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Worship

We are having daily updates from Rev Rowe with some Bible quotes and versions to reflect upon during this time. We will post these when you are received. 

Monday 23 March

One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and saw their forced labour. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his kinsfolk. He looked this way and that, and seeing no one he killed him and hid him in the sand. (Exodus 2:11-12).

Moses must have been aware that his life was in God hand’s because he had worked through people to save him his life at birth and bring him to being a prince. On that day he had a choice: was he Egyptian or Hebrew? Would remain with the privileges of an Egyptian prince or stand with a Hebrew slave. Please notice that he acted prudently taking suitable precautions. But he took the selfless option of serving others. During this challenging time we should be sensible. But we also have Moses’ choice: will we turn into ourselves or look outward to serve others? Today please thank God for someone he has used to assist you. Be kind to yourself and others.

Tuesday 24 March

After a long time the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned under their slavery, and cried out. Out of the slavery their cry for help rose up to God. God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God looked upon the Israelites, and God took notice of them. (Exodus 2:23-25).

We are groaning with an ongoing difficulty which seems beyond our ability to barely influence. In this situation the Hebrews choose to look above their situation and cry out to God. His response was remember (that is to take into account – God does not forget) the cry of the people he was in covenant relationship. So he looked focusing on their situation and noticed taking their plight into his thinking. At that time the Hebrews had no discernible evidence that their prayer had been heard. However we see what they could not: that God had started his plan to deliver them. Elsewhere we read: ‘At the beginning of your supplications a word went out, and I have come to declare it, for you are greatly beloved (Daniel 9:23).

Wednesday 25 March

Another beautiful morning. This is part of Hannah’s song of thanksgiving following the birth of her long awaited son Samuel.

My heart exults in the Lord

My strength is exalted in my God

(1 Samuel 2:1-10)

Hannah’s experience is that thanking God gives her strength. Please think of something that happened recently that you can thank God for so that you may be strengthened for today.

Thursday 26 March

The sunny mornings continue. Today we return to Moses. He had been tasked by God to bring his people out of Egypt. On his return to Egypt we read:

Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel , ‘Let my people go’. (Exodus 5:1).

God had given Moses a task which he felt was beyond his strength. But God provided him with a supportive companion. God does not call us to walk through these days alone. Please thank God for those who are travelling with you. If you feel isolated reach out. Contact someone who may feel alone.

Keep safe and be kind. If you have a particular issue please email or phone Alison or me on 01454 613223.

The donated food from the shop and Church has been taken to the Food Bank in Lawrence Weston. Thank you to all who gave so generously.

On Sunday at 10am we will be life streaming a service from the Vicarage. This can be viewed on https://www.facebook.com/St-Marys-Church-Almondsbury-730715950415825/. It can be viewed at any time afterwards.

Also please look at the Church of England’s on line resources at  https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/church-online .

Friday 27 March

I trust this finds you well. Today we hear God’s message to the Hebrews in helpless slavery:

I will redeem you with an outstretched arm’ (Exodus 6:6).

‘Redeem’ is a wonderful summary of God’s goodness to us. It is to be brought back into relationship with him so that we are where we are meet to be and also doing what naturally do. So, for example, when a watch is redeemed from a pawnbroker it is back on the owners wrist. And God reaches out to the people whatever their circumstances. Please remind yourself that you are within God’s care and you have a role to play.

Geoff Crocker, of Glebe House, asks if there any recently retired nurses who might be willing to help. Please contact him on  Geoff.crocker@bristolcarehomes.co.uk or 07770 585031. 

There are still some ‘Walks around Almondsbury’ books by the Vicarage side gate which are free to a good home.

Monday 30 March

Welcome to a new week. Today my thoughts centre around:

It is good for me to draw near to God;

In the Lord God have I made my refuge,

That I might tell of your works

(Psalm 73:28)

The word ‘good’ is a superlative so we could read ‘The best thing for me to do is to draw near to God’. We find God in different ways, the Bible, prayer, the beauty of creation and also through the testimony of others. So please tell others of God’s works: how you see him working through people. Then they will have the comfort of drawing near to him.

Tuesday 31 March

Good Morning St Mary’s Almondsbury,

It’s good to see the bright sky back. From today’s Psalm:

To you I lift up my eyes,

To you that are enthroned in the heavens

(Psalm 123:1)

We cannot control what is done to us but we decide how we react. Here David is battling with the challenge of facing contempt and ridicule. He decides to find strength in the one who rules not just on earth but the whole universe. None of us can come through heavy trials by ourselves. I suggest listening to the hymn  ‘All my hope on God is founded’.

Good Friday Family Activities Morning. Although we can’t meet in person on Good Friday this year for Easter themed crafts, stories, songs, hot cross buns and drinks – we can ‘meet’ virtually on the church’s Facebook Page. So, please join us at 10.00am on Good Friday, 10 April, on the St Mary’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/St-Marys-Church-Almondsbury-730715950415825/ for a special activities morning, which will last about 20-25 minutes (and include some suggested craft activities for you can do afterwards).   If you can’t join us then, a video of the morning will also be available on the same page.

Keep safe and continue to be kind. If you would like to be liked to be linked to someone please contact me. If you have a particular issue please email or phone Alison or me on 01454 613223.

Wednesday 1 April 

Happy fool’s day. In today’s psalm:

Cast your burden upon the Lord and he will sustain you,

And will not let the righteous fall for ever

(Psalm 55:24)

God does not promise that we will never fall into difficulties. He does promise to sustain us during that period and that we will we not fall for ever. Please think about what you will do after lockdown.

Thursday 2 April

Good Morning St Mary’s Almondsbury,

The Psalm for today begins:

I waited patiently for the Lord;

He inclined to me and heard my cry

(Psalm 40:1)

Sometimes we have to be patient before we see evidence of God hearing our prayer. In times of waiting please remember that God doesn’t just hear, he inclines. That is God bends down and gets involved to assist us.

Some folk are ‘meeting’ on zoom for a Bible Study on Wednesday evenings. Please contact me to be put in touch with them.

Friday 3 April 

Good Morning St Mary’s Almondsbury,

It’s the weekend tomorrow. From the Psalm set for this morning:

Our forebears trusted in you

They trusted, and you delivered them

(Psalm 22;4)

The psalmist is in a perilous painful predicament – the psalm prefigures the crucifixion. He finds solace and strength by recalling what God has done in the past. Where have you seen or heard of God’s deliverance?

Palm crosses will be available to be collected from the Lich Gate on Sunday from 9am.

Our Easter services are on https://www.facebook.com/St-Marys-Church-Almondsbury-730715950415825/ as follows:

Palm Sunday at 10am: Morning Worship by Philip Rowe (an order of service is attached)

Maundy Thursday at 10am: A reflection by Mike Jenkinson

Good Friday at 10am: Activity morning by Paul and Pam van Rossum

Good Friday at 2pm: A meditation by Astrid Domingo Molyneux

Easter Sunday at 10am: Holy Communion by Philip Rowe

Monday 6 April

Good Morning St Mary’s Almondsbury,

Refreshing rain for gardens overnight. From today’s Psalm:

Happy are those who consider the poor;

The Lord delivers them in the day of trouble

(Psalm 41:1)

The word ‘consider’ means having the insight to makes wise decisions and ‘poor’ incorporates the weak or powerless. So without putting yourself at risk what can you do today to be used by The Lord to assist a ‘poor’ person. If you are ‘poor’ today in a day of trouble  pray for The Lord’s deliverance.

Tuesday 7 April 

Good Morning St Mary’s Almondsbury,

A bright blue sky.

Though my father and my mother forsake me,

The Lord will take me up

(Psalm 27:10)

Identify something you relied upon which has been found wanting in this crisis. Then in any subsequent feeling of insecurity ask The Lord to take you up to him. Please note, you don’t to climb up.

Wednesday 8 April 

Good Morning St Mary’s Almondsbury,

When he has turned to the prayer of the destitute

And has not despised their plea

(Psalm 102:18)

The destitute do not have the means to provide for themselves and so can only cry out with dependent urgency. God changes direction to respond to their prayer. The deeper our cry the greater God’s response. 

These websites have been recommended for children’s Easter activities:https://www.facebook.com/stpeterspilning/posts/2872133006207946, https://childrensministry.com/10-holy-week-activities/ and  https://www.prayerspacesinschools.com/prayer-spaces-at-home

Thursday 9 April 

Good Morning St Mary’s Almondsbury,

Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,

My help and my God

(Psalm 42:5)

There is little more debilitating than having no hope, that is not having a confidence of a good outcome. Hope that ‘all will be well’ comes from the victorious deliverance of God. Please notice the personal care of ‘my’ God.

I have started a prayer request list below. Please let me know of anyone else so we can all pray. ‘Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer’ (Romans 12:12).