Sunday 15 May 2022 Kinlochleven and Nether Lochaber Churches Christian Aid Week

Give us this day our daily bread. (Matthew 6:11)

 Hymn

May the mind of Christ my Saviour,

Live in me from day to day,

By his love and power controlling

All I do and say.

 

May the word of God dwell richly

In my heart from hour to hour,

So that all may see I triumph

Only through his power.

 

May the peace of God, my Father,

Rule my life in everything,

That I may be calm to comfort

Sick and sorrowing.

 

4 May the love of Jesus fill me

As the waters fill the sea.

Him exalting, self abasing:

This is victory.

 

5 May we run the race before us,

Strong and brave to face the foe,

Looking only unto Jesus

As we onward go.

 

 


 

Prayer Our gracious loving God we look to you, the giver of life and the restorer of our soul. At Christian Aid week we think of communities in Zimbabwe in the struggle to maintain life and grow produce. You bless us with bread for our tables and with the living bread come down from heaven, even Jesus Christ our Lord, in whose name we pray. Amen.

 

Reading Revelation 22:1-5 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.

 

 Message Christian Aid Week is an opportunity to identify with communities in different countries as they deal with the effects of climate change and the impact on growing crops. Christian Aid encourages us to identify with the poorest in the world, to pray and work towards a world where there is opportunity and justice for all. This year’s focus is on Zimbabwe.

     Perhaps a starting point might be the ‘golden rule’ Jesus taught us. ‘All things whatsoever that you would have others do to you, do to them’ (Matthew 7:11). As we hear about those whose lives are characterised by struggle, we begin to think how it would be for us, and what we would hope others might do for us.

    The river of the water of life might be related to the drought in Zimbabwe. In this passage we have this picture where there is abundance. The leaves of the tree for the healing of the nations speak of the healing of the earth. Within the stories being told from Zimbabwe is the Resurrection Bush, a native plant being used to help communities adapt to the drought and the climate crisis.

    The passage from Revelation speaks of the undoing of the disastrous effects of the fall of humanity in the garden of Eden. There was a river and trees there, but because of the disobedience of Adam and Eve they were cast out of the garden. One of the results of the fall was that mankind was forced to sweat and toil to maintain food production. The whole creation was subject to futility. Creation awaits the liberation of the children of God.

  In the picture here is of the curse is removed and God and the Lamb right in the midst. Christ has already dealt with the reality of our estrangement. He dwells with us. His presence is with his people.

  There is no night there, no need for candles or electrical lighting. It is a fulfilment of the words of Jesus. I am the light of the world, whoever follows me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life’.

One thing in this picture is not yet. ‘They shall see his face’. We do not see the face of Jesus this side of eternity. True, we can hear his gentle, comforting voice, but we do not yet see him. We await the Saviour’s coming, ‘whom having not seen, ye love, in whom though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable (1 Peter 1:8). Then we shall be identifiably his.

With Jesus there is a new order, centred on the Lord himself. Creation is healed and restored. We operate by faith and prayer so that through the power and authority of Christ, something of that restored creation can become reality today. As we read about the work of Christian Aid we discover ways in which something of that new order is coming about, and we are motivated and enabled to become part of it. 

    

Prayer Our gracious God, we pray for a world where justice and freedom has replaced oppression, violence, and hunger. We remember before you those who struggle for daily sustenance. We thank you for the work of Christian Aid. We also remember before you the suffering people of Syria, Afghanistan, and Ukraine. But we do not forget those who nearer home struggle to buy food and make ends meet and provide for their families. Lord our Creator and our Redeemer, we ask you to bless them. We come ourselves to you that you might meet our deepest need, including our spiritual hunger. You know our every sorrow and our every woes yet your love for us is so great. We continue in the words Christ has taught us, saying Our Father….

        Closing Words May the God of grace be with us, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.