This week's theme

Who cares?: 1 A God who cares

Today's reading

Psalm 131

Today's prayer

God of care and compassion, help me to leave aside those things that distract me and draw me again into the calm and quiet of your embrace. Amen

From Fresh From the Word 2018

For further thought

What do I use to distract myself from Gods invitation to Gods calm and quiet? How might I make more room for Gods calm today?

What helps you to find a sense of wonder at the work of God? What might you do to deepen that sense of wonder in your life?

In your own community, where do you witness Christians hurting each other? How might you bear witness to your own identity as a loved sinner?

Who are the individuals or groups that I see as strangers that God might be encouraging me to greet as friends?

Where do you think the church needs to co-operate with God in freeing those who live in captivity?

Where in my life might I be attempting to hide from God? What is Gods response to my desire to hide?

A feel-good moment: we already are part of the story of salvation.

Take your sense of humour to church. Youll need it.

There is a positive way in which we can laugh at ourselves, it is part of a special, often forgotten, grace humility.

To which Nineveh is God sending you today?

To whom, today, are you sending me to be a comforter?

I am a peacemaker. Is there a way in which, this day, I can take a step up in my peacemaking action?

Where can you look for ties which bind us even as we formulate arguments which threaten to divide us?

Where in my community is language a force for bridge-building and how can I get involved in learning from immigrants and newcomers to my area?

Slavery continues wherever people are objectified or seen as commodities which satisfy someones need or greed. What can you do to fight forms of slavery around you?

What are you thankful for today? Feast on thankfulness.

How much of my time and energy do I spend judging others by their appearance or by the job they do or how they earn a living? How am I helping to give life to others?

Salvation is often from the most unlikely sources. What must I rid myself of so that I can recognise it when it reaches out to me?

Consider this thought which seems to be central to Colossians: only one power matters and that is God, as we know God in Christ. Do you really believe this? What difference will this make in how you approach this week and beyond?

Reflect on the ways you or your community need to both remind yourselves of your inheritance through Christ. Consider a few new metaphors that would help in both the retelling of this story of grace and living it out today.

Reflect on your churchs teachings, position or practice, for instance, on the sacraments, sexuality and marriage: are they faithful representations (or are they misrepresentations) of God who loves abundantly and who through Jesus offers full life for al

Commit yourself to one concrete act, rather than a soundbite or armchair declaration, that will make a servant of this gospel come alive.

Consider all that needs resisting and be intentional about supporting one or two through both prayer and direct action.

Make a list of people past and present that you should remember and pray for. Consider especially those whom you may have forgotten. You may also wish to remember in your prayer minority Christian communities faced with religious persecution.

How might you explore your own creativity within the church fellowship to which you belong?

As an exercise, take one of your own favourite passages from the Bible and write a simple prayer as a response to how those words touch your heart and soul.

Do you take the opportunities that might already be there to become involved in the worship within your own church by reading a lesson, or leading prayers?

Consider the familiarity of many of the songs and hymns you sing. Look again at the words in your own time, read them slowly and let them speak afresh to you.

Try keeping a prayer diary for a week, and practise putting into written words the thoughts that are in your heart.

Think how you might use music to lift your own spirit on days when you are feeling low perhaps by singing, playing or just listening.

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International Community

'For many of our readers IBRA notes have become a habit. There are using them for years. The notes cover the Old and New Testaments in a balanced way. The little stories and simple method of exposition are attractive.'

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This week's writer

Edel McClean is a facilitator, trainer, spiritual director and retreat leader living in Bury, just north of Manchester, UK. She is currently employed as a learning and development officer for the Methodist Church in Britain, having previously worked at Lo

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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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