Hidden Beauty and God’s Bounty

We gathered under the twisted beach tree beside the river on this glorious sunny morning

Psalms 8, 19 & 50 selection

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

 They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.

Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory
in the heavens. 

When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?

The Mighty One, God, the Lord,
speaks and summons the earth
from the rising of the sun to where it sets.
From Zion, perfect in beauty,
God shines forth.

 Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Hidden Beauty – I came up with the idea of using this subject for a Sunday morning a few weeks ago when we were sent off to do an activity in the park. As there were more people than sheets and we were leading I went off sheetless. I found a beautiful hibiscus hidden among the shrubs near the café. I spent a few glorious minutes in rapture at the hidden beauty I had found. The start of the autumn season always makes me feel a little flat, as a gardener I get great joy from what I consider beautiful. The beauty that rings my bells is colourful, attractive in form and is often planned and cultivated by man.

Then last week on a walk in Derby with Betsy in the pushchair I was on the lookout for hidden beauty and I became aware of the not so hidden “bounty of the season”. In our interconnected world we need to open our eyes to what our fellow creatures will find beautiful. Yesterday I took the same walk and found the acorn laden trees amazing, the dragonflies inspiring, the birdsong uplifting, the profusion of rose hips and the blackberries awesome. How great is the God who gives not just us our harvest at this time of year, but a bounty for our fellow creatures in this interconnected planet.

Activity

Spend some time walking in the park and as you go:

  1. Smile, make eye contact and say good morning to everyone you pass.
  2. Look for something beautiful or bountiful – write a sentence about how hidden beauty inspires you on the back of the sheet in the liturgy for sharing bread and wine.

 

Prayer

Last week we were contemplating about our world and the peoples in it who were suffering not just from the Covid19, but who had a daily struggle throughout their lives. We all commented about how difficult it was to pray. In our prayers we are going to pray for those who are beautiful because they are selfless and try to bring light into dark places we also need to pray for God’s bounty to be shared fairly.

So we pray for the same places and peoples we thought about last week and pray for those trying to bring relief to them.

We pray for those who bring food, medicine, comfort, care and release to the hungry, sick, desperate and oppressed.

Medical workers, Carers, Peacemakers, Those bringing Reconciliation and healing, Justice Seekers, Scientists who endeavour to improve our world and

People of all faiths or none who alleviate suffering.

We thank you for them and pray that you will guide their actions, words and keep them safe from sickness or danger

Steve read a beautiful piece he had written and shared with us before

If only for today…

If only for today, this singular day, I want to live gratefully, without resentments and what ifs; to play without regret.
If this were the only day, this single moment, I want to commit generously, love lavishly; to invest as if for eternity.
If this day were the last day, I want to live without fear and without anxiety because I’d send Jesus out to bat because he can sort the googlies from the flippers and the bouncers from the yorkers.
If this were the final innings and all was to play for, one final session after tea, I would gather my companions around me and I’d break the bread as we’ve been taught. And we’d look from person to person and we’d know, we’d just know.
And Jesus would be there, quiet in the heart of us.

And there’d be wine – not too much – ready poured – to fortify, to en-courage for the final battle. And we’d remember those who had gone before and we’d toast them.
And Jesus would be there, quiet in the heart of us.

If only for today, this singular time, we choose to bless not curse, to hope not fear, to dance and not be paralysed because the team Captain leads us out and his Spirit indwells. And we were born for this day and we give thanks.
AMEN

Sharing bread and wine

Open our senses to your presence

Open our ears to hear you speak

Open our eyes to see your beauty in all we see

Write your sentence here …

 

 

Touch the bread and give thanks

Taste the bread and remember Jesus

 

Smell the wine treasure what is beautiful

Drink and celebrate love

Amen,  Amen

 

Friends are beautiful – they bring care and concern and encouragement in times of trouble.

A Blessing for Friends

May you know the peace that comes with inner beauty,

and may the Lord inspire beauty in your life and works.

May you be inspired every day with the beauty that you see,

and not be blinded to the artistry of God that surrounds you.

May God’s beauty illuminate your soul and influence the way you think, the way you act and the way you are.

Coffee in the park perhaps for the last time for a while as the rule of 6 begins tomorrow

 

 

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