Sunday 17th May 2020

Our Bishops Visitor, Mrs Stothard, has selected some Bible stories which may give us hope (our current Christian Value) as we continue to stay safe at home, and these will be featured on this page over the next few weeks. All of the readings she has selected show times of trouble and hardship, but all of them had hope and faith in God and everything turned out well in the end, as it will soon for us.

 

Trust Forgiveness Peace Thankfulness Compassion Perseverance Friendship Love

 

HOPE

 

Daniel in the Lions Den

In days long ago in the city of Babylon there was a king called Darius and Daniel was his chief president. But the other presidents of the king were jealous as he was the favourite so they planned how to get him out of favour with the king, They tricked the king into a new ruling that for thirty days no one should pray to or ask anything of anyone but king Darius and if they did so they would be thrown into the den of lions. The king unsuspecting agreed with this. Now Daniel heard of this but smiled to himself and continued to go to his window and prayed there three times a day. All of the people saw this, but the princes and presidents rushed to Darius and told him that Daniel had broken the law. Darius saw how he had been tricked and his heart was broken and he tried to persuade them to withdraw the decree but they would not so at sunset the king sent for Daniel and told him that he must cast him into the den of lions. They flung him into the lions and Darius cried out “Thy God, whom thou serves continually, He will deliver thee!” All night long Darius could not sleep, he neither ate nor drank, he thought of nothing but Daniel. Very early in the morning he left his fine bedchamber and hurried down the steps to the terrible den and cried out in anguish “Oh Daniel servant of the living God, is thy God able to deliver you from the lions?” Out of the depths of the den came Daniel’s voice. “Oh King live for ever my God hath sent his angel and has shut the mouths of the lions and they have not hurt me.” Then the king sent for his servants to open the door and Daniel came out. The king ordered those who had accused Daniel to be thrown into the lions den instead.

Daniel 6, V 10 to 24

 

A few words from Reverend Lee Gabel

Rogation Sunday 17th May 2020

Today is Rogation Sunday, it is the Sunday before Ascension Day. Rogation comes from the Latin word to ‘ask’. Rogation was originally taken from the old Graeco-Roman practise of invoking divine favour to protect crops from mildew; but it grew in significance and practise. By the 16th Century Rogation had become a way of asking for God’s blessing on the land, on agriculture and on boundaries. It was associated with encouraging fellowship between neighbours and reconciling differences.

And so today we find ourselves observing a festival with its origins in Graeco-Roman agriculture. But now we ask the risen Christ to intercede for us and bless the land.

The tradition of ‘beating the bounds’ grew and it is still preserved in some communities. Beating the bounds would include a procession around the parish boundary, blessing the land and would end with Mass. ‘Beating the bounds’ is rarely observed today. Even in rural parishes. Parishes are much bigger now; congregations are less likely to want to walk that far. But in this time of lockdown there is a longing for being able to step out once more, perhaps we enjoy our daily walks or form of exercise with more appreciation in Lockdown. Do we look forward to moments of fellowship with or neighbours?

Thursday evenings have become moments when we celebrate and it also gives us a glimpse of those around us, we can wave to our friends and neighbours from an appropriate social distance.

The spirit of Rogation is perhaps heightened this year. We can take moments of freedom and of nature that we took for granted for so long and give thanks. Give thanks for the world around us, for the land, for Gods creation and look upon it with fresh eyes.

Soon we will be celebrating Ascension Day, the moment when the risen Christ ascends into heaven to be with his Father. The days of Easter are now drawing to an end. We will have spent the season of Easter in lockdown.  Christ now intercedes for us; it is his promise and our blessing.

Rev. Lee.