Tag Archives: 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Finding God… When You Least Expect It

Genesis 28:10-19a

Jacob’s Dream at Bethel

10 Jacob left Beersheba and started toward Haran. 11 At sunset he came to a holy place  and camped there. He lay down to sleep, resting his head on a stone. 12 He dreamed that he saw a stairway reaching from earth to heaven, with angels going up and coming down on it. 13 And there was the Lord standing beside him.  “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham and Isaac,” he said. “I will give to you and to your descendants this land on which you are lying. 14 They will be as numerous as the specks of dust on the earth. They will extend their territory in all directions, and through you and your descendants I will bless all the nations.[c] 15 Remember, I will be with you and protect you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done all that I have promised you.”

16 Jacob woke up and said, “The Lord is here! He is in this place, and I didn’t know it!” 17 He was afraid and said, “What a terrifying place this is! It must be the house of God; it must be the gate that opens into heaven.”

18 Jacob got up early next morning, took the stone that was under his head, and set it up as a memorial. Then he poured olive oil on it to dedicate it to God. 19 He named the place Bethel. 

This place,
not a place of my choosing,
a part of a journey.

A place on the way
to find my future,
my inheritance,
a blessing,
not the one I stole.

Running
from the anger
and retribution
I deserve.

Here I rest my head,
enough for today.

And there is God,
standing beside me,
promising his blessing,
this place,
an abundant future
and his protection.

I thought this was just a place,
barren,
lonely,
just where I was

but now I discover
that God is here,
this is God’s place,
a holy place.

You will be my God
and I will worship you.

I place the foundations of my life here
in you.

This Cairn lives in our house. It has rocks, stones and other special things we have collected along the way, a monument to where we have been.

Bless me Lord,
Bless us.
In this place,
here.

Where maybe I didn’t expect to find you,
in this place of running
and resting,
in the wilderness,
the barren place
that turns out to be a holy place.

May this be a place of beginning again
of true inheritance,
of discovering you,
of worship,
of foundation.

Of you.

I offer it to you
and pray that we may dwell here together.

So Much Need

So many people,
so much need.

So much pain,
hurt,
injustice,
brokenness.

So many people
in need of help,
hope,
healing,
love,
peace,
God’s presence
in their darkness.

So much wandering,
so many lost,
in need of care,
tending,
guiding,
seeing a way through.

So many hungry
for sustenance,
a new way,
a new day,
food that lasts,
someone to notice their needs
and help them.

So many needing Jesus
and all he brings.

So many Lord,
including me.

by John L Bell/Iona Community

TAKE THIS MOMENT, sign and space;
Take my friends around;
Here among us make the place
Where your love is found.

Take the time to call my name
Take the time to mend
Who I am and what I’ve been,
All I’ve failed to tend.

Take the tiredness of my days,
Take my past regret,
Letting your forgiveness touch
All I can’t forget.

Take the little child in me,
Scared of growing old;
Help him here to find his worth
Made in Christ’s own mould.

Take my talents, take my skills,
Take what’s yet to be;
Let my life be yours, and yet,
Let it still be me.

Copyright © 1989 Iona Community

Mark 6:30-34, 53-56 (CEV)

Jesus Feeds Five Thousand

30 After the apostles returned to Jesus, they told him everything they had done and taught. 31 But so many people were coming and going that Jesus and the apostles did not even have a chance to eat. Then Jesus said, “Let’s go to a place where we can be alone and get some rest.” 32 They left in a boat for a place where they could be alone. 33 But many people saw them leave and figured out where they were going. So people from every town ran on ahead and got there first.

34 When Jesus got out of the boat, he saw the large crowd that was like sheep without a shepherd. He felt sorry for the people and started teaching them many things.

Jesus Heals Sick People in Gennesaret

53 Jesus and his disciples crossed the lake and brought the boat to shore near the town of Gennesaret. 54 As soon as they got out of the boat, the people recognized Jesus. 55 So they ran all over that part of the country to bring their sick people to him on mats. They brought them each time they heard where he was. 56 In every village or farm or marketplace where Jesus went, the people brought their sick to him. They begged him to let them just touch his clothes, and everyone who did was healed.

A Model of Care

If, in response to yesterdays reading, we want a model of care – both of ourselves and others.  We are given a perfect example in this best known of Psalms.

God’s way to care is to stay with us wherever we go.

To allow us to rest, perhaps encourage us to – a worn out sheep will not complete the journey.  Do I take time to rest in peace and quiet?  To take time and rest with God? Or am I so busy rushing around, even for him, that I never time time to rest and allow him to restore my soul?

Lord, may I rest in you, let you feed me, heal me, restore me and equip me for the journey.

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God will lead me in the right paths.  However wrong or scary they feel to me, however much I doubt his wisdom, however much I would prefer life to be going in a different direction; somehow, can I hold tight to his hand and walk with him?  Can I trust him and allow him to lead me?  Or will I insist that I know better, try and take him my way or run off to follow my own path?

Lord, may I be brave enough to walk with you, trust enough to follow you, allow you to lead me and follow your way.

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There are valleys, deep and dark.  They hurt, they terrify me, I’d really rather not go that way.

Lord, help me to remember, that however dark the way, you walk with me, Holding tightly to me, knowing my fear, sharing it, in it with me, never leaving me alone.

Lord, may I cling to the safety of you, and allow you to guide me through.

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Thank you Lord for the good times.  The times of blessing, of joy, abundance, when my cup overflows.

May I not forget you in those times, but rejoice with you and thank you.  Thank you that I am a guest at your feast

Thank you Lord, that your kindness and love are with me every day – good, bad or indifferent; that you walk with me every step of my journey, however good and pleasant or difficult and arduous.  Thank you that I can trust in you – always.  Thank you

The Lord’s My Shepherd

Psalm 23  (CEV)

(A psalm by David.)

The Good Shepherd

23 You, Lord, are my shepherd.
    I will never be in need.
    You let me rest in fields
    of green grass.
You lead me to streams
of peaceful water,
    and you refresh my life.

You are true to your name,
    and you lead me
    along the right paths.
I may walk through valleys
as dark as death,
    but I won’t be afraid.
You are with me,
    and your shepherd’s rod
    makes me feel safe.

You treat me to a feast,
    while my enemies watch.
You honor me as your guest,
    and you fill my cup
    until it overflows.
Your kindness and love
will always be with me
    each day of my life,
    and I will live forever
    in your house, Lord.