Reflections, Prayers and Themes
Harvest - Caroline Lubale Buluba
Many churches are celebrating the harvest season. And during harvest there is the expectation of reaping the benefits of hard labour and toil. There is also joy and thanksgiving for the blessings and rewards that comes with a bountiful harvest.
The Apostle James encourages us to be patient, not just in the beginning when the seeds are planted but to the end, when the crop is matured, in order to reap the harvest.
There might be little or no benefit if we suddenly decided that we can no longer wait for nature to take its course. And, instead of allowing our fields of wheat or corn to grow we mow it down. Then the alternative cabbages or cauliflower are mowed down because again we cannot wait for it to grow. After a while, we will have nothing to reap and nothing to show for our efforts. I suppose this is one of the easiest ways to go bankrupt.
Our good deeds are like seeds planted and that harvest will surely come. Your contribution to the work of Christian Aid, through your committed giving, your plans for this year’s carol service and your support of the homeless are also seeds, which awaits the rain of the Holy Spirit to reap a bountiful Harvest.
This year, Christian Aid, offers the wonderful example of the Brazil nut to demonstrate the challenges faced by farmers, who patiently wait for their harvest.
As we celebrate God’s gifts this harvest, let us remember Bebe’s community and they struggle to protect their complex and fragile creation from mining and logging companies. Let us remember them in our prayers as they seek to gain legal rights to their land.
Thank you for supporting Christian Aid and may God enable you to reap a harvest as a church and in your own lives.
Prayer: “pray for us to find a way to make a living from Brazil nuts and continue living here on our land”. Bebe.
We pray for our rebellious world – Karen Stallard, 6 October 2013
We think particularly of the people of Kenya as they mourn and grieve over the terrorist attack at Westgate shopping center.
We pray for the terrorists who planned and perpetrated the attack; may they open their eyes and see the rebellion in their actions, may they understand that violent acts will never bring them into the freedom they are searching for.
We pray for those injured in the attack, may they find rest in their minds and their bodies and healing for themselves. We give thanks for all those who helped those injured and brought them to safety.
We pray for our rebellious continent
We particularly think of the survivors of the Italian shipwreck may they find their rest in the turmoil and distress of such a disaster.
We pray for a process of political change for immigration to enable safe travel for immigrants.
We pray for the families of those who have lost their lives, perhaps the news has not yet reached some. May they find rest in their grief.
We pray for our rebellious country
We think of the story of a mother allowing her son to die in his cot and leaving him there for two years.
We are saddened that even in our affluent nation with social services a family can go so severely neglected but we know that this story is extreme but not uncommon.
We pray for the children of this particular family and for those other children who suffer severe neglect. May they be seen and helped. May they find a place of rest after experiencing such neglect.
We pray for our rebellious city
As the football season continues and we hear reports of violence and racist attacks we pray for our city.
Aggression between different football supporters mirrors our tendency to be violent and aggressive to those who are different from us. In a city as diverse as London we do well to live together, but sometimes we are rebellious and intolerance surfaces.
We pray for those who experience racist attacks, we pray that they are able to find rest and let go of fear.
We pray for the people of London, that we would all learn how to be tolerant and even to love our neighbour who is a different colour, speaks a different language or supports a different football team.
We pray for our own rebellion
Let’s in the silence just pause to reflect on areas of our own lives which feel rebellious or Godless.Lead us our of rebellion and into our day of rest
A reflection on Creation - Karen Stallard
Let’s start again.
What is hope if it is not to know that we can start all over again?
At the end of a good day we hope that the next day will be just as good.
At the end of a life we hope that the next life will be better.
We long for a better moment
We long for day when we won’t feel so anxious or tired or frightened
Sometimes things go so wrong we need to start again
The dinner is burnt, the tea is spilt, the equation is wrong.
Let’s start again.
Let’s begin our conversation again,
but take it on a different course this time so we don’t end up in the same place, having the same argument.
What are we doing when we start again?
We are creating.
We are walking a slightly different path.
We are exploring what it is like to act in a different way.
Every moment we can become a new creation - perhaps that is what the stars and the sun and the moon can do so easily.
Old light turns into new light, a new day, a new night
Let’s start again,
let’s bury ourselves deep in the ground and wait for spring;
lets see how we grow, what form we will take, the old is past, the new is up for grabs.
Even with all our limitations, even though we are creatures of habit,
The new beginnings are infinite in their possibilities.
This is our work of creation.
So let’s start again.