Praise The Lord!
We invite you to join us this Sunday 6th September @ 11am
We look forward to seeing you there
Find Previous thoughts from the Pastors Desk HERE
Over the past two weeks we have lived in the backdrop the white noise of Covid 19 and its fluctuating numbers of death and contagion alongside the complex ease of lockdown, we hear of Lockdown’s effect with talks of quarantine for visits abroad, economic downturn, vast numbers of unemployment and then comes the devastating explosion in the Lebanon, Refugees seeking refuge, train derailment in Scotland and national outcry of our youth concerning dashed hopes at examination results. It is sometimes hard to find good news in 2020.
Today I call to mind the a few words of one of my all-time favourite R & B classic, ‘Joy and pain are like sunshine and rain’ sung by Frankie Beverley & Maze. Though it is a song about the ups and downs of relationships, it greatly captures the essence of truth about life and living; the coexistence of both the good and the bad, the happy and sad. Life never gives us one thing or another – we will find that the many facets of our experiences exist together. And again, today we are encouraged by both our Bible reading and the few words of my chosen song, to look for the good that is happening around us despite the influx of bad news. For instance, it is uplifting to hear of the Lebanese nurse who rescued the 3 premature babies from the incubators and carried them to safety from the midst of danger; rising from the rubble of a scenes of a destroyed city and the many dead bodies, this nurse found the courage and strength to transport the babies to a hospital where they received the care needed. The babies have survived and restored to their grateful. Not forgetting the Scottish derailment; the high-speed train which would normally be full of passengers was only carrying 12 passengers and yes, though we mourn with the families at the great loss of those 3 men named we are thankful that there was not a greater loss of life.
Paul, the writer of the Letter to the Church in Ephesians instructs his readers to turn to prayer in face of all adversities of life. They are encouraged to speak to God in the form of prayer, to share their worries and anxieties, to ask for help, plead their causes appreciating the good and God’s willingness to be of help. Yet whilst, we acknowledge the opposing scenes of life, we are called by Paul to relinquish anxiety and worry for prayer, as prayer and worry are totally opposed. It seems to be that we either choose to worry or pray and whatever we choose has the power to displace the other. Prayer calls us to completely give in trust, to God’s care all our needs, our concerns, our requests and petitions. Including our offer of thanks to Him for the good that we find in the midst of our struggles. Following Paul’s advice, we are of promised a deposit of divine ‘Peace’. A ‘Peace’ that Jesus gives which He describes to be unlike that found in the world; “…My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do, I give to you.” It is a ‘Peace’ that comes directly from Him - His own peace, that delivers an influential internal unflustered and composed state which is unmoved by circumstances.
We seek this promise of inner peace that is beyond human understanding, a peace though experienced, is not easily articulated. A peace that stabilises, calms and soothes people in moments of great distress so that they are able to experience the truth of the realties they face; the trauma and the emotions though strengthened to remain buoyant, not sinking or been carried away involuntarily. And yet, there is more! God’s peace works to protect and to guard; and in a more pictorial sense ‘keep watch over’ our hearts, the very place where we earnestly seek to defend its fragility, weakness and vulnerability. However, we are assured by Paul’s word’s here that a person in prayer, need not exercise any manner of hypervigilance in self-protection because this call to prayer and thanksgiving gives ‘Peace’ the task of all round vigil and surveillance over our hearts and the matters presented to God. With peace depositing a sense of calm and taking up the role of guardianship and protection, those in prayer are directed to turn their focus away from worry and anxiety (that are now in God’s hands) and put into practise a more positive state of mind to think on good things … Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Phil 4: 8
Yes, Finally, as a result of our prayers and our receipt of His comforting, healing and sustaining ‘Peace’ we are freed to move into a more hopeful and optimistic outlook about our present and our future having placed our trust and dependency in the One True Living God.
Today let us turn as advised, our minds to prayer requesting the peace of God for
Heavenly Father, we thank you for the promised Peace of Jesus Christ that can be ours when we turn to you in prayer. This day we ask you to hear our prayers for the concerns of those who suffer around the world, for the concerns we have for those who are close to us, for the news that disturbs us, for the issues we raise here and in it all we thank you Father for being such a great listener, for having the ongoing concern of humanity, for the good that we find in times of struggle, for the Church who in Christ calls us to this place of prayer. May your presence move upon us by your Holy Spirit as we come to you in prayer, in Jesus’ name. Amen
Be still my soul (Kari Jobe)https://youtu.be/mq59iE3MhXM
Heal our nation https://youtu.be/yeoiOKOxc4o
(Remembering Lebanon, Scotland and the pandemic its casualties across the World)
Great if thy faithfulness https://youtu.be/0k1WhFtVp0o
(Posted 16th August)
We may not be meeting at present but we will be continuing to Pray for the present situation.
If you are looking for Spiritual support, especially at this time, please contact Pastor Joyce on 07904996026 or email Pastor@hobc.org.uk
It's okay not to be okay
God meets you where you are.
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble"
Psalm 46. V1
Our Motto for 2020 Image- Fota Gardens, Cork, S.Ireland