Sarah’s reflection for yesterday didn’t go out, so there are two reflections included today.
Monday 3rd May: Sarah Smith
Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.
Matthew 26: 14 – 16
This is a story we know. We have walked through this story, and remember when Judas Iscariot went a different path from the rest of the disciples. He has been with Jesus and the other disciples throughout Jesus’ ministry, and then we reach this part in the story when he chooses a different path. Instead of keeping his focus on following and continuing on the teachings and mission of Jesus, he chooses money. When we focus on having earthly wealth over everything else, we lose sight of what is really important.
Prayer: Loving God, in a world that tells us to focus on having lots of money in order to be successful, you teach us that what really matters is serving you through serving the least of these. Help us to focus on serving you through our actions rather than gathering monetary wealth to determine our worth. You remind us that we are your beloved, so let us fully embrace this in all aspects of our lives. Amen.
Action: Take time this week to remind yourself you are God’s beloved and this matters more than having lots of money.
Tuesday 4th May: Norman Smith
On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”
He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’” So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.
Matthew 26: 17 – 19
Festivals and Community Rituals help define cultures by rooting them in their history. Whilst there is a main theme you will often find families bring their own quirks and traditions. Think of Christmas, we all celebrate it, but we all do so in slightly different ways. Passover celebrated Israel’s’ freedom from slavery through the death of every first born in Egypt, approx. 2000 years before. This was one of the defining moments in the creation of their nation so celebrating this was a big thing each year.
Have you ever sat down to think about the festivals and community rituals that define who you are? Christmas, Easter, Burns Day, May Holiday, Summer Holidays, Sunday Lunch, Church going, football, tv viewing schedules, etc., etc. All of these and more are rituals (recurring times we do specific things in specific ways). Our lives are actually infused with rituals though we often don’t realise that is what they are. Is there any time of activity people know not to phone you because they know you are engaged in that thing? That is a ritual! When you look at your rituals, where is God in there?
Prayer: Father I know I am a creature of habit. I have thing I do, times I do them and ways I do them. I know these are my personal rituals. Please help me to make space for you amongst them all.
Action: List the rituals you are engaging in today, everything from brushing your teeth to watching tv. List where God is in them