Living Lent – Day 37

Read… Isaiah 50: 4-9a

I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting. The Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame.

Pastoral care is one of our priorities at S.J.R. and we give thanks today for pastoral visitors and all in our church family who demonstrate God’s love and compassion in varying situations. What blessings we receive from our fellowship together as a family! Let us pray today for those arriving in our country as migrants – parted from family and friends. I was appalled by the recent news item of a brutal gang attack on a migrant in London this week and it is tragic to realise that persecution against race, colour or religion still occurs within our own country.

Perhaps today – at work, school, college or talking to a neighbour we can use an opportunity to speak for tolerance and celebrate diversity.

Compassionate God, open our ears – to hear what you are saying to us through our experiences and through the people we meet.
Open our eyes – to see the needs of those around us.
Open our hands – to work for your kingdom and to offer help to those in need.
Open our lips – to share with others the good news of Jesus and to bring comfort, peace and hope to those whose hurt is deep.
Open our minds – to discover new truths about you and to learn more about the community and world in which we live.
Open our hearts – to love you and to love and welcome the people for whom we care as you have loved and cared for us. Amen.

Ponder… How might we better support Christians and others around the world, who are persecuted for their faith, their ethical or political beliefs, or aspects of their identity?

Pray… FOR OUR COMMUNITY We pray for those in our community who are pastoral visitors. We thank God for the work that they do visiting those who are members of our church and keeping those who are housebound connected with our church community. FOR THE WORLD We pray for all of those worldwide who are good neighbours, visiting others and ensuring people stay in touch with their communities. We pray for the ways in which we can nurture and encourage each other through friendship.

Act… Find ways to encourage those around you today.