SUNDAY THOUGHT 17.01.2021

I do not claim that I have already succeeded or have already become perfect. I keep striving to win the prize for which Christ Jesus has already won me to himself. Of course, my friends, I really do not think that I have already won it; the one thing I do, however, is to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead. So I run straight toward the goal in order to win the prize, which is God’s call through Christ Jesus to the life above.”   [Phillipians ch3 : v12-14]

I went out far a walk today [Saturday] the rain had washed away the snow and ice and the opportunity to get some fresh air was too good to miss. There is something wonderful about being outdoors, even for a wee while, the beauty of the gardens and the hedgerows, the freshness of the day lifts the spirits no end. There was even a small blessing in the faint imprint of a rainbow that symbol of Hope so prevalent from the last lock down. 

It was a walk not a run but the idea of moving forward with a purpose was on my mind as I journeyed on, with a nod of recognition to familiar faces and it was joyful even for that small blessing on the way. a walk also helps to clear the mind and refresh the brain and as I went along, I thought of this passage written by St. Paul. To keep steadily moving along life with eyes firmly fixed on the goal of Jesus Himself. 

I particularly thought about our time here in lock down [or exile as it feels] as part of the race of life. If can think for a moment as our lives as a race where we all strive or move forward at different paces yet move on we do. There are times when life feels like a sprint, rushing on with so much to do and keep us busy, too busy to take time for ourselves or to be still with the Lord. They are the exciting times of life, with something happening which lifts the heart. We tend to say a few hurried word of thanks to God for our blessings as we rush through life.

There are also times in life when life is more like a marathon, with the same old, same old, where a steady pace makes most sense. This is a time when we do need help and support from God as we dig in and keep going. At times like this God is our ever – present help in all kinds of trouble, there for us when we send up the emergency prayers, picking us up when we are down. This is the time when we learn perseverance and gain our strength from the Lord as we put our trust in Him, our Constant Companion.

Just now though we are in the slow lane of life, desperate to be moving and doing, “champing at the bit” to be back in church worshipping together. Finding it hard at times to deal with the quiet days. Now is the time to really “dig in” and keep strong. This is the time to run the race of life with perseverance, to look to the bright future and remember that the darkest night is before the brightest dawn. If we keep our eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ, He will see us through this time, give us the strength when needed, the peace when needed and always enfolds us in His Love.

Let us give our thanks to God for all His Blessings and His perseverance with us and let us always move through the race of life always keeping our eyes on the goal of a brighter future.

LET US PRAY

ALMIGHTY AND EVELASTING GOD,

We thank and praise You for the beauty of the earth which delights us,

We thank You for the promise of hope seen in the Rainbow a sign of Your Covenant.

We thank You that we can run the race of life with You as our supporter and guide.

We praise You for Your Holy Word which gives such comfort in times of hardship.

We thank You for the many ways You touch our lives. For laughter, for conversation,

for bird song and frosty mornings,

for the people and places in our communities that are important to us.

for times of silence and space to just be, for company and chance encounters,

for simple things and special moments.

Thank You that You are with us in the highs and lows of life,when we are busy and when we are still,

When we believe with all our hearts, and when we are barely hanging on by our fingertips to our faith.

You create and recreate and knit us together again. And we say thank You for the gift of Your love,

Given to us in Christ Jesus.  Generous God

From our hearts we thank You

Amen

[part of this prayer is found on the Church of Scotland Website for January]

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