Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Sunday Service Marsden Road Uniting Church 9 April 2107

Today I thought I would do something quite different and instead of reflecting on the service, I would look back at the bible studies, which the people from MRUC have explored during Lent.

Because my health is continuing to misbehave I wasn't in a group for many of them but I have read through and thought upon the matters they raise.

Of course, I cannot talk about many issues but there were a few that caught my attention.

The first thing I noticed was in the prayer in the first study, where we are led to ask for guidance to be the people God wants us to be. Some prayers which people offer are requests for God to help the people concerned to carry out their own plans. How this ever comes about is a mystery because, even without considering the biblical message or Jesus' own words, common sense should bring a person's attention to the flaw in that approach. The world is in the mess it's in because of people following their own plans. It is insanity to continue down the same path.

The next issue that caught my eye was in the same study and that was the issue of self-denial during Lent. The way this is implemented in Western countries really can't be called denial. We may eat more plainly or modify our lifestyle but it can hardly be called denial. So I think that to make this time one of meaning is to focus on the other side of denial.
Let us make it a time when, as it always should be, but unfortunately never is, we keep our eyes upon God and his will for us. Make it a time when we consider why Jesus was prepared to die. Let us think of our own inability to be as unflinchingly committed to the mission we have been given, and see its eternal value, as did Jesus. Let us deny our own selfishness.

Let us think of a time when we have given our all for someone, only for that person to turn on us and treat our gift or effort or time as nought. Jesus came and offered us his eternal love and we killed him for it.

The sharing of our meals(and anything else)was discussed. We sit back and expect what we see as our right. We don't see our many blessings and so we don't realise they are gifts that we need to share.

At Easter we always remember Jesus’ betrayal by Judas. Dreadful man! But what of the betrayal by the disciples, particularly Peter, after the crucifixion. We can easily find distance between ourselves and Judas but how many times (not necessarily by word) have we betrayed Jesus as the disciples did when we dishonour him with our behaviour? When have people seen us behaving in a selfish or cold way and judged Jesus badly because of our professed discipleship.

And what did Jesus do to those disciples who ran out on him? He not only loved  them but trusted his church to them. When we are tempted to be judgemental, this should give us pause.

Real victory doesn't look the way it does in the movies. What happened at Easter certainly didn't look like a victory. Think about that. A lot.

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