MSC News Summer Reflection – Psalm 16.

Keep me safe, my God,
for in you I take refuge.

I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing.’
I say of the holy people who are in the land,
‘They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.’
those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods
or take up their names on my lips.

Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

This is my place of comfort in the bible; I am sure you have a favourite verse or chapter that offers you space to rebuild yourselves. In times of lack of confidence, fear and doubt it is where I end up. 

Typically of me I read the end of books first; I don’t like surprises and like to know where I am going! The bible for me is a bit the same. I am secure in the promise Jesus made for all of us by his death on the cross. The accessibility of the New Testament, means that sometimes it is easy to take it for granted, just like a know it all teenager! Yeah, Yeah Yeah, signing and rolling eyes!!!

But the promises shown in the Old Testament really make me marvel in awe, by having an active relationship with God, following his counsel, taking refuge in him, I will have everything I need. I am assured of a delightful inheritance. 

However before we get too excited, this is not pink fluffy bunnies, unicorns and Disney princesses. There is a stark warning, no turning towards other God’s or paying homage to icons in our lives in fact don’t even let their name pass your lips in the same way. Because without the comfort and refuge promised you can only expect sorrow heaped after sorrow. I don’t even want to imagine the desolation of not having a relationship with God.

So this summer, secure in the knowledge that God will never abandon you, because he has a vested interest in your life, keep your eyes on him, bask in his unshakeable love for you, allow your heart to be filled with gladness, let your tongue rejoice and enjoy a chance to rest.  Rachel Wilkinson

Prayer for the Middle East

As I’ve been reading this Psalm and reflecting on Rachel’s words this week I’ve found my thoughts turning to the situations in the Middle East.  I want to encourage you to engage with and pray for what is going on in Iraq and also for Israel and Palestine.  If you are planning an informal get-together with Kairos people you might like to make some space to pray then too. 

Here are a few links that might help you explore how to pray and respond further:

A message on Gaza from Bishop Nick Baines.  This is a week old, but still contains some useful links to ways you can respond.

Prayers for the Middle East – From Christian Aid.

How to pray for the situation in Iraq –  from 24-7 Prayer.

This weekend

On Saturday we’ll be hosting a brunch with some missionary friends of ours who are based in Peru.  You are very welcome to come along and find out more about what they are doing.  We’ll meet at our our house,  10:30am.  If you don’t know where we live then leave a comment over on the FB event and I’ll let you know.

This Sunday we have a usual 9am Communion and also our first 10;30am Summer Gathering.  We’d love to see you at one or more of these. Ben.