so, it’s not illegal…”. Children are so inquisitive, and yet so accepting when things are explained to them. Their lack of concern for what people think, or what something looks like is admirable and to be cherished…is it any wonder Jesus said the last will be first and the first will be last?! I challenge each of us to find our inner child once again over the next few days. (at Ripon College Cuddesdon)

The Transfiguration

#38 #transfiguration in #mark9v2to13 is where God the Father identifies Jesus as the Son of God. The disciples see people and hear things that just make no sense…things that are outside of their set of experiences. How do we deal with things that fall outside of our experiences? Ignore them? Run away from them? Or face them head on? #ingodsstrength #morningprayer (at Ripon College Cuddesdon)

What do you carry?

#37 Jesus told anyone who wanted to become a follower to “Take up their #cross and follow me”…what cross?? Swimming today I was struck by how prolific crosses are, to the point of marking the spot where a swimmer tumble turns in the pool…aim for that and all will be well! The cross is used as a symbol of comfort by the Red Cross and it’s often a point at which people aim to get to. When Jesus said take up your cross and follow me, perhaps he meant something different. For us the cross is a sign of #salvation. For him the cross was a sign of pain, #suffering and #sacrifice. If we are to take up the things that symbolise these emotions, what sort of things would you be carrying? And, what are we to do with them when we do follow? Jesus overcame death on the cross…perhaps he is calling us to overcome our “crosses”… #mark8v27to9v1 #morningprayer (at Ripon College Cuddesdon)

Look for Beauty

#36 #seeingclearly – our eyes do not see what is in front of us, and sometimes we stop ourselves from seeing what we do not want to see. Sometimes we do not give ourselves space and time to see beauty around us, love for us or justice/injustice next to us. What are you not seeing today? #morningprayer #mark8v22to26 (at Ripon College Cuddesdon)

Seeing is believing

#35 Religious or not, I think a lot of people look for a sign for whether something is right or not. Sometimes these are obvious, and sometimes more obscure. In Jesus’ time the pharisees wanted a sign from heaven #mark8v11to21 Today some people still want to #seetobelieve and it seems more natural not to trust until you have seen for yourself. As we look around, are there #signsofgod from #heaven ? #morningprayer