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This week's theme

The Gospel of Mark (1) – 2 Good news for all

Today's reading

Mark 4:13-25

Today's prayer

God, thank you that you haven't finished with me yet. Break up the hard ground in me, deepen the shallow soil and clear out the weeds. Let your light shine in my life. Amen.

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Futher thought 2

For further thought

'Whoever has will be given more': good soil brings a good harvest. How can I cultivate my spirit to make it more Christ-like?

When the Bible stops surprising us, it's probably not because we know it so well but because we don't know it well enough.

Have there been times when I've failed to see God at work because I haven't liked or trusted someone when I should have done?

We know quite a bit about some of these first disciples, but nothing about others. Perhaps being with Jesus means we don't need the limelight.

We have sometimes fought to keep Sunday special. How might that truly look like Sabbath? Is it better to be righteous than lifegiving?

How does your community, your church see food? Something to be distributed or something to be eaten together?

Who around you today do you see acting in solidarity with those in need in our community, our nation, our world? How can you help?

All of the great life-giving movements of our history started with one person choosing to act in compassion and ended with powerful change.

Look at your schedule for the week. How busy are you? When can you seek out others for reflection on what that busyness is about?

What are we protecting when we find ourselves resistant to the Gospel message of peace, forgiveness and inclusivity brought by others?

What qualities of leadership do you notice in Jesus? What guidance and example might these offer amid the responsibilities that you carry?

What truths do you think are threatened today, and what can you do to keep them alive?

Who and what has helped you to be steady in times of crisis or fear?

Has a difficult situation in your life ever highlighted spiritual questions, so that your faith and knowledge of Jesus actually grew? Does that experience affect the way you deal with difficulty now?

Look back across your own years. Remember the difficulties you have left behind, give thanks for the help God has given you, and take courage for the journey ahead.

Think about the balance of your life conversation and silence, accumulating and managing with less, making new plans and living with decisions already made. Is it right as it is? How might you change it?

The light of Gods presence is never withheld: sometimes, though, we choose to obscure its brilliance. Maybe today is day we throw back the shutters and let the light shine.

Room sweeping, grass cutting, conversations on a bus ... what otherwise mundane, everyday actions might be nevertheless be useful signs of Gods kingdom?

Being unable to understand something is not always a problem; sometimes it is the gateway to knowing truth for living which is too powerful to be confined by mere explanation.

When Quakers remember people in prayer they speak of, holding them in the light. Try this in your own prayers for others.

Thank God for maverick Christians who have modelled true faith for you.

Check out how readily you divide other people into us and them. Try thinking of others as conflicted people like me, instead.

Experiment with the idea of right-ness as it applies to choices youve made or opinions that you hold.

Seek out a night-time location without light pollution. Enjoy the real darkness; enjoy the stars if they are visible; re-calibrate your need for light.

Who especially needs light in their darkness and protection in the night? A friend with depression, the leaders in a civil war, someone struggling with doubt?

What will it mean in your own life to conquer the world with love and obedience?

What does it mean to have God as our perfect loving Father?

Think of someone who needs Gods blessing. Ask God to bless them, and hold them in your prayer as God brings his light to them.

What does passing from death to life mean for you?

What does living in the light mean for you?

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International Community

'IBRA Bible reading notes is a good tool for the employees to have the daily devotions based on the text of the day that can guide the Reader to be a witness bearer in one’s own situation. Introducing new believers to regular Bible reading is what IBRA is able to add strength to our efforts and we are grateful for this partnership.'

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This week's writer

Catherine is an Anglican priest working for the Archbishops Council in the Church of England. She facilitates the processes by which new clergy are selected to train for ordained ministry. Catherine lives in Tewkesbury and works in London. She is married

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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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