This week's theme

Advent with the Gospel of John: 2 I am

Today's reading

Psalm 118:1524

Today's prayer

O Lord, let me rejoice today in life, and breath, my ageing body and your love. Amen

Fresh From the Word

For further thought

Consider who or what is the rejected stone in your community. What would it mean to make them or it the centre?

Consider making a note of any special hymns, music or readings you would hope for at your own funeral, and why.

Is there someone you know in an uncertain time? Send a card or care package of small things to encourage them.

Write yourself a private letter of encouragement, giving reassurance for any fears or hopes for the near future seal and date it to be opened in six months time.

Where does God seem most absent in the world today? Is there a way to witness Gods love there by practical action or service?

How should we prevent holy wars (wars in the name of God)?

How do we understand and emulate Gods preferential option for the marginalised in the context we find ourselves in?

How do we understand, expose and resist the systemic rebellion against God in todays world?

How far do the commercials we watch persuade us to be someone else?

Are our words honest, creative, meaningful and relevant for Gods purpose?

How do we understand Gods identification with humans as a challenging model in our mission contexts?

In the light of Gods love for you, what do you see as your hope for the future?

To what extent do you and your church, both nationally and locally, live as citizens of a new regime?

What in your life helps you to stand firm and hold fast when the going gets tough?

Does the picture of times of darkness as travelling through a tunnel and eventually emerging into daylight resonate with your own experience?

Can you think of contemporary experiences of exile in our world today? How do you think God feels about those?

Whom do you find it hard to forgive? Talk to the Lord about your feelings and the steps you can take together to forgive.

Imagine that today you were going to die. What simple things would you be grateful for having experienced? What would be hard to let go?

Imagine Gods hands, in which all the familiar world around you, including you, is being held. Whats that like?

As you meet people today, think about what God might have written on their heart.

What might God be creating in your life? What of the old can be forgotten and what of the new celebrated?

What it is time for in your life? Maybe write your own version beginning with A time for

Find one thing during each hour of today that you consider a gift to you from God.

The Christian memory is a shared memory, it shapes us, enriches us, challenges us. Other than the Bible, where else do we encounter that shared memory?

When Gods people remember, they are remade.

Who, at the end, will remember? The thief crucified with Jesus asked Jesus to remember him. And it was so.

Try not to liken your church leaders to Pooh characters. Oh, go on then.

Can you plan ahead today and secure a moment when you can pause and remember God?

On a good day, properly to remember Gods saving acts is to be saved. On a bad day, hey, it works just the same.

Are hopeful questions enough, or do you want and need more certainty? Why?

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International Community

'Not-withstanding the stiff competition with other devotional guides, Fresh from The Word, has a unique feature in that it comes in the local languages as well. This makes it more accessible to people who are not literate in the English Language'.

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This week's writer

Jennifer Smith is a Methodist minister serving diverse congregations in urban west London. An American citizen, before ordination she lectured in history and politics with a focus on the development of liberty of conscience. As part of her present work sh

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Celebrating 135 years!

Join us in celebrating 135 years of the work of IBRA!
To mark this auspicious occasion we have a special celebration edition available.

Read about our rich history and the origins of our founder Charles Waters, bank manager and Sunday School teacher – not a scholar, preacher, or public speaker – who had a gift for organisation and a vision for making the Bible accessible to all.

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