Reflections2020-04-20T19:39:42+01:00

“…I am with You always, even to the end of the age.” Matt 28:20 NLT

Loving God, we think of occasions when, after his resurrection, Jesus met with his followers in their everyday lives …..

He walked and talked with them on the journey to Emmaus, He lifted their despondency and they recognised him as they shared bread….  (Luke 24: 13-35)

He appeared to them when they were frightened and praying together in a locked room and He gave them peace …(Luke 24: 36-53)

He dispelled the doubts of Thomas …(John 21: 26-29)

He told them where to cast their nets when they had caught no fish, then He invited them to breakfast with him …(John 21)

He told them to tell others about him and He promised that He would always be with them … (Matt 28: 18-20)

Loving God, help us to imagine what it must have been like to meet the risen Jesus, to be overjoyed to see him alive, to have no doubts, to recognise him as Lord and God, to have the opportunity to tell him face to face that we love him and to realise the truth of all He had said and taught ……

Gracious God, you meet with us exactly where we are today. Your love transforms everyday lives and brings promise, purpose and peace.

Help us to walk and talk with You more closely, that we may see your hand at work and hear and respond to all You have to say to us and ask of us. We come in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Ruth Rushworth

Previous Reflections

‘For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’.

Romans 10:13 NIV & Acts 2:21

Your love is so vast,
It created Space,
Your love is so immense,
It made us in your likeness.

Your love is so unbreakable,
It heals and restores,
Your love is so generous,
That Jesus gave his all.

Your love is so powerful,
It gives life to all,
Your love is forever,
For all who call.

God of grace, thank you for this beautiful verse, written not once, but twice, in the Bible. Thank you that, no matter how we feel, You give us this assurance of your unwavering love and certain hope of everlasting life through Jesus.

God of love, draw us close to You, we lift our hearts in praise, and thankfulness for your life and love, given freely for all people.

We pray for all who are unwell, sad, or experiencing difficulties and doubts of any kind. May your open arms draw them close and your loving heart provide comfort, strength and hope.

May we open our arms to welcome and support everyone, in the love and strength of Jesus.  “The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you.” (Deut 33:27 NLT). Amen.

Ruth Rushworth

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Lamentation 3: 22-23 ESV

We reflect on the love of God in Jesus –

Yours is the hand that holds me fast,
Lifts me up when I am down;
Gives me peace beyond all measure,
Jesus, my Saviour, my crown.

Yours is the hand that holds me fast,
Guides me on life’s way;
Blesses me with love and perseverance,
Jesus, alongside me, every day.

Yours is the hand that holds me fast
Strengthens me for the day ahead;
Showers me with grace and mercy,
Jesus, my living, daily bread.

Yours is the hand that holds me fast,
Frees me from sin and shame;
Loves me, forgives, heals and restores,
Jesus, I worship your name.

Yours is the hand that holds me fast,
Knows me and calls me by name;
Has plans for my good and the future,
Jesus, forever the same.

Yours is the hand that holds me fast,
Calls me to love and to serve;
Equips me to tell others about you,
Jesus, God’s living, true word.

Yours is the hand that holds me fast,
You gave your life gladly for me;
You rose again on Easter day,
Lord Jesus, your love set me free.

Living loving God, we praise and thank you for Jesus.  Help us to fully grasp the miracle that Jesus rose from the dead to offer eternal life to everyone. The same power of God that raised Jesus is with us today. Therefore, we need not fear.

Jesus said that we would have difficulties in this world, but He has overcome them all through his death and resurrection. Gracious God, when we meet obstacles of any kind, that seemingly cannot be overcome, may we look to your strength and grace in Jesus, our Saviour and our friend. We pray for all You have placed on our hearts…. Amen.

Ruth Rushworth

The Lord is close to all who call on him
Ps 145:18

Come sit by Jesus,
Our friend and saviour dear,
Tell him your hopes,
Your dreams and your fears
And let him draw you near.

Jesus, we sit along side you, we draw near, we breath in the fragrance of your beauty and peace and rest in your open, welcoming and everlasting arms….

We praise you with our breath, our bodies, our thoughts and prayers …..

Loving God, may the fragrance of your love be in us and with us and spread through us to others, for Jesus sake. Amen.

Ruth Rushworth

 

He isn’t here! God has raised him to life, just as Jesus said He would. Come and see the place where he lay.

Matt 28:6

Death is defeated,
The barriers are down,
The cross is empty,
The King wears the crown.

The stone is rolled back,
Love is alive,
And living among us,
New hope has arrived.

Jesus is alive!
Joy to the world!
Christ our conqueror!
God’s living, true Word!

Jesus is here,
In our hearts and our lives,
By the love of the Spirit,
With the power to surprise.

We are glad, we rejoice,
In Jesus our peace,
Our King and our Lord,
Whose love will not cease.

Hallelujah! we sing!
Hallelujah! we praise!
To Jesus, our Saviour
Hallelujahs we raise!

God of life, love and power, may we come and see and believe, Jesus is alive!

Help us to know and share the joy, hope, peace and new life of Easter in our hearts, homes and communities, for Jesus sake. Amen.

Ruth Rushworth

Jesus said “…the kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it he hid it again and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought the field. 
Or the Kingdom of heaven is like a jeweler on the lookout for the finest pearls. When he found a pearl more beautiful and valuable than any he had ever seen, the jeweler sold all he had and bought that pearl. 
Matt 13: 44 NIV, 45-6 The Voice 
Gracious God, as we reflect on Jesus’ journey to the cross, we thank you that we are so loved by You that Jesus, gave his life for each one of us. We reflect with the words of a friend: –
“It blew me away, to think that out of all creation, everything He has made, we are so treasured by God that Jesus gave his life for us.
Sometimes in this life it is hard to consider ourselves as His treasured possession but – crumbs, I can’t put into words the awe and thankfulness and sheer joy of knowing that we are so prized by our loving God.” *

God of amazing grace, thank you that you love and treasure us beyond our wildest imagination. Thank you for your most beautiful and precious gifts of forgiveness, life and love in Jesus.  May we treasure them as dearly as You treasure each one of us, for Jesus’ sake.  Amen
Ruth Rushworth
* Helen Rushworth

(Jesus said) “.. love one another.  As I have loved you so must you love one another.”

John 13:34 NIVUK

Heart of love, enfold us,
Heart of grace, renew us,
Heart of mercy, forgive us,
Heart of peace, calm us,
Heart of provision, feed us,
Heart of strength, enable us,
Heart of joy, gladden us,
Heart of Jesus, be with us.

Gracious God, in the quietness of this moment, we lift our hearts to You in praise, adoration and thankfulness for your heart of love and compassion in Jesus.  We thank you for the supreme sacrifice of his life, given on the cross, for everyone.

In this Holy Week, help us to reflect on Jesus’ life; the way He spoke of the kingdom and family of God and your love for us; the way He forgave, healed and transformed lives; and the way He taught us how to love and serve others with compassion and humility.

Gracious God, we open our hearts to your forgiveness and love.  As we meet with others, may we be the heart and hands of Jesus.  May we offer a listening ear, a word of encouragement or a kind deed, that all may know the hope, joy and blessing of the Easter message.  Amen

Ruth Rushworth

The eternal God is your refuge and his everlasting arms are underneath you.

Deut 33:27 NLT 

His arms are outstretched
In a welcome embrace,
Inviting all
To look into his face,
To sit at his feet,
To believe in Him,
To receive his life,
And freedom within.

His arms are outstretched 
In a loving embrace,
Enfolding all 
in forgiveness and grace,
He gave his life
That we may belong,
To the family of God,
Emboldened and strong.

His arms are outstretched 
In an eternal embrace, 
To encircle the world
And the human race,
To show compassion 
On all he has made,
To guard and protect,
To love and save.

Loving, eternal God, Jesus stretches out his arms to enfold all of creation.  May we care for and be good stewards of our beautiful world….  

Loving, eternal God, as Jesus asks us to open our arms to others, may we love our neighbours as ourselves and be channels of the healing love, compassion and justice of Jesus……

Loving, eternal God, we praise You for your unfailing love.  May we open our arms more widely to receive the love and blessings that are ours in Jesus….  Amen.

Ruth Rushworth

June 2023

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! For that is what we are!
1 John 3:1 NIV

He’d gone his own way,
He was down on his luck,
At the end of his tether,
With no way back up.

Then he remembered,
The light clearly dawned,
And taking his courage,
He turned to head home.

He had no expectation,
Of the welcome in store,
Hoping to be treated 
as a servant, nothing more.

But his father was waiting,
And saw him arrive,
He ran to embrace him,
Exclaiming, my son! he is alive!

Weeping tears of great joy,
He ran through the town,
Dressed his son in great jewels, 
In the finest linen gown!

With gladness and rejoicing,
He led his son home,
To the place he belonged,
And could call his own. 

He threw a magnificent feast,
With no thought of the cost,
To celebrate the return,
Of the son who was lost.

Gracious God, we reflect on and thank You for the familiar story of the prodigal son returning home.*  The son knew he would be received by his father, but had not recognised the extent of the father’s love waiting for him, and the rapturous welcome and great rejoicing that would accompany his return home.

Loving God, You have this same welcoming, embracing love for each and every one of us. May we come to You, just as we are, with arms outstretched in faith and trust, for Jesus’ sake. Amen

Ruth Rushworth

*(St Luke’s Gospel, chapter 15, verses 11-32)

May the Lord bless you and keep you
Numbers 6:24 NIV

Father, Son and Spirit three,
Guide us, lead us eternally,
May your light shine clear and bright,
Marking the path by day and night.

Through the hills, through the trees,
In days of sunshine, rain and breeze,
In times of plenty and moments of need,
In kindly thoughts, words and deeds.

As we journey, walk and wander,
Grant us time and space to ponder,
To give thanks in song, dance and prayer,
For your endless love and merciful care.

Loving God, thank You that You direct our paths, thank you for Jesus who showed us the way to live and thank you for your Holy Spirit who helps us to follow Jesus every day.

Thank You that You are with us on our journey through life. We thank you for your many blessings in our lives; for family and friends and for all those who have helped and encouraged us on our way.

Loving God, may we bless others as we have been blessed and live our lives in a way that is pleasing to You, for Jesus’ sake. Amen

Ruth Rushworth

I will stand on solid ground and praise the Lord.
Ps 26:12 NLT

A love that knows no limit,
A love that knows no bounds,
A love that sets us on our feet,
And places us on firm ground.

We build our house in Jesus,
Sink our foundations in his love,
Construct our walls with bricks of truth,
Live under the security of his roof.

Gracious God, we praise you for Jesus, our firm foundation. We praise You for a love that came down from heaven to earth and gave his life on a cross, a love that will go to any lengths to reach out to us and bring us home.

Loving God, we pray for those who have no firm foundation, no shelter, no place of security and nowhere to call home.  May your love and provision underpin all efforts to bring security and shelter to others.

Faithful God, may the solid foundation of Jesus be our strength and support as we seek to follow him.  May your Spirit help us to open our hearts to others and reflect his love in our lives. Amen

Ruth Rushworth

May your will be done.
Matt 6:10 NLT

Lord of rest,
Of work and play,
Lord of all life,
Of every day.

Lord of creation,
Making all things fresh,
inspiring, energising,
With every breath.

Lord of love,
For every human heart,
Hold us close,
Never from us part.

Dear Lord, as we come to you this morning and the day opens up before us, we open up our lives to your inspiration, your energy, your care and your love.

As we consult with You, help us to make good plans and decisions. Lead us to the places to go and the people to see, give us the messages to send and the words to speak, show us the work to do and the prayers to pray.

For all that we do with You makes a difference in your eternal Kingdom.  May your Kingdom come, may your will be done.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Ruth Rushworth

May your will be done.
Matt 6:10 NLT

Lord of rest,
Of work and play,
Lord of all life,
Of every day.

Lord of creation,
Making all things fresh,
inspiring, energising,
With every breath.

Lord of love,
For every human heart,
Hold us close,
Never from us part.

Dear Lord, as we come to you this morning and the day opens up before us, we open up our lives to your inspiration, your energy, your care and your love.

As we consult with You, help us to make good plans and decisions. Lead us to the places to go and the people to see, give us the messages to send and the words to speak, show us the work to do and the prayers to pray.

For all that we do with You makes a difference in your eternal Kingdom.  May your Kingdom come, may your will be done.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Ruth Rushworth