World Aids Day

world aids day

Whilst watching television last night my grandson asked me why all the people were wearing red ribbons.

I then started to explain, about an infection that invades the body and destroys the good cells that make us better. I recalled my experience working as a nurse Zambia in 1990, when having the HIV virus was a death sentence; generations wiped out because of the virus. Yet through research and new medications, it is now not a death sentence.We have come a long way in recent years, in research, education, and social acceptance, yet we have only scratched the surface.

It is no accident that World Aids Day is at the beginning of Advent. Advent is waiting for a light to come into the darkness, a light to shine in all the murky corners, a light that will  illuminate and radiate to bring a healing warmth, a light that will permeate into the deepest cells of our being, where red and white cells flow through veins.

Advent brings HOPE, and for people who live with HIV/AIDS, hope is a word that means Life not death.

God is the means by which this hope flourishes, through the determination of researchers and scientists,  through the listening ears  of  friends, through actions of love, through prayers of the faithful, through understanding of strangers, through conversations, through publicity, through fundraising , through holding hands, through hugs, through saying ‘I am alongside you’, through saying ‘I want to be here’.

I ask that on World Aids Day you light a light in your home or work, and pray that Hope will continue to flourish through the goodness and commitment of many people, for we are all Gods people young or old, gay or straight.

Lord, in the murky areas of our life, shine a light and bring Hope

Lord, in the deepest void of despair, shine a light and bring Peace.

Lord, in the bitter words we hang onto, shine a light and bring Love.

Lord in the bewilderment of the future, shine a light and bring Joy.

Amen

RD

 

 

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Treasured memories for Healing

pearl

My mind is full of things I have to do today. Prepare for Sunday services, phone calls I need to make, magazine articles to prepare for Churches, together with all those little household chores, and take the dog out for his walk

I don’t know about you but every day I write my to-do list.(I think it helps me to focus). However, as the day progresses I find myself adding more to the bottom of the list than I am crossing off at the top.

Today has been no exception.

I can imagine what Jesus would say to me if he was sat next to me now; ‘do what you can today, and make time for me as well!!’ I can hear myself say’ yes but …..’  . Jesus would then sideways me and just look and give a smile!!

Christmas is a great distraction, as I was preparing my Christmas services I thought of presents.!! I thought my grandson would like a photo canvas, like a memory collage, so I started to gather photos of him, memories and conversations I had flooded in my mind, the laughter we had when I took him to Llandudno, the enjoyment at him dressing up as  a doctor while I was recovering from my hip replacement.

Memories can be painful, but also healing. So in the midst of my morning, I remembered Jesus words, The kingdom of God is like a merchant looking for fine pearls , when he finds one of great value he goes and sells everything he owns to buy it ( Matthew 13:44-46).

These memories that I was gathering for my grandson cannot be bought in any shop, they are created and forged in the kiln of God’s love.

As I looked at each photo carefully selecting the best, I thanked God for these treasured memories that I hold dear to me, and hear Jesus gently whisper in my ear ‘ I see you found me today’.

 

God, whose Love is forged in the kiln of creation,

Thank you for many memories

that have filled my mind today,

Even though it started with a distraction,

you were in the midst of my thoughts

guiding me to love and

what it means to give and receive love.

 

As grieving families come to terms with their loss,

may treasured memories surface to enfold them in Love

Hold each person Lord and surround them

with a blanket memories.

For each memory is pearl of great value

That can never be bought, only given and received.

In Jesus name

Amen      

RD 

Prayer for Humanity

beeswax-spirit-candle-50-hours

Humanity cries are louder now Lord,

Paris, Beirut and now Kenya.

No words can express how we feel.

Anger, frustration.

Young women studying

In a university,

a so called safe place ,

now becomes a place of fear

More than ever Lord we need to feel you close to us ,

As you are close to the dying and grieving

Stay close to us,

We who are bewildered.

We ask only one thing Lord

Soften people’s hearts….

Soften the hearts of the terrorists, and the perpetrators,

Soften the hearts of the mediators and peacemakers,

Soften the hearts of the victims,

Soften the hearts of the people who question-.

‘Why?’

These acts of atrocities are our doing, not yours

Bring your Spirit ever closer to humanity

For we surely need it now.

Enable us through your grace

Not to be wall builders

But wall breakers.

To break down

the walls of oppression, fear and violence

Piece by piece,

and may we take each stone and place it down gently.

May all your people

Regardless if faith, colour, creed, age, ability or sexuality.

be a prophetic voice of wisdom and reason

and bless us Lord

as we undertake not our will  …but your will,

Amen

RD

Paris and Beirut Bombings… Psalm 79

Soldiers in beirut

Yet again, the world is reeling with the devastation of the Paris bombing and also the bombs in Beirut. Lives seem dispensable, disposable and the world cries with those who mourn.

It reminds me of Psalm 79, verses 1,3
‘O God, the nations have come into your inheritance;
they have defiled your holy temple;
they have laid Jerusalem in ruins’.
‘They have poured out their blood like water
all around Jerusalem,
and there was no one to bury them’.

It is as though we live and straddle in two worlds, one where we strive to be your disciples, to serve your people, and show compassion and the other world is one of destruction, oppression, vengeance and hatred.

There is one problem, your world of Love and justice has been marred by evil and the effects that Evil has on us. We cry out ‘God why?’ and look in shock and horror. Yet this is the world we live in and this was the world that Jesus lived in two thousand years ago, where lives were disposable, hearts were trampled on, and fear was rife.

We need to feel your Spirit close to us and see the Spirt of mediation close to the peacemakers of our world.

Is it right to take life for a life?

Is it right to want and seek vengeance?

You call us to have hearts full of compassion, and yet we need to trust you.

When all around seek vengeance,

hold us in your promise of Goodness and faithfulness

When all around seek answers to questions,

hold us in your promise of faith and trust

When all around is darkness,

hold us in your promise of light and hope

God,

Can you see them ?

The blood soaked bodies of men women and children

Where tears mingle with blood Lord?

Amidst the ruined city of nations,

Holy Spirt, we lift our hearts to you

To release humanity from the terror of War and Conflict

To release humanity from the bonds of oppression.

Soften the hearts of the Suicide Bomber Lord,

Release them from all evil and destruction

Soften the hearts of your people

Release us from vengeance

And bless us with wisdom

Amen

Prayer for Paris

paris attack

A prayer for Paris

Lord, help us not become complacent
in praying for peace.
help us to pray for a peace
which is beyond all human understanding.

On this day as we see and hear the images on the media
of the devastation in Paris.

we pray for those who are grieving
Lord grant them peace

we pray for those who are injured in mind, body and soul
Lord grant them Hope

we pray for the witnesses
Lord grant them wisdom

We pray for the perpetrators
Lord grant them transformation.

Lord in your mercy , hear our prayer ….. Amen

c RD