One of the things I love most about our times at the bandstand is the constant sense of surprise at what comes! This morning, instead of one of us preparing and leading the session, we had a ‘bring and share’ arrangement. It turned out to be poignant and moving beyond expectation. Fiona began with her review of the year, writing her own words of thanks and leading us into the previously published litany of thanksgiving. Her words struck a chord in reminding us of key themes and just what a tricky year it has been for us…
The End of another Year: A Personal reflection : A giving thanks.
Today I give thanks for each one of you here.
I give thanks for this place – this wind- blown, sun dappled, rain soaked, flippin’ freezing God filled place
I give thanks for the continuing, sometimes stumbling, tottering journey of Third Space – even for this ‘lean year’ which has at times has made us ask,
‘What on earth are we doing…..?”
and I give thanks for the still, small voice of a reply,
“ …building the Kingdom…stone by stone, pebble by pebble, grain of grit by grain of grit ….’
I give thanks for those of you who craft new liturgies and prayers that can make a Sunday morning shimmer
I give thanks for those of you who urge us to remember the poor, the downtrodden and the exploited
I give thanks for those of you who somehow sew together seamlessly, ancient Spirit- filled wisdom with the noise of 21st Century living
I can stop, rewind and recalibrate.
And I give thanks for those of you who love periodic tables, saints of old and yes…even dogs.
Today I give thanks for a new perspective on the Parables -(note to self – never think you’ve worked Jesus out)
I give thanks for honesty and candour (no b *** s****-ers here)
I give thanks for laughter and a refusal to take ourselves too seriously
I give thanks for the Dance and the opportunity to turn, turn and turn again,
And I give thanks for you my Third Space companions – 7 years of plenty, 7 years of lean?
keep the Bread and Wine coming
and the Kingdom will be built
We went off into the park with one of today’s lectionary readings – the much loved passage of Romans 8:26-39, using the paraphrase of The Message. The words took on a new resonance following Fiona’s thanksgiving and spoke in ways we might never have imagined. Do look up that version for yourself – it is truly wonderful…
Back at the bandstand, Grayden led us prayer using the lord’s prayer as a template with reflections and other biblical verses around those:
The Lord’s Prayer – a pattern for prayer.
Jesus said, “This is how you should pray………….
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Acknowledge God for who he is – the Creator of the universe.
Psalm 107:1. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures for ever.
…..your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Pray for justice and peace which reflect the values of the kingdom.
Based on Micah: We are called to love mercy and show mercy,
To know peace and be peacemakers,
To act justly and to bring justice.
Give us today our daily bread.
Pray for the needs of others, for those in this country and around the world who go hungry.
Give thanks for all we have – may it spur us on to help others.
2Thess 2:16,17. May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our father…. encourage our hearts and strengthen us in every good deed ….
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
In silence repent of the things for which we need forgiveness.
Pray for those who may have wronged us.
1John 3;1. How great is the love the Father has lavished on us…..
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
Ask God to strengthen us and others through difficult times.
Isaiah 40: 28-31. The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth….he gives strength to the weary and lifts up the weak….those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength…
For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
Eph 3: 18-19. …….may we grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and know his love that surpasses all knowledge……….
We shared bread and wine and Barbara led us in closing blessings, with a simple idea that we all found both beautiful and deeply touching…