Daily Worship

Week of 23 – 29 July 2017

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

Where do you place your hope? If we view the world through the lens of our society’s values and goals, we probably hope for quick resolutions to the problems that plague us most. We make easy judgements about what we consider good and bad, and we seek to have the bad eradicated as swiftly as possible. We may even place our hope in those leaders whom we believe will most quickly and easily shape the world according to our view of how it should be – which view is usually itself shaped by the images of a perfect world that are constantly offered to us in the media.

But, this week the Scriptures offers us two words of caution and of hope. The first is that the world is on a purposeful course toward the dream of God for the wholeness and unity of all things. The second is for us to acknowledge that our view of good and bad is often limited, and so we need to wait patiently, trust in God, and allow God to work out God’s purposes according God’s eternal timeline.

This week we explore what it means to build our lives on these foundational truths.

To download this week’s reflections in PDF format, click through to the downloads page.

Daily Worship

Week of 16 – 22 July 2017

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

Sometimes it feels like God has gone silent. We may feel, at times, that we don’t know how to hear what God is saying to us. We may watch others who claim to hear God speaking all the time, and wonder what they have that we don’t. Or we may believe that we hear God speaking to us regularly, but we fail to listen to these messages with discernment, measuring them against what the Scriptures have revealed. We have all experienced moments when what is called the voice of God speaking turns out to be nothing more than personal preference or desire.

The Bible tells us that God has already spoken and given us all we need to live an abundant life. Perhaps before we seek special “words” from God, we should focus on trying to live according to the words we have already received. We may need the promptings of the Spirit to remind us of specific passages of Scripture, but no new revelation can ever replace what God has already revealed in the Bible.

This week we remember how God has already spoken to us, and we seek to live out what we have already heard through Jesus..

To download this week’s reflections in PDF format, click through to the downloads page.

Daily Worship

Week of 09 – 15 July 2017

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

It is always tempting to frame God’s invitation in the terms of human systems of power, comfort, and knowledge. But, when we do this, we do not find the rest or the life of Christ. On the contrary, we end up trapped in systems of achievement, exclusivity, and constant striving, which contribute to our brokenness, even though we may seek to sanctify them with the name of Christ. The reality that we need to face as followers of Jesus, is that we often misunderstand what really brings us life and rest. We often seek for God’s life in the wrong places, and we often seek for God’s rest in things that only lead us into further striving, busyness, and exhaustion. This means that we need to listen more carefully to what Jesus offers when he calls us to enter God’s rest.

To begin with, we need to be willing to hear that God’s rest is usually found in places which we view as the least likely. We will need to be willing to place our faith in the ways of Christ that go against the current of the society around us. If we genuinely seek God’s life and rest, we will automatically place ourselves apart from the strategies of the world around us. This may mean that we will be seen as aloof or critical of the world, and so we may experience some rejection or even conflict. But, the paradox of the Gospel is that God’s life and rest, God’s comfort and healing, can be found and experienced even in the midst of crisis, pain and suffering.

This week we will listen again for God’s call to rest, we will seek to share this call with others, and we will discover that joy is available to us, no matter what we may be facing in our lives.

To download this week’s reflections in PDF format, click through to the downloads page.

Daily Worship

Week of 02 – 08 July 2017

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

Hospitality is described in the New Testament as a spiritual gift. This may lead us to believe that it is only required of those to whom this particular gift has been given, but this would be a mistake. In the Old Testament hospitality was expected of all of God’s people, and, as with other spiritual gifts, the task of those who have received the gift of hospitality is to teach the whole church how to be hospitable. This means that the call to hospitality – to welcoming and receiving others in Jesus’ name – comes to all who seek to follow Jesus.

The Gospel is built on the fact that God has offered hospitality to us. God has welcomed us into God’s family and made us part of God’s new community of love and justice. We have done nothing to deserve this. It is simply a gift of grace. But, in response we should find ourselves unable to resist offering hospitality to others. As we have been welcomed and accepted so we desire others to know God’s grace and love, and so we seek to welcome and accept others in Jesus’ name, without requiring anything of them, or expecting anything in return. If we seek to understand what it means to be holy, we will discover that hospitality is a significant feature.

This week we seek to respond to God’s call to hospitality.

To download this week’s reflections in PDF format, click through to the downloads page.

Daily Worship

Week of 25 June – 01 July 2017

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

We all face moments of decision when we have to choose whether to preserve our lives through silence and compliance, or to endure ridicule, persecution and rejection for speaking out for what we believe is right. These decisions are often much smaller, but more significant, than we may realise. When we refuse to laugh at racist, homophobic or chauvinistic jokes, we put ourselves in the firing line. When we stand alongside those whom others want to judge and reject, we risk being rejected and judged ourselves. When we refuse to participate in acts of violence against our “enemies” we may be seen as traitors. When we embrace beliefs and values that are different from the “norm” we may be disowned or excommunicated.

Yet, if we fail to stand up for our convictions, we lose something of our souls, and we contribute to making the world unsafe and threatening for anyone who is “different” in any way. While it may hurt to live out the welcoming, peaceful, and justice-seeking values of God’s Reign, to fail to do so hurts us and our world far more. This is why the Lectionary challenges us to love the Gospel above all – for only then will we live as people who truly and selflessly love family, friends, neighbours, and even enemies, as God calls us to.

This week we explore the uncomfortable call of Jesus, and we embrace the cost in our quest to receive and share God’s life.

To download this week’s reflections in PDF format, click through to the downloads page.

Daily Worship

Announcement

Dear Daily Worship subscribers,

This year the Church Calendar has an extra week after Trinity Sunday – Proper 6A – that has not been present in Year A in the time since Daily Worship began. However, I am afraid that I have just not been able to include this new week in the Daily Worship reflections for this year. You will notice that the reflections for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday all relate to Trinity Sunday which has just past, but the reflections for Thursday, Friday and Saturday all relate to Proper 7A – not Proper 6A.

I hope that you will forgive me for missing out on the reflections leading up to Proper 6A this Sunday, and then flowing out from Sunday in the first half of next week. And then I hope you will continue to stay with the journey from next week on when things will be back to normal.

I apologise for any inconvenience this has caused you. Thank you for your ongoing support of Sacredise and Daily Worship.

Daily Worship

Week of 11 – 17 June 2017

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

Once again we reach the mysterious and difficult day called Trinity Sunday. The doctrine of the Trinity is often misunderstood both within the Christian Community and outside of it, and has been the source of much persecution and ridicule of the Church. Part of the problem is that the Church has sometimes used the idea of God as Trinity as a means to define God and to draw lines between “true believers” and “heretics”. While there may some valid reasons for both of these actions, they have not helped us to experience the richness and invitation of this amazing truth.

The doctrine of the God who is three-in-one, while not defining God (God is beyond any human definition) does reveal some important facets of God’s nature. This God is, within God’s own nature, a community of love. But, God does not seek to keep this divine community closed. Rather, God seeks to draw all people, all creatures, and the entire cosmos into this loving community. All three persons of the Trinity are constantly reaching out to heal, restore, and welcome God’s beloved creation into intimate relationship with God. If there is any statement about God that should teach us about God’s inclusive love, it is that God is triune. This is a great mystery, but it invites us to spend our lives in contemplation and experience of it.

This week we meditate on the God who is three-in-one, and respond to God’s invitation to share in the divine community of love.

 

To download this week’s reflections in PDF format, click through to the downloads page.

Daily Worship

Week of 04 – 10 June 2017

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

The Day of Pentecost marks the shift in the Church Calendar from God’s Story to Our Story. After the months of remembering and entering into the grand narrative of God’s saving work, we now begin to explore the implications for us, and how we can become participants in the Reign of God. But, the key moment of transition is the outpouring of God’s Spirit. In keeping with the biblical principle of “passing the mantle” from prophet to disciple, Pentecost is the moment in which Jesus “passes the mantle” on to us. We have learned from him what God’s mission is, and now we have received his Spirit in order to continue his work. So, Pentecost is a gift, but it is also a preparation, an empowering, for the work ahead.

As we seek to follow Christ in this world, we will face many challenges that are beyond our ability to overcome. We will encounter many people whom we would not naturally be able to love. We will confront many aspects of ourselves that we would rather deny than heal. But, we do not have to deal with these issues alone. The gift of the Spirit empowers us to find creative solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems. The Spirit fills us with the love of Christ and enables us to reach out even to our enemies. And the Spirit reveals what needs to change in us, and brings God’s healing and transforming grace into our lives. What an amazing gift this is!

This week our meditations seek to open us to receive God’s gift of the Holy Spirit again.

To download this week’s reflections in PDF format, click through to the downloads page.