Thoughts and reflections

Category: church seasons Page 1 of 8

Harvest Services with Schools

Harvest services from our schools have filled the churches. Way beyond our expectations. Churches bursting at the seams. Food donations piled high at the font and the altar. All ready to be taken to the town food bank.

Children’s voices raised the roof. Prayers read and stories told.

What more could I add than just the biggest thank you from the depths of my heart for bringing back the love, laughter and joy to church.

Rev’d Sue Martin

Epiphany 1

Arise and shine for your light has come ! Isaiah chapter 60:1

How hard it is to emerge from the darkness, the long dark nights and the cold wet days. What a joy the sunrises and sunsets and the days we have had where the sky is blue and we can feel the strength of the sun, that bright shining star that we depend on to survive.

Some time in the surf would be just the thing!

So, moving on from Christmas and into Epiphany, the time when the light shines on us all as we realise that the day has dawned when Jesus is with us for ever. The greatest ever moment of Epiphany.

Read more in Epiphany…

Advent 1 November 28th

The light shines in the darkness

Candle Light in St Mary’s East Walton. Norfolk  by Sue Martin

Advent means the arrival or the coming.

Just as it’s getting darker and darker with the nights getting longer and longer, we start thinking about the light of the world;

All out of darkness there came light,…

The light of the world has come among us to cast away the works of darkness and put on the armour of light from the collect.

What does that all mean, darkness, the works of darkness, the armour of light?     Read more in Advent 2021

Rev’d Sue Martin

Ascension Day 13th May 2021

Ephesians 1:15-23

Acts 1:1-11

‘A cloud took him out of their sight

And so the disciples were left behind, and returned to Jerusalem. Once again they had to say goodbye to Jesus and were even more aware that they needed to be going out into the world to spread the word.

The cloud often appears in the Bible and can be seen as the way that God appears in a veil of cloud. How often do you stand looking at fluffy white clouds and make them into amorphous shapes?

A cloud took him out of their sight…

This is where the distance between heaven and earth comes close. It is hard to visualise and explain this concept, it can be described as like cutting through paper with a knife and finding yourself in another place, at certain points in our world we can feel closer to God and heaven.

We hope that many of our churches are in such places, but it can also be a place in the countryside or a spot in a town, somewhere where you do feel closer to God.

Read more in Sermons 2021

Happy Christmas


When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and the princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flocks,
The work of Christmas begins:

To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among people,
To make music in the heart.

Howard Thurman 1899-1981

Happy Christmas!

Rev’d Sue Martin

Happy Christmas

And all the bells on earth shall ring

On Christmas Day

On Christmas Day

And all the bells on earth shall ring on Christmas Day

In the Morning

Happy Christmas to All

Rev’d Sue Martin

 

The Bread of Life

 

What does it mean I am the bread of life?  John 6:24-35

Jesus had left the disciples behind for a while and they had found him on the other side of the lake, Lake Galilee is very large so it would have taken some time to have found him.

You know those times when you just fancy a few minutes on your own to have a coffee or to have time with your thoughts, and then someone comes along and finds you.

And then what do they do, they invariably ask you a question.

The disciples did the same with Jesus, “When did you come here?”

Jesus had just performed the miracle of making the five loaves and two fishes  feed a crowd of five thousand.

Presumably he had slipped away when the disciples were busy handing out the food, everyone was hungry.

Jesus doesn’t answer directly to the question from the disciples, that was not the important question. The answer that Jesus gave was about bread, but not just the bread that we eat with fish, but about the bread of life…

Read more on Sermons 2017-2018

Rev’d Sue Martin

St Michael & Michaelmass

St Michael is an Archangel and the guardian angel of autumn. He also looks after the element of fire. He helps the farmers with their harvesting. He is the angel of courage and strength. He helps people to reap rich rewards for their labours earlier in the year and to celebrate their achievements.

He is often portrayed on churches and in paintings in his red clothing and killing the great dragon as we have heard in Revelations. His function also is to be the leader of the heavenly armies and drive rebel angels from heaven.

Michaelmass is held on September 29th and is a celebration around the equinox of our changing times, the end of the summer and the start of the autumn.

We held our service at All Saint’s Church Ashwicken on Saturday 30th September. It was a beautiful evening and we started the service outside at the West End as the sun was setting.

A time for reflection and a time to contemplate on St Michael, angels and heaven.

The sermon and prayers can also be seen on Faith Goes Walkabout.

Rev’d Sue Martin

Diocese of Norwich

 

Advent: Are we ready?

bauble image 3

See more here…

Advent calling. Are you getting ready, what can you actually do to get ready, how much time do you need and will this have the right effect?

My Advent reading this year is with Tom Wright, a great writer of commentaries and his Advent for Everyone: A Journey Thrugh Matthew.

So get ready for the adventure ahead, or are you already Advent ready!

Matthew 3:1-10 is the place to be!

Advent content available here

John was preaching in the Judean wilderness. By all accounts John was a wild character, clothes made from camel hair, eating locusts and honey and foretold by Isaiah that there would be a voice in the wilderness shouting in the desert.

And he doesn’t let us down! As in Matthew 3:7 he says to the Pharisees approaching,  who were full of pride and righteousness.

‘You brood of vipers, who warned you to escape from the coming wrath, you had better prove your repentance by bearing the right sort of fruit!

But what about us?

Can we take ourselves away from the glitter and spending for a little while, to reflect and prepare for Jesus coming into our world?

 Advent is a wonderful time of year and it does  bring Jesus into many homes, through Nativities, cards, carols and the church services. We can pass on that understanding of what Christmas is actually about.

That wonderful togetherness and joyousness is a reflection of the joy that Jesus can bring into all our lives.

It isn’t a case that we have to stop enjoying the preparations, let’s all have a great time and make as much festive Christmas preparations as we can, let’s light up the churches, let’s light up the world and let’s light up our hearts with the knowledge that once again we find ourselves at this splendidly wonderful time of year.

Rev’d Sue MartinBaubles in Advent

 

The Stations of the Cross on Good Friday

Via Dolorosa

Station 1

Last year on pilgrimage to the Holy Land we walked along the Via Dolorosa.

The Via Dolorosa, or the Way of Sorrow, winds along the narrow streets of Jerusalem’s Old City. It is the traditional route and follows the way of Jesus as he carried his cross from Pilot’s Judgement Hall to Golgotha, the site of the crucifixion.

Along this route are the Stations of the Cross, where each station or place, marks an event as Jesus walked along the way.

 

Saturday 31st January, we walked along the Via Delarosa, entering Jerusalem through St Stephens’ gate and stopped a while by the Pool of Bethesda. The day was sunny and bright, it was remarkable to feel so close to that day over two thousand years ago. But in the midst of walking along this route, there was a discovery of ourselves, our belief and our Christianity.

Through the streets we walked, in a group at times, and at times as individuals, with other people, tourists, local people, shop sellers. What had happened here to Jesus, could just have happened yesterday. It was in the midst of this life of a busy, bustling city where crowds gathered that saw the mood of Jerusalem change from a welcome to Jesus who had healed and performed miracles to the scourging, agony of carrying the cross and to the crucifixion.

Lost for words I walked the streets, I saw the sights, the people and the gifts for the tourists who cared to stop and to buy. The readings that we shared together at each of the stations are shortened and held as memories of that time, in that place and on that day. At some of the stations we hear about those in the crowds who helped, who are reminders of our own humanity for others who are suffering.

At each station Bishop Graham read a passage from the Bible and prayers were said at each place using www.oremus.org.

First Station

Jesus is condemned to death.

‘ Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium‘ John 18:28

Second Station

Jesus takes up the cross.

‘Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him.’ John 19:1,

‘Then they handed Him over to them to be crucified.’ John 19:16

‘ Give us courage to take up our cross and follow you.’

Third Station

Jesus falls for the first time.

‘He would console me, and give me back my life, is far from me.’ Lamentations 1:16

Fourth Station

At the corner of 2 streets. Jesus meets his mother.

‘All you that look and see; is there any sorrow like the sorrow that afflicts me?‘ Lamentations 1:12

Let us never fail to call out for all those who suffer.

Fifth Station

Simon the Cyrenian carries the cross.

‘ They enlisted a passer by, Simon of Cyrene, father of Alexander and Rufus, who was coming in from the country, to carry His Cross. Mark 15:23

Those who come after me, take up the cross. My yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Sixth Station

Veronica wipes the sweat from Jesus face.

‘ May the Lord’s face shine upon you.‘ Numbers 6:25

Nothing is too big or too small for us to give or offer.

The chapel of the Little Sisters of Jesus is now thought to be on the site of Veronica’s house.

Seventh Station

Jesus falls a second time, at the place of the death notice.

‘With their affliction, He was afflicted. In His love and in His pity He redeemed them.‘ Isaiah 63:9

Help us to turn from our ways that suffering may cease.

Eighth Station

Jesus meets the women.

‘ Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not over me. Weep rather over yourselves and your children’.

Luke 23: 28

Help us to know when to grieve and when to act.

Ninth Station

Jesus falls for the third time.

‘ I have come to do your will, O God.’ Psalm 40:8

When the shouting dies, we may still walk beside you.

Tenth Station

At Golgotha Jesus is stripped of His garments and the soldiers cast lots for his clothes.

‘From the sole of the feet to the head are bruises and sores and bleeding wounds.’ Isaiah 1:6

Help us to remember there is nothing in all creation that can separate us from your love.

Eleventh Station

Jesus is nailed to the cross and he was numbered with transgressors.

‘They crucified Jesus there with criminals, one on his right and one on his left.‘ Luke 23:33

Clothe us in your spirit, that we may bring love to those who do not know you.

Twelfth Station

Jesus on the cross. Mary, his mother and Simon Peter, his friend were at the foot of the cross…

 

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