Reflections2020-08-14T10:01:07+01:00

Reflections

Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him singing with joy.

Psalm 100 1-2 NLT

Almighty God, we praise you for the wonders and majesty of this world. We praise you for the beauty, the exquisite detail and the perfect balance in all of creation; from the highest mountain to the deepest ocean, from the most delicate flower to the mighty oak, from the fluttering sparrow to the soaring eagle, from the squeak of a field mouse to the roar of a lion, from the rising to the setting sun. All creation praises you.

Almighty God we praise you that we can see your good, loving, faithful and gracious character in our world. Thank you that in nature we may find joy, relaxation and peace. Thank you that we may feel closer to you, our Maker, who knows, loves and cares for each one of us. Draw us nearer to you through Jesus and help us to value and care for our world and each other with love, joy and praise. Amen.

Ruth Rushworth

Previous Reflections

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Ps 23:6 ESV

Gracious God as we look at this photo, we overlay it with the story of Zacchaeus:-

Zacchaeus, a wealthy and unpopular tax collector (he often cheated people out of their taxes) knew that Jesus was passing through his home town of Jericho. Zacchaeus had heard about Jesus and wanted to see him for himself.

As Jesus arrived, accompanied by his followers and the crowds, Zacchaeus, being short, realised he would not catch a glimpse of Jesus unless he took action. So he ran ahead and climbed a tree, with a good vantage point to take a closer look at Jesus.

But, as Jesus passed by, he stopped, looked up and called to Zacchaeus to come down from the tree, and to the displeasure of the crowd, announced he was going to stay with Zacchaeus in his house that day.

Zacchaeus came down from the tree, he was incredulous, but overjoyed. He promised to give half his possessions to the poor and repay anyone he had defrauded 4 times the amount. Jesus said “today salvation has come to this house”.
(St Luke’s gospel chapter 19)

Zacchaeus was interested in Jesus, he wanted to get a closer look, wanted to find out more.
Maybe he thought “Why would he be interested in me? He is busy with others, he wouldn’t want anything to do with me, surely not…..?”

Loving and merciful God, you call to each of us out of your goodness and love. We cannot hide from your notice or attention. Your gracious love transforms us. Nothing and no-one is beyond the reach of your redemptive love. Thank you for your love and concern for each one of us.

Help us to come to you in the light of your love and in the sure knowledge that in Jesus we will never find condemnation. We find only mercy, forgiveness, love and acceptance, a release from burdens and a fresh, new start. Help us to love and accept other as you love us. Loving and merciful God we praise you.

Ruth Rushworth

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights……And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.

James 1:17 NIV 1:18 NLT

Gracious God, we look at this picture of a fountain, pouring forth droplets of water, each one sparkling in the spring sunshine. We see each droplet touching the water and spreading out in a ripple effect of light across the lake.

We thank you that every one of us is equally valuable, precious and wholly and dearly loved by you; there is no hierarchy in your kingdom.
We praise and thank you for the gift of life and love, given freely to us through Jesus.

Thank you too for the gifts, talents and skills you have given to each of us. We may think that we have little or nothing to give, or that what we do has little impact or significance. However, you assure us that nothing we do in your name is ever wasted. You bless and multiply all we offer you, in ways we may never know.

Gracious God, as we pray and work individually and collectively, may the ripples of your love spread throughout the world, touching especially those who feel lost, isolated and forgotten.

Ruth Rushworth

Text Box

I will say to the Lord “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

Ps 91:2 ESV

Jesus is Lord
Jesus is King;
Our strength
Our rock
Our dwelling place
Jesus, your praises we sing.

Jesus is steadfast
Jesus is sure;
Our truth
Our way
Our fulness of life
Jesus, your name we adore.

Jesus is love
Jesus is meek;
Our source
Our spring
Our ever-present help
Jesus, your mercy we seek.

Jesus is listening
Jesus is here;
Our friend
Our peace
Our burden-bearer
Jesus, your love calms our fear.

Gracious God, we take a moment to thank you for Jesus. Whatever is on our minds, our concerns for the day, our work, home, school, health, family, friends, community or our world, we lay them at your feet. We thank you that we can draw on your love, your strength and your guidance in any situation. We take a moment to praise you, to thank you and to think about what you mean to us in our life.

Gracious God, thank you that the time, however long or short, we spend with you is never wasted.  Each moment with you is precious. We thank you for your words of truth and life. Take us forward as we go about our day, in the knowledge and assurance of your eternal love for us, shown in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Ruth Rushworth

Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast”.
John 21:12 NIV

Loving God, we picture ourselves in this story from St. John’s gospel of Jesus appearing to the disciples on the shores of Lake Galilee:-

Peter and some of disciples were waiting in Jerusalem. Peter decided to go fishing and the other disciples went with him. They fished all night long but caught nothing at all.

At dawn, a figure called to them from the lakeside and asked if they had caught any fish. When they replied they hadn’t, he shouted to them to cast their nets over the other side of the boat.

They did as instructed and caught such a huge number of fish they could barely haul the nets in. Then, they realised it was Jesus.
Peter jumped into the water and headed for the shore, followed by the others in the boat.

At the lakeside, Jesus had lit a charcoal fire with fish and bread on it. He told them to bring some fish and come and have breakfast. They did not need to ask who he was, they knew it was Jesus. Jesus cooked the fish and served it to them with the bread.

We take a moment now to be quiet, to be still, in your presence. We reflect on any aspect of this story that might stand out to us.

Loving God, thank you that we can be open and honest with you and come to you just as we are. You love and accept us, you seek us out, you call to us and you bless us. Loving God, we praise you.

Thank you that through the risen Jesus, you touch our lives, in our ordinary, everday tasks, at work, at home, at play. The ordinary becomes the extraordinary as we include Jesus. Give us grace to trust you in times of waiting and may we accept your offer, every day, to come and breakfast with Jesus and be nourished in his presence.

Ruth Rushworth

They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he (Jesus) talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?”

Luke 24:32 NLT

Gracious God, we think of the story in St Luke’s gospel of the resurrected Jesus joining the two friends as they walked from Jerusalem to Emmaus.
They didn’t recognise him and were despondent as they told him all that had happened to Jesus in Jerusalem, how their hopes had been shattered by his crucifixion and now they had heard reports that he was alive!

Then they listened to Jesus as he explained and opened up the scriptures to them. As they approached the village they invited Jesus to eat with them and they recognised him as he broke bread with them.

Gracious God, we thank you that you love and care for each one of us. Thank you that you graciously draw alongside us, you walk with us at our own pace, and reveal your son, our Saviour Jesus to us as we journey through life.

As we walk with you and each other –

Season our words with grace

Enlighten our minds with wisdom

Inflame our hearts with love

Sharpen our listening with discernment

Open our eyes with compassion

Fill us with the love and knowledge of Jesus, that we may reflect Him in all we think, say and do.

Ruth Rushworth

Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.
Isaiah 43:1 NKJV

Lord God, as we look at this picture of a beautiful spring garden, we can imagine ourselves leaning on the gate, enjoying the view, feeling the warmth of the sun on our back, and smelling the blossom. We thank you for the beauty, peace and restoration we can find in the countryside and in your presence.

We take a moment to quieten our minds and turn our thoughts and focus to you.

Lord God, we reflect that you walked and talked with Adam and Eve in the garden in the cool of the evening. On Easter day morning Mary Magdalene went to the empty tomb in the garden. She recognised the risen Jesus when he called her by name. We imagine that moment when Mary heard Jesus call her by name….

We thank you that you call each of us by name and through Jesus you meet with us, every day, in the garden of our lives. We think of you calling us by name and how we respond to your call….

Lord God, even when we struggle to hear your voice, we thank you for the assurance that you have redeemed us, we belong to you and you have called us and know us by name. We need not be afraid.

May we find refreshment, peace and hope in your presence.

May we find clarity and purpose as we follow you and trust in your guiding hand.

May we be your voice, your hands, your feet and your heart to those who are seeking the assurance of being known, loved and cared for by name.

We offer you our thoughts and prayers and ask for your blessings in whatever lies ahead this day. We ask this in the name of Jesus our Saviour. Amen

Ruth Rushworth

Prayer before serving at the Colombo Methodist City Mission soup kitchen
Image: Anne Baldwin

God is our refuge and strength an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1 NIV

Message from Anne Baldwin
Mission Partner of the Methodist Church in Britain 2017-2020

I am unsure if you are aware of the desperate situation in Sri Lanka. There is little in the media as they focus on affairs nearer home.
The general situation has been worsening for weeks. Due to poor financial management by various governments over years and the lack of tourists since Covid the country is bankrupt and unable to pay its debts.
Shortages had begun while I was there earlier in the year,  but now they are extreme with lack of food, fuel and medicines.
There has been unrest and now a call for a week long Hartal ( a general strike) from yesterday (20 April 2020).
We can give thanks that the churches are providing help to the most needy where they can.
Messages on social media are around tense situations in towns, calls for children to be brought home from schools, curfews etc.
The fourth year students at the Theological College of Lanka, who have battled with Covid restrictions for two years are now nearing their final exams next month.
May I ask you to pray for the situation, everyone is affected by it.

Prayer for Sri Lanka by Geraldine Mattack

What is unfolding in Sri Lanka reminds me of the need to always discern the truth.
I pray that the truth of the situation be told by the media.
I pray for our world torn apart by conflict and distressing news.
I pray that men and women of faith would rise up with a gentle but bold voice of truth in times of chaos.
I pray to Jesus to speak through the students to give people Hope in these distressing times.
I pray for the people of Sri Lanka as they have their Hartal for aid to come to them.

by Geraldine Mattack

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Lamentation 3: 22-23 ESV

Living, loving God. We praise you for the resurrection of Jesus and thank you for his redeeming love. Help us to fully grasp the miracle that Jesus rose from the dead and is alive today. May we know the transforming love of Jesus in our lives.

We reflect on the love of God in Jesus:-

Yours is the hand that holds me fast,
Lifts me up when I am down;
Gives me peace beyond all measure,
Jesus, my Saviour, my crown.

Yours is the hand that holds me fast,
Guides me on life’s way;
Blesses me with love and perseverance,
Jesus, alongside me, every day.

Yours is the hand that holds me fast
Strengthens me for the day ahead;
Showers me with grace and mercy,
Jesus, my living, daily bread.

Yours is the hand that holds me fast,
Frees me from sin and shame;
Loves me, forgives, heals and restores,
Jesus, I worship your name.

Yours is the hand that holds me fast,
Knows me and calls me by name;
Has plans for my good and the future,
Jesus, forever the same.

Yours is the hand that holds me fast,
Calls me to love and to serve;
Equips me to tell others about you,
Jesus, God’s living, true word.

Yours is the hand that holds me fast,
You gave your life gladly for me;
You rose again on Easter day,
Lord Jesus, your love set me free.

Ruth Rushworth

I pray that you may have power … to grasp how long and wide and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled.. with all the fulness of God.
Eph 3: 18-19 NIV

Gracious and merciful God. We pause in your presence, as we reflect on the love of Jesus. The love that led him to freely give his life on the cross for everyone. The cross that stands in the centre of time, granting forgiveness, freedom and new life for all who turn to Jesus. Merciful God we thank you and we praise you.

We think about the disciples and Jesus’ followers, how they were fearful and turned away after his arrest, how they were shattered by his death on the cross, not understanding God’s plan of salvation, not expecting the miracle of the resurrection.

Merciful God, you turn darkness into light, you restore, you provide strength and comfort, you bring your healing love into our lives. Nothing is too hard for you. We lift before you all those in dark places, would you hold them firmly and tenderly and may the love of Jesus break through into their lives and situations.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you, not to harm you, to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Amen.

ohn 17:21 NLT
Jesus prayed “…that they will all be one…just as you and I are one.. so that the world will believe that you sent me.”

Emmanuel, God with us, we thank you for this beautiful banner made with love, care and great skill. We thank You that it is a reminder of Your values of love and friendship, extended to all people. We thank You that You enfold us in Your wrap-around love.

God with us, Jesus prayed that we all may be one, as He is one with You.  We thank You and reflect on aspects of Your nature – 

U – You are love, wisdom and understanding.
N – You are near to all who call on you.
I – You are immutable – you do not change. 
T – You are the way, the truth and the life.
E – Your love is from everlasting to everlasting.
D – Your light overpowers darkness.

Loving God, as Easter approaches, we reflect on Jesus’ journey to the cross and the miracle of his resurrection.  Draw your people, Your church on earth, closer to You in unity and strength that we may share the wonderful news of Jesus with a needy and hurting world. Amen.

Ruth Rushworth

John 16:33 NIV
‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world’.

A letter from God
Come, my child
Take a moment
Sit with me
Rest your head on my shoulder
Be at one with me
Breathe in my peace
Be still, for I am your God.

Know my child that whatever the circumstances, my unfailing love for you will never be shaken, never be moved. You are constantly in my thoughts, you are the apple of my eye, trust me and let me guide you. Before you were born I knew you. I formed you in your mother’s womb. I am with you all of your days.

Bring your worries, your problems and your sorrows to me, seek my wisdom, my comfort, my strength. Bring your hopes and your joys to me and share my delight in you.

I love you. I gave my life for you, that you may have life in me. I am your God, your love, your strength, your life.

Crafted by Ruth Rushworth

(Image: M P McKellar)

Jesus said “Peace be still!”     Mark 4:39 NKJV

God of peace, we think of the story of the disciples struggling to row across Lake Galilee in the middle of a raging storm. They were making no progress, the wind was howling and gigantic waves threatened to overturn the boat.  The disciples were terrified and cried out to Jesus who was asleep in the bottom of the boat “Lord save us”.  Jesus stood up and commanded the wind and waves to be still.  And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.

God of peace, as we reflect on this familiar  story in Mark’s gospel, may we take just a few moments to be still before you, to quieten our minds and to breathe in your peace……

Jesus said
“Peace I leave with you;
My peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.  
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
John  14:27 NIV

We thank you that you are a God of peace.  When circumstances in our lives, or events in the world leave us feeling anxious or afraid, may we remember to call out to you. We pray for your peace in our deepest being. Please settle any restless thoughts and bring your calm.  We thank you for those who work to bring peace. We pray for peace in our world. We lift before you those who have no peace, those who have no-one to pray for them and anyone you have placed on our hearts today. Would you lead them to a place of peace in Jesus. Thank you. Amen.

Ruth Rushworth