Hello everyone! This morning our worship was led by Rev Leonora Wassell for the Women’s Network service. I found the whole service very moving. Her children’s address was great. She had a box of tools, including a spirit level, a saw, a nail, and a hammer. Each of these tools thought they were the most important tool, and when the man who used these tools asked whatever all the noise was about, they asked him to say which was the most important tool: he told them that each of them was equally important, as they worked together to complete the tasks. In just the same she reminded the children that each of us is important, even though on our own we cannot do much, when we work together we can complete our tasks. We all are not just to share fellowship, but to work together for the good of others, whose needs are greater than our own.
We then had three readings from the Bible, the women who suffered from haemorrhaging who was healed when she touched Jesus’ clothes, the woman who poured perfume on him for burial, and the widow’s mite. Each story was reinforced by versions told as it were by the women concerned about the impact Jesus had made on their lives. The woman who touched Jesus’ clothes and was healed was terrified as she expected to be in trouble: as a bleeding woman she was unclean so was untouchable to all except Jesus and was amazed to receive his accepting love and forgiveness. The woman who had poured on perfume realised that she was despised as a prostitute, but felt drawn to Jesus who accepted her as she was with all her failings and needed to show her love in response: her life was changed and she was there with Jesus at all his moments of pain and suffering in the crucifixion and to share the triumph of his resurrection. The third woman was the poor widow, who wanted to creep into the temple unseen to give what she considered her paltry offering and found herself accepted and admired by Jesus, who saw people differently from his contemporaries. At the time of Jesus women had no real position in society but he accepted, welcomed and celebrated what they had to give. The message was how important each of us is but only in working together can we serve others and care for those who are disadvantaged. Those women who Jesus helped became followers of his, there at the crucial times of his ministry, his suffering, death and resurrection; after his death the women formed a part of the growing Christian community.
For intercessions Leonora showed a video of some of the people whom Christian Aid helps, as an aid to our prayer, which I found very helpful. I felt inspired and uplifted in worship and sang the hymns and songs whilst as it were offering myself to be used more by our Lord Jesus. Among the hymns we sang were, ‘Jubilate everybody’, ‘What a friend we have in Jesus’ and ‘Take my life and let it be’, which helped me worship. I felt uplifted and fed at worship this morning.
This afternoon after delicious chicken curry served with saffron rice, cucumber and tomato chopped in natural yoghurt and steamed broccoli, I relaxed with my beloved listening to the radio, including the listen again feature on the repeated episode of the radio program, ‘I’m sorry I haven’t a clue’, featured as it was chaired by Humphrey Littleton, who died on Friday. He had such a gift at innuendo and a dead pan way of reading the descriptions of the places he visited with the program; his humour was so funny.
We then watched an excellent ‘Songs of Praise’, which featured the Spirituals which had inspired the slaves and allowed them to communicate with each other, even though they were forbidden from talking to each other. My first husband Stephen used to sing Spirituals, so I grew to love them: in particular ‘Every time I feel the Spirit’ and ‘Sometimes I am up and sometimes I am down’ expressed his inner frustrations and longings. In a sense he is now more at peace in death now than he could be in life: ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot coming for to carry me home’ always makes me think of Stephen being now at home with his saviour, who was never disappointed in him, even though he was always disappointed in himself. After he died I was given reassurance from Jesus at an Alpha Away Day that Stephen was at peace with him. Even though I still took a number of years to recover and find myself and my peace again with my Saviour, that reassurance of Stephen being at peace remained there deep in my heart. God is good to me.
One of the speaker’s on ‘Good Morning Sunday’ said this morning that he should be at the top of the ‘Rich list’ in the Times; he is rich in all he has, his family, friends, his vocation as a minister; he has so much to be thankful for! I agree with him. I too should be top of the Rich list: I am rich in being loved by my beloved and loving him, having my two lovely daughters, being part of a large family, having a job and colleagues I love to work with, enough to live on and enjoy life, and being a member of a caring chapel; I am also privileged to be able to share Jesus’ love with all I meet as a local preacher; I also have the opportunity to care for people and want everyone to realise how special each person is. This is the day that the Lord has made and I rejoice and am glad in it.