Thursday 19th May

Dear All,

 

Reading: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1: 1-5


Reflection: These are the verses held close to the heart of Anitoli, a Ukrainian pastor working full-time for the Bible Society in Kyiv. 

Jesus is the light in the darkness, the heavy darkness of all that is happening. For them, maybe also for us, Easter has been even more meaningful this year – they have noticed, where have we noticed the light in the darkness?

 

Celebration music: Ok so this isn’t worship – forgive me - but this is solidarity with Ukraine at last Saturday’s Eurovision! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1fl60ypdLs

 

Worship through art: Art from a nation under attack: whether sketching in bomb shelters or escaping the capital with unruly pets, Ukrainian illustrators and artists bear witness to the fear, heroism and solidarity of their countrymen – and issue an urgent call for international support.

 

 

 

 

 

God bless,

Jane 🙏

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Thursday 12th May

Dear All,

 

Reading: Psalm 23 (last Sunday’s set psalm)

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
   He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
   for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
   through the darkest valley, 
I will fear no evil,
   for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
   they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
   in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
   my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
   all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.


Reflection: Psalm 23 is our story.

Like much of scripture, and especially the psalms, we can be read Psalm 23 within our current context, wherever we find ourselves, but this also speaks of our eternal context. Psalm 23 is the story of forever.

The shepherd guides us to the house of God, with a feast – even though enemies are around. In our present context, the absolute contrast is Ukraine – the thief is the invader – who doesn’t believe there is enough for Russia, he needs Ukraine as well. This takes us to the heart of scarcity mindset – where you feel there is never enough, you always need more. Sheep, like us are all the same, yet at the same time all very different – yet we, like the sheep of the same flock, are united by the fact that we are all following the same shepherd. 
How does this psalm speak to you today?

 

Worship through music: Great Are You Lord written by Jason David Ingram, Leslie Anne Jordan & David Alan Leonard sung by Hillsong Ukraine recorded May 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLz6G4hQ5uM

God bless,

Jane 🙏

Thursday 5th May

Dear All,

 

Reading: On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Now Thomas… one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”


Reflection: The sight of the risen Jesus must have been extraordinary… when Jesus appeared he brought Peace with him. Jesus’ presence brings Peace, a Peace that is different from the absence of conflict, deeper and different from a warm fuzzy feeling - we don’t always sense it, we don’t continually recognise it, yet the resurrection body of Jesus tells us that he is always with us – and brings Peace.

 

Worship through music: Come, People of the Risen King written and led by Keith & Kristyn Getty, recorded live at the Bridgestone Arena as part of the Getty Music Worship Conference: Sing! 2019 (and also sung at Sing! 2019 in at the SSE Arena in Belfast!!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rxn8cT4BrPg

 

Aware that Orthodox Easter was 24th April, this is how Ukrainian Christians prepare for and celebrate Easter: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0v6teMHXpQ

 

Concert Tuesday 17th May 1.00pm Romsey Abbey in aid of UNICEF appeal in support of Ukrainian people caught up in the invasion of their country.

The Ukrainian concert pianist Ivan Hovorun will be giving a 45-minute recital Admission to the recital is free, no tickets needed.*

 

God bless,

Jane 🙏

Thursday 14th April

Dear All,

 

Reflection: In many churches on Palm Sunday, (or at one of the services in Holy Week) rather than a sermon or guided reflection, the whole of the Passion narrative is read. If, like me, you find that this week can bring an overload of emotion, and I need space to take on board the pace, pain, horror and significance of all that happened to Jesus from the last supper, that we will remember this evening at 7.30 at Farley, through to his burial late Good Friday afternoon. This week’s reading is the whole of Luke’s account from the beginning of the last supper to Jesus’ burial, with space and time, maybe just what you need too. 
Let’s pause, and read or listen: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJQbwb0Ug74 (2:23:21- 2:38:36)

 

Reading: Luke 22:14 – 23:56 

 

Worship through music:

Traditional:

for Good Friday: St John Passion Johann Sebastian Bach, onducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner, performed at the Proms. First performed at St. Nicholas Church, Leipzig on April 7th 1724, at Good Friday Vespers.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tm27tmfEAY

for Easter: Thine be the Glory words written (1923) by Edmond Budry, translated by Richard Hoyle music composed (1747) Judas Maccabeus. Sung by King’s College Cambridge under Stephen Cleobury .https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXzmjNE-yLA

 

More contemporary:

for Good Friday: There is a Green Hill in a Far Away Country written (2002) by  Phil Baggaley, an adaptation of Cecil Alexander, recorded live at Spring Harvest sung by Geraldine Latty. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJ7lhR1Mc7s

or Geraldine Latty https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5u0fCN4IKs

for Easter:

- The Power of the Cross by Keith & Kristyn Getty recorded at Sing! 2019 (yes we were there in Belfast for this!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceqCHAChFAI

-Christ Our Hope in Life and Death (2020) Keith & Kristyn Getty, Matt Papa https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OibIi1rz7mw This reflects my own Easter thoughts of our Hope because God is with us.

-Christ the Lord Is Risen Today (He Is Not Dead) recorded (2015) by NCC Worship

-An Easter version of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah - new recording uploaded this week by Cassandra Star (10) & sister Callahan (19) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCPJ9jIPepAhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCPJ9jIPepA

Concert Tuesday 17th May 1.00pm Romsey Abbey in aid of UNICEF appeal in support of Ukrainian people caught up in the invasion of their country.

The Ukrainian concert pianist Ivan Hovorun will be giving a 45-minute recital Admission to the recital is free, no tickets needed.*

 

God bless,

Jane 🙏

01794 502035

 

Thursday 7th  April

Dear All,

 

Bible Reading: Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
   an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
   and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
   and the mountains quake with their surging. 

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
   the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
   God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
   he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
   the God of Jacob is our fortress.

8 Come and see what the Lord has done,
   the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
   to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
   he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
   I will be exalted among the nations,
   I will be exalted in the earth.”

11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
   the God of Jacob is our fortress.

 

Reflection: In times of distress we try to trust God, but it’s so difficult when we can’t actually see him intervening. The psalmist knew that and wrote about Jerusalem being shaken by an earthquake, but that the river which flowed through it was a sign of God’s presence (v.4). However, there never was such a river. It was and is an invisible river, detectable only with the eyes of faith. That river is actually God; those who recognize it need not fear (v.2).

We return to this psalm repeatedly as our lives and our world pass through crises. It speaks of how the God who sustained us in the past is the same God who will not let us down in the present. When the bathroom flooded, the world did not come to an end, and neither did our faith. We’ve lost our jobs and our car keys and our health and our tempers, we are still alive – and so is Jesus - and God is still bearing us up.

Our doubts and fears are not at an end. But, we can overcome difficulties because of the absolute commitment of the Lord Almighty to be with us (v.11). And with that in mind, shall we take a moment to be still and know that the Lord is God (v.10).

 

Worship through music: Be Still and Know Alan and Rynelle, (Sam Cox, Hannah Munoz) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8dbgE34pg8 “In January, several weeks before the war in Ukraine began, we wrote a song from Psalm 46 called ‘Be Still and Know’ - the Psalm has since become a focal point for prayer as the church worldwide seeks to lift the situation before the Lord. With help from Ukrainian friends both in the USA and on the ground in Ukraine, we have recorded this version in both English and Ukrainian in the sincere hope that it delivers peace, comfort and encouragement to the Ukrainian church, in ways that music uniquely can.”

  

God bless,

Jane 🙏

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