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‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’   Joshua 1:9

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Thought for the Day, 2 July 2020 from Katherine-Alice Grasham (All Hallows)

Did you know that St Valentine is not only the patron saint of love, but also of beekeeping? I’m personally a huge fan of bees – I love that they communicate by dancing, and that they are such hard workers but still find time to “stop and smell the roses”, quite literally.
The opening of the film ‘Bee Movie’ says this: “According to all known laws of aviation, there is no way that a bee should be able to fly. Its wings are too small to get its fat little body off the ground. The bee, of course, flies anyways. Because bees don't care what humans think is impossible.”
I like to think we can learn from this – we can often get weighed down by perceived impossibilities, but the bible says in the gospel of Matthew, “with God everything is possible.” I’ll admit that I use the phrase “I can’t do it” far too often, and forget that sometimes it’s not about my capacity, but God’s. When I put my trust in God, I am stronger, braver, and wiser than I ever could be alone. As a Christian, I believe that God can do amazing things through every single one of us, even when we think it’s far beyond our capabilities.
In many traditions, bees symbolise community, which I think is another great example of a place from where we can draw strength. Bees cannot do their work alone – each of them has a task to do, and between them, they get the job done. Especially in this day and age, I think we can all learn a lesson from this – “no man is an island” as John Donne wrote in his famous poem, and we cannot thrive without the help of others. Perhaps we can use today to inspire us to reach out to others in support, and to ask for help when we need it
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Thought for the Day 30th June 2020 from Katharine Salmon
Luke 15: 11-end
The Prodigal Son- an extract below from a reflection on this passage by Rev Nadia Bolz-Weber, Pastor of All Sinners and Saints Church, Denver, Colorado. She blogs @sarcasticlutheran, and the whole text is on Nadia is one of my favourite preachers and is well worth looking up on line, and I love this reflection on the Prodigal Son.
For some reason there is so much of Christianity that has felt more comfortable with a punishment and reward system than it is with living in the pure love and freedom that Jesus has secured for us.
So if you hear nothing else in the reading, hear this: that angry punishing God is not the God I know. And it is not the God revealed to us in the person of Jesus Christ. This Jesus who ate with sinners and tax collectors and upset the religious authorities and who loved and healed and forgave people indiscriminately – well this Jesus was God’s way of telling us who God is.
So when I reject my identity as beloved child of God and turn to my own plans of self-satisfaction, or I despair that I haven’t managed to be a good enough person, I again see our divine Parent running toward me uninterested in what I’ve done or not done, who covers me in divine love and I melt into something new like having again been moved from death to life and I reconcile aspects of myself and I reconcile to others around me.
If you would like to listen to a beautiful musical reflection on the passage, here is a link to “I’ll die no more for bread” by Peter and Mary Alice Amidon
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