Living Lent – Day 33

Read… Mark 12: 38-44

Beware of the scribes… They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers

How appropriate our reading about our offering to God seems today as we not only come to worship but to recognize a Gift Day for our redevelopment project! Some of us are able to give financially more than others depending upon personal circumstances but I pray that whether small or large financial amounts are pledged for this project we may all go forward in faith – offering generously of our time, talents, prayers and encouragement in thankfulness to God for all His goodness to us as we look forward to continuing outreach from S.J.R. – loving God and loving people.

Many of our church family have health difficulties at this time requiring care at home or in hospital. Compared with some countries that are struggling with war, famine, no basic healthcare, we are so richly blessed by our National Health and Community Services in the U.K. I have been privileged to work in the N.H.S. for the last 47 years and have witnessed the compassion and dedication staff have for their work as patient advocates. Personally I have frequently been challenged, encouraged and enabled by the fortitude and compassion demonstrated by the patients, families and friends themselves in illness or adversity. At this time of financial constraints let us give thanks for our N.H.S., and all statutory and voluntary agencies, whilst remembering the work of all those agencies who are part of the Disasters Emergency Committee bringing relief to troubled areas abroad. I pay tribute also to all those involuntary carers in this country and overseas who daily take on caring roles for family and friends – often for many months or years. May they be an example to us all.

“We are pilgrims on a journey, and companions on the road; we are here to help each other walk the mile and bear the load.”

Ponder… What does this story say about the way we give financially to the Church? How much is ‘enough’? Do we use the right measures to define ‘enough’?

Pray… FOR OUR COMMUNITY We pray for those struggling with their physical health. We thank God for all those who can offer help and support such as our local GP practices and our hospital. We pray for God’s comfort and compassion for those who are suffering pain. FOR THE WORLD We thank God for the work done by the National Health Service in our country. We pray for countries in our world where there is no access to even basic healthcare, and pray that through the work of charities such as a Red Cross we may find ways in which to show our compassion.

Act… Think about what might make someone you know happy, and then do it!