Sermons & Reflections News

Quality time

Jul 08, 2022

Last week I went to answer questions from Year 5 in Winslow School about prayer. It was wonderful, with lots of fabulous questions (my favourite was ‘Do you think God prays?’ - I have been thinking about that ever since).

Prayer is something that is fundamental to what we are and what we do, and yet we don’t really talk about it and we certainly don’t do much about teaching it. My own prayer life used to be much more structured than it is now; I still pray morning and evening prayer but in between times I end up having a wee chat with God during the school run, impromptu, unplanned, without an icon or a lighted candle in sight. Sometimes I am focussed, sometimes I am distracted, but perhaps my distracted mind and empty heart are the best symbols of generosity that I can muster up. God often works best in the barren lands, where there are no obstructions - that is where his grace works in me at depths that I know little of.

Perhaps too our lives mirror our prayer lives – no great order in it, bits and bobs, kindnesses, interruptions, glad surprises. But being the tired pilgrims that we sometimes are, we still are plodding on to our destination, and that time, I’m sure, is always quality time.

That is when God sits down and prays with us.

Rev’d Mark

Readings for this Sunday 10 July

Deuteronomy 30: 9-14

And the Lord your God will make you abundantly prosperous in all your undertakings, in the fruit of your body, in the fruit of your livestock, and in the fruit of your soil. For the Lord will again take delight in prospering you, just as he delighted in prospering your ancestors, when you obey the Lord your God by observing his commandments and decrees that are written in this book of the law, because you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

Surely, this commandment that I am commanding you today is not too hard for you, nor is it too far away. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?’ Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross to the other side of the sea for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?’ No, the word is very near to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart for you to observe.

Luke 10: 25-37

Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he said, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the law? What do you read there?’ He answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.’ And he said to him, ‘You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.’

But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbour?’ Jesus replied, ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while travelling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, “Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.” Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?’ He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’

Readings for this week

Monday 11th (St. Benedict) – Isaiah 1:11-17. Matthew 10: 34 – 11:1

Tuesday 12th – Isaiah 7: 1-9, Matthew 11: 20-24

Wednesday 13th – Isaiah 10: 5-7, 13-16, Matthew 11: 25-27

Thursday 14th (John Keble, Priest and Poet) – Isaiah 26: 7-9, 16-19, Matthew 11: 28 - end

Friday 15th (St. Swithun’s Day) – Isaiah 38: 1-6, 21-22, Matthew 12: 1-8

Saturday 16th – Micah 2: 1-5, Matthew 12: 14-21