Sunday 13 November Reflection by Charissa Suli Isaiah 12 Pentecost 23
What a comforting thought to know that God will be our strength and salvation no matter what we encounter in this life. Nothing will ever be able to separate us from God’s love. So know that you are not alone if you are filled with worry or feeling particularly flat and depressed today. God is always present, listening, and ready to provide you with the serenity you desire. I’ve certainly spent the first half of this year walking a dark road as I grieve for my brother’s unexpected passing. It took weeks and months for me to once again embrace the light of Christ. The sorrow and pain we feel when we lose a loved one or go through any life change that causes pain can sometimes obscure God’s blazing light, who is willing to comfort and forgive us when we have turned away from God. In my own deep grief, I have come to understand God’s faithfulness more fully. When we read God’s words and promises from the past in times of struggle or crisis, they become more relevant and meaningful to us. Isaiah 12 is a beautiful promise that can help us get through our present challenges and move us to take action in bearing God’s love and care for the world.
Question: Write a list of the things or people you are grateful for.’What will you give thanks to God for today?
Prayer: In your prayers remember the lands and people of Aotearoa-New Zealand and Australia.
Saturday 12 November Reflection by Charissa Suli Luke 21:29–38
The world around us is rapidly changing. Our purpose in the face of change is not to cling to the past; rather, we must see God’s work in the midst of change, as the kingdom of God draws near. Heaven and earth, which appear to be eternal and unchanging, pass away. “Heaven and earth will pass away,” Jesus reminds us, “but my words will not” (21:33). As a result, we must remain rooted in the eternal truths of God’s Word amid a constantly shifting world. We must respond with grace and strength to our own disorientations in light of the changing world, just as Jesus prepared his soon-to-be bewildered followers for the temple’s fall. We are taught that the world in which we live will perish one day, but Jesus’ words, which are words of truth and life, will endure forever.’ These words encapsulate a way of life as well as the eternal principles we recognise as coming from God. Even if there are times in our lives when we fail and lose sight of God’s Word, the reference to the fig tree reminds us that we are always given another chance to grow and bear fruit, but do we have the courage to start over when we lose sight of God’s word?
Question: What are the signs of life and hope around me?’What words of Jesus give me life and hope today?
Prayer: Help me, Jesus, to focus on the signs of life and hope around me.