This week's theme
The creative Spirit: 2... speaking, singing and playing
1 Samuel 16:1423
Thank you, Lord, for the restorative power of music, bringing calm and peace into lives that can so often be troubled and filled with stress. Amen
For further thought
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.
If you did not meet the challenge set on Monday of this week, try again: look in the mirror and praise God for his work of art.
Do you have a garden or a window box? Consider planting seeds or bulbs to remind you of the lilies of the field and the care God takes of you (Matthew 6).
Let them praise his name with dancing (Psalm 149:3). Reflect on this psalm and, if you dare, dance during your prayer time.
Spend some time reflecting on Psalm 8: When I see the heavens, the work of your hands How can you celebrate creation in the future?
Spend some time meditating on your favourite painting or piece of art. How is the Spirit speaking to you through this?
Look in the mirror each day this week and say to yourself, I am Gods work of art. Be thankful and mean it!
Theres a big difference between existing and flourishing. Whom can you enable to flourish today? It will likely take some sacrifice on your part
What has led you to know Jesus more personally great sermons and talks or the time that youve been generously given and shown by others?
Make time today to undertake some new learning. Commit to reading a book, listening to a podcast series or even to sit at someones feet.
In what ways might you go beyond the welcome expected of you? I have always found food to be a great starting point for hospitality!
Want to go just a little deeper in thinking about the Trinity? Michael Reeves book The Good God is brilliant and very easy to read.
Listen carefully for the language of wall-building and division breeding discord and disunity. Learn to recognise it, then pray and act against it.
Refocus your life by writing down some significant thing for which to be thankful every day this week. Keep going for a month. Share your list with a friend. Enjoy!
Take some time to learn about a particular country or situation in the world, such as the plight of refugees, and consider your response.
How do you understand your power and privilege, and our call to respond with love in our world?
How can you be a part of the change you want to see in your community?
People you meet today may be struggling with strangeness, loneliness, pain and misunderstanding which only God knows. Be hospitable and pray for them.
Take some time to consider the meaning of moving forward and arriving home for you in whatever circumstances you find yourself today.
Write down ways in which you could identify with those on the fringes of your local community.
In recent years, especially in Africa and the Middle East, the world has seen the largest numbers of displaced persons ever in recorded history. How do Ruths words apply to current situations?
If you do not already do so, how about contributing to a charity that helps to alleviate poverty?
Put yourself in the place of a migrant family seeking a new land. Write a poem, song or story about your journey.
What is your national government doing to prevent global warming?
Is there anything you can do to help people in your area transitioning from life in prison to life in society?
Whom would Jesus single out today as examples of hypocrisy and greed?
Do you think nations have a duty of love to other nations, or only individuals to other individuals?
How is rereading the Bible different from reading it? How is it the same?
How can speaking in defence of freedom of religion be an aspect of Christian discipleship?
How can we as faith communities join in movements to show our commitment to Jesus movement against empire?
'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.'
This week's writer
John Birch is a Methodist Local Preacher in South Wales who writes prayers, worship resources and Bible studies for his website (www.faithandworship.com) and is amazed at where in the world his resources are used and how God has blessed lives through them
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.
Our reading today is Psalm 33