Snowdrops and stones

Well it was a stunning morning at the bandstand today. It was never truer to think of the words ‘Morning has broken like the first morning’, seeing the bright sunshine cutting through the layer of mist, hanging in the valley. Just exquisitely beautiful.

We began our time with words written by Steve:

Space for the 3

LEADER: Creator God, in this place and at this time, for this place and for this time

ALL: We praise you

L: For the richness of this precise moment – unparalleled in human history

ALL:  We are in awe

L: For the autumn palette, the falling leaves – each one if caught 7 lucky hours!

ALL: All this proclaims YOU – our Yahweh Creator.

L:   Creator God, designer, provider, nurturer

ALL: This is your space given to us and we thank you

L:  And for Jesus, your gift of yourself to us, our Saviour, our Redeemer

ALL: We praise you

L: For the wealth of his life spent in serving others and us

ALL: We are in awe

L: For carrying our burdens to the cross, for dying and rising

ALL: All this proclaims YOU – our Yahweh Creator

L: Jesus, born and baptised as one of us

ALL: This is your space given to us and we thank you

L: And for your hovering life-giving Spirit

ALL: We praise you

L: For your wineskin bursting, mustard seed growing, transforming work

ALL: We are in awe

L: For indwelling our lives, our bodies and drawing us to you

ALL: This is your space given to us and we thank you

L: Space for the 3 in our Third space

ALL: AMEN!

Then we referred back to our prayer evening on Wednesday – part of which involved holding stones and then swapping them for others to carry during the week, as we shared prayer needs and burdens with each other. We updated one another on those prayer needs and took 5-10 minutes to carry those prayers with us, stone in hand, reflecting also on the following verses and letting them inform our prayers:

Numbers 11 14 I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me…

16 The Lord said to Moses:.17’ I will come down…  you will not have to carry it alone.’

 

Psalm 68 19 Praise be to the Lord, to God our Saviour,  who daily bears our burdens.

Matthew 11 28 ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Galatians 6 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ.

Isaiah 46  3 I… have carried since you were born. Even to your old age and grey hairs
I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

 

Later we took snowdrop bulbs and planted them in various beds in the park, placing our stones next to them – as a symbol of hope and resurrection…

 

We finished with bread and wine, using words Steve wrote in the past for us:

 

Perspectives – bread and wine

Bread – in all its variety – wholegrain, white bleached, flat, mother’s pride, granary, unleavened, pitta and crusty, soft and seeded. It is just bread – a staple – food for all, for the rich and the poor.

But in your outstretched hands, in your body, you transform this element into spiritual nourishment which in turn transacts our horizontal dimension with your vertical reality. We thank you that we stand in that crossing place once again.

For on the night before he died….Jesus gave thanks….took and broke….and shared….saying, “Take, eat, feed and remember – it is my body.”

ALL: We share this bread as one people with the risen Christ in our midst.

 

Wine – in all its variety – white and red, flat and sparkling, oaky and tannin rich, young and old, chardonnay and merlot, grenache and cabernet, old world and new world. It is just wine – a staple of celebration for all.

But in your wounded hands you transform this element to seal the new transaction between God and us. This wine spilt opens the new way, curtains rent asunder, the mundane becomes translucent with your presence. We thank you that we stand in that place once again.

For on the night before he died, Jesus gave thanks….took the cup….and shared it….saying, “Take, drink, it is given for you. It is my blood.”

ALL: We share this wine as one people with the risen Christ in our midst.

So we have eaten and drunk this transforming meal which brings heaven to earth. As Kingdom builders, we journey with Christ our Lord.

ALL: AMEN!

 

Perhaps it was the beautiful sunshine, maybe the sharing of heart-felt concerns… but there was a real sense of God’s presence this morning and once again, my friends, it was VERY good to be with you at the bandstand!

 

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