Shadows of death
Given that my stock in trade is words, I am keenly aware that sometimes words just don’t suffice. Since the death of Queen Elizabeth, there have been a lot of words thrown about, in the media, online, between ourselves. It seems as though every aspect of Her Majesty’s life and death has been disassembled, scrutinised and commented on.
One of the saddest parts of my role, as well as being the greatest privilege, is getting to sit with the family of someone who has recently died, knowing that there is little I can actually do, little that I can say that will make anyone feel any better. It can be deeply humbling, but sitting and just being there sometimes is as much as I can do - and it can be enough.
We, as Christians, are called to do many things, to love, to serve, and just as importantly, to hope, not just for ourselves but for others. “Believe in God, believe also in me.” said Jesus. When words are stripped away, it can seem as if there is little left, but we are never without hope.
The psalmist wrote, “Although I walk through the valley of the shadow of death”. We all know that shadows are caused by light, without light there is no shadow. So let us look towards the light and share that light with those that we meet throughout this week.
May the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace and rise in glory.
Sunday 18th Sept
Praise the Lord!
Praise, O servants of the Lord;
praise the name of the Lord.
Blessed be the name of the Lord
from this time on and for evermore.
From the rising of the sun to its setting
the name of the Lord is to be praised.
The Lord is high above all nations,
and his glory above the heavens.
Who is like the Lord our God,
who is seated on high,
who looks far down
on the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust,
and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
to make them sit with princes,
with the princes of his people.
He gives the barren woman a home,
making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the Lord!
Luke 16: 1-13
Then Jesus said to the disciples, ‘There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. So he summoned him and said to him, “What is this that I hear about you? Give me an account of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.” Then the manager said to himself, “What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.” So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he asked the first, “How much do you owe my master?” He answered, “A hundred jugs of olive oil.” He said to him, “Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.” Then he asked another, “And how much do you owe?” He replied, “A hundred containers of wheat.” He said to him, “Take your bill and make it eighty.” And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes.
‘Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.’
Monday 19th – Proverbs 3: 27-34, Luke 8: 16-18
Tuesday 20th – Proverbs 21: 1-6, 10-13, Luke 8:19-21
Wednesday 21st (Matthew the Apostle) –Proverbs 3: 13-18, Matthew 9: 9-13
Thursday 22nd – Ecclesiastes 1: 2-11, Luke 9: 7-9
Friday 23rd – Ecclesiastes 3: 1-11, Luke 9: 18-22
Saturday 24th – Ecclesiastes 11:9 – 12:8