Monday 10 October
This week’s readings are about the inevitability of problems! Where God is, there will be opposition. Herod will brook no potential rival (he killed several members of his own family to prevent any possible coup!). A few children will not stand in his way. But God did – he pre-empted the problem and in dreams he warned and protected. Often Discipleship is mis-sold – ‘Come to Jesus and all your problems will disappear’. ‘Follow Jesus and you will prosper’.
These are blatant corruptions of the gospel of one who said: ‘Take up your cross and follow me’ ‘In this world you will have trouble’ The truth is Christians lose their jobs, Christians contract cruel and life altering diseases – and all the other things that life or the evil one can throw at us.
A decision to follow Jesus will bring up all the reasons you shouldn’t or not now at least. Don’t be surprised at the opposition that will come from without – ‘He’s gone good-living, become a Holy Joe!’ or within – ‘this is not me, I’m not fit for this, I don’t deserve this’.
It all has the same source – the evil one who will try to put you off. Don’t be put off – this is normal.
 Mark 8:34
 John 16:33
 For a biblical example see Luke 9:51-62
Tuesday 11 October
Isaiah wrote at a time of impending disaster when no-one would listen to what he had to say. They were to know the boots of trampling warriors only too well! It is into this the child is born – the Prince of Peace comes. Many feel they will take up faith when life settles down, when they have more time and more peace. Faith’s fertile ground is quite the opposite – it thrives in opposition, in difficulty, in the valley of shadow.
Invite God into the maelstrom of your life.
Wednesday 12 October
John 13:31-38 You will mess up!
Peter was so full of what he would do – and Jesus gently tells him – you will deny me three times. And so will we. The glory of the gospel of being a disciple is that there is always a fresh start, that messing up is not a disqualification.
So lift yourself up, dust yourself down and let God lead you on.
Thursday 13 October
You’re blessed when you are content with just who you are – no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
Today simply ponder this phrase … and ask ‘Am I content with who I am?’
Friday 14 October
Don’t fret! Refrain from anger. Don’t be envious!
We spend years of our lives wishing we were someone else or longing for a better house or car or wanting to be older or younger or just anything other than we now are or have.
The Psalmist says: don’t be daft – commit your ways to God and he will act. In the end the meek inherit the earth.
When the loudmouths and the macho have gone, the meek are still there. Be content with who you are and watch what God will make you into.
Saturday 15 October
THE REPAIR CAFÉ.
Lowe Eco Group are hosting Repair Café Belfast on the morning of Saturday 15th October 2022. Repair Cafes help people to get things fixed for free, things that might otherwise end up at the back of a cupboard or in landfill. The kinds of things which might be fixable at a repair café include small electronics, torn clothes, missing buttons, bicycles, small items of furniture, toys and other household items. You can find out more on their website www.repaircafebelfast.wordpress.com.
You can ask to be added to their mailing list by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org this will mean you will be notified of future repair café events around Belfast (including ours) and nearer the time it will send you the details of how to book a slot to have your item repaired. More details will follow nearer the time.
Today is for rest and reflection or catching up on reading missed earlier in the week.
You may want to ponder these questions as you reflect on the week’s reading:
- Where have I encountered opposition in following Jesus?
- How do I meet the unfair and horrible things that happen to me or around me?
- How do I cope with my own sin?
- What do I worry about? Should I? How do I commit my ways to God?
Listen to the news with your children or read the newspaper with them. Ask them how they feel about what they are hearing and reading. Talk to them about the other side of the story. Tell them the stories of the ‘meek’ – the aid workers in Syria, the development workers in earthquake ravaged Afghanistan, the good neighbours and caring friends. Show them that the meek rarely hit the headlines, but they really do what lasts. Hitler is reviled but Corrie ten Boom and Anne Frank and Schindler are celebrated.
For older children / young teens who like to read there are a variety of biographies written to tell the stories of ‘meek’ heroes of the faith e.g. by Catherine Parks
Sunday 16 October
11.00am Harvest Thanksgiving Service – Rev Barry McCroskery
The Different Dance
7.00pm Evening service- Julie Greenlee
The Strength of Meekness