Our church building may be closed, but God’s eyes are open and his ears are attentive to our prayers (2 Chronicles 7.15).
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Speak these words out loud:
Let us take up the cross and follow Jesus,
whatever the cost.
from Luke 14.27-28
Read the proverb through three or four times, slowly. Pause in-between, maybe write it out by hand – savour the words, let them speak deeply to you.
Whoever mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker; whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished. (NIV)
If you make fun of poor people, you insult the God who made them. You will be punished if you take pleasure in someone’s misfortune. (GNB)
I have a confession to make; I suspect I’m not alone in this, but still. As I write Donald Trump has not been well, in hospital with the coronavirus. He’s most likely been infected because of his hubris: refusing to follow sensible precautions, not wearing masks, hugging people, telling people it’s not as dangerous as flu (despite the fact it has already killed ten times as many Americans this year as seasonal flu normally does, and we still have three months of 2020 left to go).
When I read the news of his hospitalisation, I’m ashamed to admit that my first reaction was pleasure. One of the things I find most difficult to handle is when blatant wickedness appears to go unpunished, when people seem to get away with it – as he has (so far) with his constant lying, cheating, rewriting history, and undermining the truth. (To be fair, the Democrats have been spreading lies about Trump as well – not quite to the same degree, but they are no angels.) Finally, I thought, he’s getting what he deserves.
I read a lot of church leaders posting comments, appearing on the news, publicly wishing him a swift recovering, assuring him of their prayers. And I wondered… do they really mean that? I could not stand up in public and say that without it being at least partly a lie. I wanted him to be seriously ill – mostly so he would start to take it seriously, as happened with Boris Johnson, whose attitude changed after he was seriously ill.
I’m struggling to think of another (contemporary) person who has challenged my ability to ‘love my neighbour’ as much as he does. Yet, God made him. No-one is beyond God’s love and forgiveness, if they repent. The best thing for Donald J. Trump? The same as the best thing for you, and for me: to repent, turn away from our sin and towards God, and change our ways with God’s help to be more like Jesus.
Pray for Five – pray for your five friends / family from Thy Kingdom Come.
Our daily prayer sheet includes the names of everyone for whom we have a signed church family directory form – and local parishes and senior church leaders. Today we are praying for:
Young Family (Blithe, Mo, Quincy, Richard)
Father, please bless them with your peace, and a deep awareness of your presence with them, every day and in every way.
We also pray for: Church Wardens (Carol & Geoff)
Please pray for our leaders and healthcare workers, and all those working to keep us safe, well, and fed. Please pray that people would unselfishly put others before themselves.
Church Family Prayer
Come Holy Spirit,
and make us one in heart and action,
so that we can serve God faithfully:
abounding in love,
maturing in holiness,
and seeking out the lost.
Help us grow as disciples of Jesus –
in commitment, in depth, and in number –
that we may be a blessing to Amington;
to the glory and praise of God the Father.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labour in vain.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus
the only way to the Father.
Psalm 127.1, Hebrews 12.2 & John 14.6
May Christ our Saviour give us peace.