working in the community
The church is now closed
The church is now closed until further notice, Judy will continue to privately say prayers for the community, individuals and the world on your behalf from the Rectory at 8.30 am and 5pm. If anyone needs help or to talk Rev Judy will be pleased to have your call or e-mail. 01797 270227
Good morning and welcome
Our readings today are: 2 Timothy 2:8 – 15, Psalm 25: 4 – 12, Mark 12: 28 – 34.
These two great commandments are not the Gospel: the Gospel is the good news that Jesus has come among us as a human being and died and risen again to defeat the power of evil and to reconcile us to God. All people are invited to put their faith in him and receive this gift of eternal life. When we have done so, these two great commandments guide us as to how we live our lives in such a way as to demonstrate our gratitude to the one who has loved us so absolutely. They don’t refer to our feelings, but to the loving actions with which God calls us to serve him and serve our neighbours. And they concern the fundamental issue of life: relationships, with God and with other people.
This, and only this, is ‘success’ in God’s eyes. Harold Percy says that when some people die, God will have to write this epitaph for them: ‘Brilliant performance, but he missed the whole point”. The most important questions in life don’t deal with how successful our business is, or how rich or poor we are, or how fat or thin we are, or how pretty or plain we are. In Anthony Burgess’ novel about the Book of Acts he has the disciples saying over and over again “The time is coming when we will be questioned about love”.
That’s the main issue. So two thoughts -First, have we joyfully accepted the unconditional love of God by receiving from Jesus the free gift of eternal life, putting our faith in him and putting our lives in his hands? Second, are we living out our gratitude for the love God has showered on us by loving him with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength, and by loving our neighbour as ourselves? In the end, these are the only two questions that will matter. Everything else will be irrelevant. So let’s take a moment of silence and think about our response.
Where do we find our neighbour?
The man that is open of heart to his neighbour,
And stops to consider his likes and dislikes,
His blood shall be wholesome whatever his labour,
His luck shall be with him whatever he strikes.
The Splendour of Morning shall duly possess him,
That he may not be sad at the falling of eve.
And, when he has done with mere living--God bless him!--
A many shall sigh, and one Woman shall grieve!
But he that is costive of soul toward his fellow,
Through the ways, and the works, and the woes of this life,
Him food shall not fatten, him drink shall not mellow;
And his innards shall brew him perpetual strife.
His eye shall be blind to God's Glory above him;
His ear shall be deaf to Earth's Laughter around;
His Friends and his Club and his Dog shall not love him;
And his Widow shall skip when he goes underground!
Time for reflection
Our Prayers Jesus, friend and brother,
You know what it is like
to be hungry and thirsty.
You know the plight of the
stranger who is made unwelcome.
You know the suffering of all
who have lost everything.
We pray that by welcoming refugees
we may show love for our neighbour
and draw closer to you.
Love Your Neighbour’ Prayer from St Alban’s Diocese
Oh Lord, our Father, In a world turn apart by fear and suspicion, Teach us your children that Love is the only means to conquer fear: The Love we encounter as we search you out, The Love we encounter as we accept your embrace. Oh Lord, the Son, In a world full of anger and frustration, Teach us, your servants, your friends, your sisters and your brothers
To overturn the tables and tear down the fences Which turn away the hungry and homeless: To feed and house the disciple that knocks on our door In the guise of the stranger, And to find the Love we seek in loving others. Oh Lord, the Holy Spirit, Mother of Wisdom, Teach us, your children, to be caring of one another, To protect one another, As you gather the nations under the feathers of your wings. Help us to know peace that steals gently in through quiet acts of kindness.
I hope you will all keep well and safe.
Thank you to all of you for joining us today.
May God bless you all.
With my love
In case you missed it
below is a link to our Sunday service 31st May
Before you open the link for the service you may want to have a piece of bread and some wine as well as a candle.
To hear Bishop Rose click below
Rev Judy DarkinsKent
Other informationBenefice: Rother and OxneyParish Legal Name: Wittersham (560281 6/281) C of E Church Info: (606281 6/281) follow us on Twitter