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Cathy's Blog

Hope , Romans 15 vs 5-7 &13

In his letter to the Romans Paul is writing to the Church in Roman, giving them instructions on how to live their lives Gods way, together in Christian community. Although written nearly 2000 years ago Paul’s instructions still apply to us today:

Paul writes that we must have the same attitude to each other as Jesus had when he was on earth. His example is there for us to read in the four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Jesus was  loving, forgiving and inclusive. Reading the Bible gives us encouragement as the Old Testament tells us of Gods promises to his people and the New Testament shows His love in action with the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus.

We are to have fortitude, which is much more than simply being patient. it is an attitude to ‘triumphantly cope with life’ because of the hope we have in the love of God. And we are to live harmoniously together, which does not mean that we won’t disagree and even argue, but what unites us in our Christian faith is much bigger than any differences that may divide us.

Our hope isn’t just optimism that doesn’t see difficulties and is certainly not only the prerogative of the young. Christian hope throughout the centuries has seen everything and endured but does not despair. Because our hope isn’t founded on human spirit, or human goodness or human achievements (although these can be wonderful), our hope is in the power of God.

We have all heard it said that a situation, or even a person, is hopeless. Why? Because human beings cannot see the solution. But..and this can be an exciting opportunity....it could be when we ask for Gods help. It could be when we turn to someone greater then ourselves. And it is when we ask for Gods help, when we listen to him, when we allow him in, that His blessings come. Noone is hopeless who is loved by God, and no situation is hopeless when the Holy Spirit is with us. This is our hope; that nothing can separate us from the love of God through Jesus Christ our saviour.

Matthew 10: 26-32

I read this passage in Matthew whilst thinking about Father's Day, and the love of our Heavenly Father:

At this point in Matthews Gospel Jesus send his disciples out to heal and proclaim that "the kingdom of heaven has come near", God Himself had come to earth and was living among us.

Jesus tells his disciples that proclaiming the good news may not be easy; people may not understand and some will reject them. So, Jesus gives his disciples words of encouragement and reminds them to see God's bigger picture.

3 times Jesus tells them not to be afraid. In vs 26 he says that nothing is hidden that will not be disclosed - God's truth will triumph. Even though not everyone knows Gods message of love now and many reject it, there will be a time when everyone knows it. God is ultimately in control and his love will triumph.

In vs 27 Jesus says "what I tell you in the dark, speak in the light" - as Christians we are in relationship with God and we pray to him. Prayer involves both speaking and listening. Here Jesus is saying that what we learn in the quiet of our own hearts we should share with others - Gods love is not a secret and we should share it. Sometimes this can take courage and Jesus tells his disciples not to be afraid, reminding them of Gods big picture of eternal love and glory.

Then Jesus gives 2 wonderful illustrations of Gods care and love for us:

Firstly, though 2 sparrows are sold for a penny, God knows when any sparrow falls to the ground. The greek for 'falls' here doesnt mean 'dies' but when a  bird flies down to hop on the ground. This is a lovely illustration of God's knowledge and involvement in his creation; think how much then God cares for us.

Secondly, Jesus says that God has counted the hairs on our head - God knows us in that detail! And how does that make us feel? precious, valued, cared for, he loves us with the unconditional love of a parent.

Finally, Jesus says that whoever acknowledges him, He will acknowledge before God. This is a promise that Jesus is our loyal and true friend, which gives us courage to proclaim his gospel message that the kingdom of heaven is near: for if we accept Jesus' gift to us of his death and resurrection, and follow him we enter the Kingdom of God NOW. I live in the world and I also live in the Kingdom of God which lasts into heaven and eternity - a kingdom of love.  Cathy 

March 26th 2020, the Lost Sheep

Hello, I’m Cathy Pearce and I live and worship in the Parish of North Buckingham where I’m training for ordination. I’m very excited to be writing my first ever blog- thank you for reading it .During this time of lockdown and self isolation many of us may be feeling lonely, isolated or anxious, and this has made me think of the “Lost Sheep” When Jesus was alive he told stories known as parables, to teach people important messages about God and one such story was the Parable of the lost sheep. In the fields around the villages in North Buckingham there are many sheep and lambs in the fields at the moment, and the story Jesus told was of a farmer looking after 100 sheep. But at the end of the day this farmer could only count 99 sheep - one was missing! The farmer in the story leaves the 99 safely together and searches high and low for this lost sheep, he doesn’t stop searching until the sheep is found.Then, with joy and delight the farmer lifts the sheep onto his shoulders and carries it home. What a wonderful picture of God’s love. No one is forgotten by God, He cares for 100%, 99 out of 100 is not enough for him! So, if you are feeling isolated or anxious please know that God cares and that He loves YOU. It has been said that “ to hear the whisper of God you must turn down the volume of the world.” (N. McGuirk) Our world has had to become quieter and less busy, so let us use this time to talk to God in prayer and share with him our feelings and worries. For, through Jesus we will “find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16) You can read the parable of the lost sheep in Luke, chapter 15, verses 3-7

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