HOLY TRINITY CORFU

21 L.Mavili Street, Corfu 49100. Tel (+30) 6986538755

Our purpose is to glorify God in making the Christ of the Scriptures known through the love of God in worship, word and action’ 

 

Pulse is our monthly news sheet reflecting upon recent events, looking forward to the coming month, drawing attention to prayer needs and giving thanks for answered prayer.

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THE LEAD ARTICLE IN THE CURRENT EDITION OF PULSE JUNE 2017

(see below for current and past issues of Pulse and PulseXtra)  

Dear Friends

 

Well there is a lovely atmosphere in the chapel here this morning as the church has been open for people to take the prayer journey and enjoy the photographic competition all week. The glory of God in His presence through prayer and the glory of God reflected in the beautiful photos of his Creation. It is awe-inspiring to think that all around the world there is a fresh impetus to prayer for God’s Kingdom to come.  

I don’t know about you, but I find that prayer can be a tricky thing! You start off praying for one thing and before you realise it you are finding yourself praying for something else. Perhaps the most potent prayers we have insight to are Jesus’ prayers, not just the Lord’s Prayer, but the times he prays with his disciples or in public. The prayer that particularly comes to mind is the one said in the Garden of Gethsemane. Like many of us facing a very challenging time (to put it mildly!) our first prayer may be to deliver us from it!! But Jesus sees further than this. His own temptations in the desert prepared Him to see that there are times when suffering is mysteriously necessary. So His prayer expresses his anxiety but settles on the deepest cry of faith, “Thy Will be done”. 

It is the experience of millions that prayer changes everything – and we know that the change most often starts with us. Probably reluctantly, usually not without a fight(!) but when we are able to trust in God and to desire to be right with Him above all, we change and so does our outlook.  

There is also a beautiful prayer booklet provided by the Archbishop for prayer during this week (but can be used any time, of course) and it’s here…  

So to finish with, the following paragraphs are adapted from the prayer journey in church here and our short reflections on the Lord’s Prayer. I hope they help… 

Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. 

Who is God? By what name should we call “Him”? What is God like? 

Jesus teaches us to think of God as our Father. Does this help? For some, the word Father does not have positive feelings. Our biological fathers are probably not perfect, a few are worse, some were absent, some we miss. Mixed feelings. If the word “Father” brings such mixed emotions, recognise that now. 

When Jesus talks of “Our Father who art in Heaven” He speaks of One whose desire it is to see his children know that they are loved and accepted. One whose very nature leads to the desire to bless His children and to see them enjoy the gift of life not just now but forever. One who wants us to know that He is there as a source of strength and wisdom. 

This Father, is holy – that is different in His unfailing grace – so we “hallow”- make holy -  His name.  

Our Father invites you to come into this loving and gracious Presence – as his beloved child – setting aside ideas of God which may not help you to draw close to him and recognising that His nature is Love. 

Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. 

We are all made in the “image of God”. We are given freedom in love that we may learn to grow as God’s spiritual children. Jesus teaches us that when we grow in this way we bear “spiritual fruit” – our lives reflect our true heritage in God. St. Paul described these fruit as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. These are the signs of the God’s kingdom here on earth and His ways through which we find our fulfilment.  

The world is not always like this. Rather than using the gift of freedom to live in these ways, some choose an opposite path of violence, aggression and greed. Some use God as their justification for these acts; others use their freedom to simply take for themselves. 

Pray for areas of the world that suffer as a consequence of the abuse of our God given freedom. 

Give us this day our daily bread 

We are taught as children that there is huge difference between what we need and what we want. Many of us have for more material possessions than our parents could have dreamed of while many more in the world still lack enough to get through the day. 

Take a moment to think how much of your time is spent dealing with material possessions. Do you ever see your success as a person measured as what you own?  

Our lives are rich with blessings – they surround us. Our closest relationships, the beauty of the earth, the wonder of the night sky. Even the simple acts of living – of sleep, food, water – can all bring us pleasure. And yet, often we can become distracted or frustrated by what we don’t have. 

St. Paul teaches that “godliness with contentment is great gain”. In other words, recognising the joys of living and being thankful for them can lead to deeper spiritual peace and far less anxiety and stress. 

Take the opportunity to say thank you for all that is good and to recognise the love of the Giver of life’s true blessings. 

Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. 

One of the most incredible achievements of Jesus was not His miracles or His wonders but His forgiveness. As Jesus was dying, surrounded by those who had hurt Him and insulted Him, He was able to pray, “Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.” Compare this spiritual wonder with how we often react to even the smallest slight against us.  

Forgiveness is the key that opens the door to a richer life. Knowing that we can be forgiven even when we are struggling to forgive ourselves means that we do not become defined by our worst moments. It means that we are always able to try again, to learn from our mistakes and to desire with hope to become more than we have been. 

But this line of the prayer roots the realisation of our forgiveness in the forgiveness of others – “as we forgive those…”. Harbouring resentment and desiring retribution eats away at us. Desiring those who have hurt us to be forgiven and for that forgiveness to lead to their spiritual growth is at the heart of Jesus message for His Kingdom. This is difficult. But not impossible. 

Try again to let go of any resentments you still hold on to and to accept forgiveness for yourself. 

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. 

What is temptation? Is it that desire for the extra glass of wine? Or pastries on a diet? Or something deeper? 

Jesus places temptation in the context of evil. Dark thoughts leading to worse words leading to damaging actions. Temptation has its basis in desire. What we are consumed by… not what we consume.  

For some this may be patterns of living that cause themselves harm; for some this could be the pursuit of pleasures that distort the gifts of God into a vice; for others it may be controlling or manipulating others – underlying the image of God in them in a way that harms them. Most of us won’t struggle with violence but we may with our desire to be seen to be right or better than someone else. This can lead to broken or belittling relationships and intense feelings of negativity towards others. 

Let go of wrong desires and ask that you are changed by God’s Spirit that you may live in ways that nurture yourself and others. 

For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever, amen. 

So far, we have seen God’s ways of love and forgiveness; prayed for his ways to become ours that we may grow as his spiritual children in to the eternal life he offers and we have prayed for his world and others.  

We end in worship. The prayer finishes with a recognition of who He is and our commitment to being part of His Kingdom. 

Take a moment to think about what is most important to you. What or who is your life based on? Is it passing or transient? Or eternal and faithful. 

Think about what happens next in your own spiritual journey with God. Is it time to start living in a deeper way with God? 

 

… and the peace of God which passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in his love and of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. And the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be with you always, Amen 

 

With every blessing, 

 

Jules. 

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