May the following Reflection and Prayer by the Revd Canon Graham Thompson, President of the Methodist Conference, 2022-2023, and published on the internet, be a channel of God’s Grace to all who read it. To God be the glory. ✝️
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“…More than anything, I was (and am still) moved by the playing of a lament on the bagpipes at the end of the service. It confirmed that the Queen has left us. Also that, one day, we will do the same, for not even those of royal estate can escape an earthly death. But, like the Queen, we are invited to receive the gift of eternal life if we will put our trust in Jesus our Saviour. This is what our sister Elizabeth did. We should do the same.”
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“Loving God, we thank you for the life, faith and example of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. We thank you that she put her faith in you through Jesus who lived, died and rose again for love of us all. As we remember and give thanks, grant each of us the gift of faith that we too might know the joy of resurrection hope. We ask this in Name of Jesus our Saviour. Amen.”
This reflection and prayer was written by the Revd Canon Graham Thompson. The reflection in this post is part of a longer reflection. We are deeply indebted to the Revd Thompson for his inspiring message.
Quotations printed with the permission of the Revd Canon Graham Thompson. Thank you.
Do we trust God and at the same time have many unanswered questions about Him and how He works? Leslie Weatherhead offers us some very sensible advice: Leave those questions in a box marked: “Awaiting Further Light.”
Sensible advice indeed, for “now we see through a glass darkly….” (1 Cor. 13,12)
The late Leslie D Weatherhead C.B.E. M. A. PhD. D. Litt. D. D. was Minister at the City Temple, London. He was President of the Methodist Conference and Hon. Chaplain to Her late Majesty’s Forces .He is the author of many books including “The Christian Agnostic”, where the above advise is recorded.
What have Jesus and a trapeze artist got in common? As it turns out – plenty!
The idea for writing this post came to me while reading a story about the late Henri Nouwen (1932-1996). Nouwen was a Dutch Catholic priest, professor, writer and theologian.
In the last year of his life, Nouwen took a sabbatical during which he got to know trapeze artists at a circus. As we know, in the trapeze world, the “flyer” flies through the air and is caught by the “catcher”. Nouwen learnt that the catcher is the most important member of the team.
When the flyer lets go the trapeze and flies triple somersaulting through the air high above the circus ring, only the catcher can save the flyer from a potentially fatal fall, even with a net. The flyer’s world is a blur as she spins towards the swinging catcher. And then with a puff of magnesium dry powder the catcher’s hands lock onto the wrists of the flyer. The audience gasps with relief. All is well. The flyer is safe. Immediately the applause of the audience thunders around the circus tent.
So, why is Jesus a trapeze artist? What role does He play? Consider this:
One day all of us will pass away. This is one of life’s absolute certainties. What will happen to us then? Will we just cease to exist? Will we perish? Will we spin away into the eternal void of nothingness. Questions. Questions. Questions.
Jesus has an answer for each one of us. Listen to what He has to say:
“One day you will be the flyer. You will fly out of existence as you now know it. But, you need not fly into oblivion. You need not perish, If you believe and trust in me I promise to be your catcher. I will catch you as you fly. You will not perish but have everlasting life. I promise to catch you. Nothing can snatch you out of my hands. You will be safe and dwell with me forever. This I promise.“
To God be the glory.
Refs: John 3:16; John 14:2; John 10:28: Psalm 23.
For the story of how Nouen met the trapeze artists see “Faith and Doubt” by John Ortberg – page 36 on Kindle (Zondervan)
We live in dangerous times. Covid19 has spread its lethal tentacles all over the world. It has silently crept in the hovels of the poor and into the mansions of the rich, powerful and famous. The virus is not a respecter of persons. Fear abounds. None can escape the touch of its cold hand.
How should a Christian live in “Seasons of Danger”? The advice the Puritan John Flavel (1628-1691) gave to Christians in England long ago, is relevant today. Here is just a snippet of that advice.
Understand that everything is in the hand of God. Get this thought well settled in your heart and it will “guard you against slavish fears.”
Remember that God, in whose hands you are, is your Father. Christ is King and Supreme Lord. You are the apple of His eye. He loves you most tenderly. Understand this and you will quickly say, “Return unto your rest, O my soul.”
You will soon sing “in the midst of danger, “The Lord is King of all the earth, sing praise with understanding.”