Thursday, 31 January 2013

Wednesday - Thursday - Healthy Churches

Prayer:   Holy God,  Holy Mighty,  Holy Immortal One have mercy upon us.  Holy God,  Holy Might.  Holy Immortal One grant us Your love and generosity.  Amen.

Read  St Luke  6:  43 – 45

Each healthy tree is recognized by its own fruit.  And only healthy trees produce good fruit.
Said another way,  Churches are recognized as healthy by the “fruit” that is produced.   Healthy Churches  have worship as their main focus and those who lead worship prepare, practice,  and meet together for prayer.  Worship is not only offered on Sunday but also throughout the week,  in Nursing Homes,   and anywhere else that Worship is needed. Healthy Churches  know that to support worship as a priority,  Biblical knowledge and times of prayer must be provided so that those who lead in worship and those who join together to worship know all about this Great God of ours.    Bible Studies must be offered  for all ages and not just at Church.    Times of prayer must occur.  When people join together for prayer,  the love and enthusiasm of God is spread.
Healthy Churches know that the Christian community must join together and eat together so they can support one another on their Christian journey.
Healthy Churches know that looking outside into the community and helping the community feed the poor, visit the sick,  comfort the needy is what produces good fruit and good Christians.   

Prayer:   Great God,  we pray for the Church universal so that the love of Christ can be shared and lived throughout this world of ours.  Be with those this day who live in times of war – grant them peace and justice.  Be with those this day who live in houses of pain and abuse – grant them peace and love.  Be with those this day who live in Churches that are declining and  discouraged – grant them love and joy.  But in all things,  may Your will be done and may You use us to further Your kingdom here on earth.   This we ask in the name of Your Son.  Amen.

Thursday  31 January
Prayer:  Open our ears so that day by day,  we can hear You calling us by name.  Open our hearts so that day by day,  we can enthusiastically read Your Word and reflect upon Your Word.  Amen. 

Read  St Luke  6:  46 – 49

Oh boy.  Here Jesus is asking the disciples (and us!),  why do we call him Lord and then do not do a single thing he asks us to do.     Oh boy.  How true this is.  It is easy to read the scriptures and agree with all we have read and then meditated upon these scriptures.   It is not as easy to get up out of our chairs and do what Jesus asks of us.  

The disciples also had this very same problem.    They nodded in agreement with all Jesus said but when it came right down to the wire,  they couldn’t do all Jesus asked of them.

So Jesus told them a parable.  The parable of the wise and foolish builder.  The wise builder built his house by digging down and laying a very firm foundation.      The foolish builder build his house without a foundation.  When a flood came along,  the foolish builder’s  house collapsed.

The wise builder dug into the soil and layed down a firm foundation.   The wise Christian digs into the scriptures and prayer and mediation and worship and learns all there is to know about the Christian way of life.    The wise Christian knows the scriptures and makes the scriptures a part of who they are.   When tough times come,  knowing the scriptures and knowing how to pray and knowing how to meditate upon the Word of God and knowing how to worship makes for a good solid Christian.  

Who would you rather be?  The Wise builder/Christian who remains firm in any storm?  Or the foolish builder/Christian that when the first conflict comes along,  falls away in sorrow and despair?  

Now to work!

Prayer:   Great God,  help us this day to work Your Words into our life so that we become wise and filled with Your love.    Inspire us to read Your Word and each day reflect upon what we have read.   We give You thanks and praise that together as the Synod of Manitoba and North Western Ontario,  we can do great things in Your name and for Your glory and share Your love with not only our Church and community but also with the world.   In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

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