Celtic Night Prayer (Compline)

Compline is a beautiful Christian worship service, the perfect way to end the day collectively or individually.

I’ve posted before about the Northumbria Community, a dispersed, worldwide, network Christian Community, committed to a new way for living. Source

Over the years, I’ve found their Daily Prayer books and website helpful, especially in troubled times when they provide much needed grounding and routine.

The Daily Office – Morning, Midday and Evening Prayer – is at the core of the life of the Northumbria Community. A regular cycle of daily prayers constitutes the essential rhythm of life around which other activities can take their proper place. Source

In this simple Sunday devotional I would like to point you to their Complines which can be used by individuals or groups. There’s a different one for each day of the week. Why not take some time to thoughtfully pray this today and in the coming days?

Celtic Evening Prayer

I’ve posted before about the Northumbria Community, a dispersed, worldwide, network Christian Community, committed to a new way for living. Source

Over the years, I’ve found their Daily Prayer books and website helpful, especially in troubled times when they provide much needed grounding and routine.

The Daily Office – Morning, Midday and Evening Prayer – is at the core of the life of the Northumbria Community. A regular cycle of daily prayers constitutes the essential rhythm of life around which other activities can take their proper place. Source

In this simple Sunday devotional I would like to point you to their Evening Prayer, which can be used by individuals or groups.

Why not take some time to thoughtfully pray this today and in the coming days?

Celtic Midday Prayer

I’ve posted before about the Northumbria Community, a dispersed, worldwide, network Christian Community, committed to a new way for living. Source

Over the years, I’ve found their Daily Prayer books and website helpful, especially in troubled times when they provide much needed grounding and routine.

The Daily Office – Morning, Midday and Evening Prayer – is at the core of the life of the Northumbria Community. A regular cycle of daily prayers constitutes the essential rhythm of life around which other activities can take their proper place. Source

In this simple weekday devotional I would like to point you to their Midday Prayer, which can be used by individuals or groups.

Why not take some time to thoughtfully pray this today and in the coming days?

Pride Month (A Christian Reflection)

As an observer (and sometimes participant) in discussions between Christians about LGBTQ+ issues, it’s clear that they need to be seasoned with grace in a way that is often (sadly) not the case.

These are not the clear-cut black and white issues some people seem to assume. There are many Christians who have thoughtfully and prayerfully considered all the issues in scripture, and have come to other than the traditional view of love and marriage.

Love and grace needs to be shown by all Christians, along with humility towards LGBTQ+ people; many of whom have been deeply hurt, or have even taken their own lives, in part because of the attitudes of some Christians and the Church.

See also: Undivided (Vicky Beeching)

Only Seeds

A rather late in the day (I nearly didn’t make it) Sunday devotional based on a Lectionary reading for today – Mark 4:26-34 (click to read).

A new shop opened up in the village. A woman went in and found God behind the counter.

‘What are you selling here?’

‘Everything you could possibly wish for.’

‘Oh good. I’ll have happiness, wisdom, love, freedom from fear, and peace, please. Oh, and for everyone.’

‘Sorry, you got it wrong. I’m not selling any fruits. Only seeds.’

Anon.

Charity doesn’t begin at home

Charity doesn’t begin at home, it begins where there’s a need. If we only look after ourselves we lose something of our humanity.

Today (7 June 2021) Britain’s foreign aid budget has been in the news, with a group of rebel MPs seeking to overturn their own government’s cuts to this essential commitment.

We help people because it’s basic to our humanity, it’s always the right thing to do, and providing support for others often benefits the giver. It’s enlightened self-interest, a win-win for everyone. It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s also the Christian thing to do. Cutting aid costs lives, and should be resisted at all costs.

As I posted on Facebook: Don’t cut UK foreign aid. Helping others is the best of Britain. At worst, it’s enlightened self-interest. It’s a no brainer!

A Good Samaritan?

The truth about the Good Samaritan (a parable told by Jesus recorded in Luke 10:25-37) is that the Samaritans were hated by the Jews at the time.

So in a lovely twist, Jesus makes the Samaritan the hero of the story to show the religious leaders that he just did naturally what they found excuses not to do. Hate is a dangerous thing.

We help people because it’s basic to our humanity, it’s the right thing to do. This we can agree with humanists, agnostics and atheists. Indeed, they often say their motives are purer than ours.

As Christians, we also help people because God demonstrated his love for humanity through Jesus. Jesus cared for people, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually – in other words, Christians need to be like Jesus, simple.

Who are those who are ‘hated’ today? Who are those who are looked down on and despised? Who are the marginalised people? What do we think about immigrants? Who are excluded by the church? What is our attitude to LGBTQ+ people? How do we treat those who are not ‘like’ us?

God’s love is for all, it’s boundless. Human love should reach across our self-imposed discrimination and prejudice. How will this affect the way you respond to others this week?

Trinity Sunday (2021)

Today’s Sunday Devotional is a guest post by Stephen Poxon, one that he shared on Facebook and is reproduced here with permission:

In this year’s church calendar, May 30th is marked as Trinity Sunday. Here is a hymn you may wish to use in services and meetings, set to Bishop Michael Baughen’s marvellous tune Majestas (Name of all Majesty).

Grace wrapped in mystery,
Older than history,
God the eternal, the great three-in-one!
Father on sapphire throne,
Son as the Virgin’s own,
Spirit our lives to hone;
These we adore!

God the ineffable
Loves the unlovable;
Heartbeat of mercy, thrice-keen to restore
Those who have lost their way,
Wand’rers and those astray;
Kindness threefold display;
Him we adore!

Trinity, one-in-three,
Equal in majesty,
Godhead united in glorious power!
Brooding o’er ancient earth,
Humbled by lowly birth,
Trio of matchless worth,
This we adore!

God inexplicable,
High, indivisible,
Peerless in splendour, in love unsurpassed!
Yet, seen at Calvary;
Salvation’s bravery,
All for unworthy me!
Now I adore!

© Stephen Poxon
Trinity Sunday 2021

See also: Speaking Generally

The Breath of God (Pentecost)

And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit…” John 20:22 (for the context of the whole chapter click here).

Just as air is vital for our physical survival, so the regular breath of God is essential for our spiritual health. We readily understand the physical world, but the concept of the spiritual realm can be less easy to grasp. Indeed, the idea of spirituality is frequently mentioned, but often not defined, and its very nature makes it somewhat nebulous.

In the Bible, the word for ‘spirit’ and the words for wind and breath are closely linked. John portrays the Risen Christ breathing on his disciples his life giving breath, the very energy of his being in an act of new creation.

This life giving energy of the Spirit transforms men and women, shaping them to share God’s radiance and Christ’s saving love. It’s an energy that binds his people together, summed up in the Greek word koinonia, which we can translate as communion and fellowship.

The Holy Spirit at Pentecost recreates us in the image of the God of love, and enables us to live in Christian fellowship. This is the heart of Christian spirituality, not a vague and spongy otherworldliness. The transforming grace of the Holy Spirit also creates a passion in individual lives and collective fellowships for the welfare of others and a deep longing for God.

Pentecostal spirituality is about human lives being shaped by the life of Jesus Christ, with people finding their meaning and identity in the pattern of his self giving love. This Christian spirituality is not an escape from the world, but living in the real world, a world that can be transformed by God’s grace.

Let me share some words and poetry by Harry Read:

We had not long been appointed as Territorial Commanders to the Australia Eastern Territory, when we met the wise, gracious and widely experienced Colonel and Mrs Colonel George Carpenter, the son and daughter-in-law of the late General and Mrs General George L. Carpenter.

In the course of a thoroughly enjoyable exchange of experiences, Colonel George’s wise words to the fledgling Territorial Commanders were: “You don’t have to work harder, just hoist your sails higher to catch the ‘Wind of the Spirit’.”

With sound of rushing wind the Spirit came,
His very nature full of mystery.
The ‘Wind of God’, His Word reveals His name,
The cleansing, stirring wind of liberty.

Like Trade Winds He maintains His course with ease;
An evidence, and means of massive power
At times unscheduled, like a wayward breeze
Caressing life and bloom on tree and flower.

“Great Wind of God, refresh our stagnant world,
Bring life to every heart and mind and soul.
Direct our ways as we, with sails unfurled
Ourselves abandon, to Thy strong control.”

We need not strive a meagre goal to gain –
We hoist the sails and He will take the strain.

…suddenly there came from the sky a noise like that of a strong driving wind…
Acts 2:1-3 (New English Bible)

Language of the Soul, Harry Read’s latest book of prayer poetry is available in every country in paperback or Kindle.

Order your copy here:
http://www.bit.ly/Prayer-Read
http://www.bit.ly/prayer-readUSA

And Heart Talk, Harry Read’s first book of prayer poetry, is now also available on Kindle here:

https://tinyurl.com/Heart-Talk-Read
https://tinyurl.com/Heart-Talk-ReadUSA