Thought for the Week 14/06/21 

Wardrobe 

“Day-by-Day Clothing”
 
“What happens when we live God’s Way? He brings gifts into our lives...” Galatians 5:22 (The Message)
 
Do you give much thought to the clothes you put on each day?
 
If you go to school, perhaps you have to look out your uniform and make sure it’s ready for wearing?
 
At work there may be certain dress codes or expectations.
 
Even if it is just a normal day, we will probably give some thought as to how we look to those people we will be meeting.
 
This week I have been confined to the house. A slowing down is a reminder that we take so much of our days for granted.
 
How many things do we miss today because we are in such a rush to get ready for tomorrow?
 
Here are a few pleasures my slowed-down self has discovered.
 
There is the sun breaking through as a new summer day begins.
 
Admiring the beauty of the garden.
 
Taking some time to read that book I had planned to read ages ago.
 
Despite trying to sound cheerful the truth is this is not my first choice. I could have done without the experience of getting covid and being confined to the house for the isolation period.
 
Every experience of every day provides an opportunity for God to teach us something. Sometimes we think that God can only work in the spectacular and extra holy moments. Yet when we live out God’s Word day-by-day something happens to us.
 
Faithful obedience to God’s Word really pleases God.
 
Paul reminds us that we will have to stand firm in our faith. If we don’t then all sorts of other things will come racing in to use up our days and devour the God opportunities.
 
What helps us stand firm in our faith?
 
In Ephesians 6 Paul speaks of us putting on the full armour of God.
 
So here are a few clothing suggestions that we might consider putting on before we next go out.
 
The belt of truth.
 
The breastplate of righteousness.
 
The gospel of peace.
 
The shield of faith.
 
The helmet of salvation.
 
And then Paul concludes:
 
“And pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the LORD’s people.” Ephesians 6:18
 
What attire would help you to stand firm in your faith this week?

Keith Wilson, 15/06/2021

Thought for the Week 07/06/21 

Newborn

“Lilibet: God’s Promise”
 
“Both of them were righteous in the sight of God...” Luke 1:6
 
It seems that every new parent wants to have a unique name for their offspring. This involves care and forward planning. In the years to come, no one wants to call for their child only to find that every other four-year-old also has the same name.
 
Despite this, the names Olivia and Oliver still dominate the charts when it comes to the top baby names. Old fashioned names are also making a bit of a comeback. Inspired by the TV series Peaky Blinders new parents have been releasing little Tommy, Ada and Arthur back into the world.
 
Naming a child, is a major decision. Without a considerable amount of work, they will be stuck with this name for the rest of their lives. For parents struggling with such a major decision, and it took me 3 weeks to agree with Ann that our firstborn should be called Andrew, there are baby naming websites to assist.
 
No such assistance was required by new parents Meghan and Harry. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced the birth of their second child giving her the name Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana Mountbatten-Windsor.
 
The name Lilibet means God’s promise. It is closed related to the Hebrew name Elizabeth. Elizabeth means God is my oath.
 
The start of the gospel of Luke is often reserved for pre-Christmas church readings. As we near mid-summer it is good to be reminded that Christmas is coming. It’s even better to recall the story of Elizabeth. Elizabeth was married to Zechariah who belonged to the priestly division. We are told that they were both righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.
 
In other words, Zechariah and Elizabeth would make perfect parents.
 
There was only one problem.
 
They were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive.
 
And they were both incredibly old.
 
The problem presents a problem that has an insurmountable barrier.
 
How could this old couple ever hope to have a child?
 
In this opening section to the birth of Jesus narrative Luke notes two things about Elizabeth and Zechariah.
 
First, they faced a huge, painful problem that appeared with each day to have no hope of a solution.
 
And second, this couple kept faithfully serving and obeying God.
 
                   Do we trust that God has a plan to deliver on his promises?
 
Zechariah and Elizabeth would have a child who was to be called John. The name John means ‘God has been gracious.’
 
John would in turn prepare the way for Jesus whose name means ‘The Lord Saves.’
 
Lilibet was our Queen’s childhood nickname and was used by her late husband the Duke of Edinburgh. The baby Lilibet is the Queen’s 11th great-grandchild and is 8th in line to the throne.
 
Today, may we not forget the promises of God.

Keith Wilson, 09/06/2021

Thought for the Week 31/05/21 

Things to do 

“What does God want?”
 
“And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you?” Deuteronomy 10:12
 
Are you the sort of person who likes to write down a list of things that require to be done each day?
 
Each day we all have things that we need to get done. Simple things such as getting up and dressed. More complex tasks such as a project at work or college. There are tasks we love to do – meeting a friend for coffee. There are events we would rather not attend – that meeting scheduled for 5pm with deadly dull Dave presenting.
 
School runs. Shopping. Cooking. Reading. Writing. Adding this. Taking away that.
 
Each day we all have things to do.
 
Clearly some things we do are more important than others. The world will not stop if we forget to wash the dishes. While the TV news will not be dominated by us forgetting to pick up our child – the quiet evening at home may be spoiled by a teenager storming through the front door shouting ‘Where were you?’
 
We may have good days. We may have bad days.
 
Each day we have things to do.
 
Is God is on our list of things to get done today?
 
Think of what it was like to live in Old Testament times. Ancient peoples had the equivalent of ancient to do lists.
 
Sheep to water. Cows to milk. Houses to clean. Children to clothe. Food to prepare. The daily lists of things to do were long and wearisome.
 
Into their ordinary, everyday lives the people of Israel were asked this question:
 
What does the LORD your God ask of you?”
 
How would you answer such a question?
 
Does God require more hours from you at work? Does God want you to gather more possessions? Is God demanding from you a big house with rooms that are rarely filled with love and laughter?
 
Does God want you stressed and rushing around trying to do it all?
 
What does the LORD ask of you?
 
To fear the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the LORD’s commands” Deuteronomy 10:12-13
 
Are any of the following on your ‘to do ‘list today?
 
Walk in obedience to God.
 
Love God.
 
Serve God with your heart and soul.
 
Observe God’s commands.
 
May God bless you throughout this day and the days of the week ahead.

Keith Wilson, 01/06/2021