Thursday, 22 November 2012

Thought for the week 25th Nov Christ the King

Jesus’ followers are not subjects in a kingdom but persons who hear the truth and respond to it. It is in this and not in a political sense that Jesus can be understood as king and possessing a kingdom. Jesus concludes his comment to Pilate with a veiled challenge: “Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.” The implicit challenge is clear to Pilate: “Will you listen to me and accept the truth, God’s plan for salvation?” Pilate chooses to evade the challenge: “Truth, eh? What is that?”
John J. Pilch

John 18.33b–38

Pilate asked Jesus, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ Jesus answered, ‘Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?’ Pilate replied, ‘I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?’ Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.’

Pilate asked him, ‘So you are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.’ Pilate asked him, ‘What is truth?’ After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, ‘I find no case against him.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Thought for the week 18th Nov The end of the world

The reading from Mark asks us to consider the future of our planet. Written in the shadow of the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple, Mark 13:1-8 speaks of human violence and natural upheaval as foreshadowing the coming of the Son of Man. Apocalyptic forecasts still intrigue us. People still try to interpret Nostradamus and Revelation as textbooks for the final days of Planet Earth. While taking these texts too seriously may lead to despair and passivity, they remind us of our personal and planetary vulnerability.With the possibility of planetary destruction on the horizon, Mark counsels us to “not be alarmed.” Destruction is not the final word for us or the planet. This is a challenging word, since many of us fear what the future will bring and see ourselves helpless in relationship to forces beyond our control. Although we may not expect a Second Coming or a divine rescue operation when the going gets rough, the gospel affirms that we can trust that God is with us, energizing us and calling us to lifesaving and planetary-transforming action in our own perilous time. We are part of a larger Divine Holy Adventure in which our actions shape the future of the planet and our own futures.
Bruce Epperly

Mark 13.18
As Jesus came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings! Then Jesus asked him, Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.

When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?

Then Jesus began to say to them, Beware that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name and say, “I am he!” and they will lead many astray. When you hear of wars and rumours of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. This is but the beginning of the birth pangs.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Thought for the week 11th November Remembrance Sunday

In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
John McCrae

Three Poems for you to remember those who fell and continue to fall in battle so we can be free.

For The Fallen
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children, 
England mourns for her dead across the sea. 
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit, 
Fallen in the cause of the free.
Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal 
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres, 
There is music in the midst of desolation 
And a glory that shines upon our tears.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young, 
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow. 
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted; 
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: 
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn. 
At the going down of the sun and in the morning 
We will remember them.
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again; 
They sit no more at familiar tables of home; 
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time; 
They sleep beyond England's foam.
But where our desires are and our hopes profound, 
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight, 
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known 
As the stars are known to the Night;
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust, 
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain; 
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness, 
To the end, to the end, they remain.
Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)
God of our fathers, known of old—
Lord of our far-flung battle line—
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

The tumult and the shouting dies—
The Captains and the Kings depart—
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

Far-called our navies melt away—
On dune and headland sinks the fire—
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe—
Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
Or lesser breeds without the Law—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

For heathen heart that puts her trust
In reeking tube and iron shard—
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
And guarding calls not Thee to guard.
For frantic boast and foolish word,
Thy Mercy on Thy People, Lord!
Rudyard Kipling

Monday, 5 November 2012

Thought for the week 4th November 2012 All Saints and All Souls

Perhaps one of the joys reserved for us hereafter will be to learn what became of our intercessions and to meet the souls they supported in time of need. And for ourselves, there will be the joy of meeting those who have prayed for us and so of realising from a new angle our share in the Communion of Saints. If so, we may learn then how much the Church owes and we ourselves as members of it, to the artless prayers uttered by simple child-like souls, the value of whose intercession we should little have suspected.
Hubert Northcott. CR (1884-1967)