This week's theme
The Passion with Matthew - Stories and questions
O God our help in ages past, break into our present to make it anew, and keep us rooted in your enduring faithfulness.
For further thought
Which situations in our country and around the world do we connect to Acts 5:29, and which to Romans 13:1?
The earth is the Lords and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it (Psalm 24:1). In terms of politics and economics, what does this mean for us and our churches?
Money is not our only gift to give the church, but it is an important one. How much do you give financially to support your own church community?
Church Action for Tax Justice stands for a fairer and more effective tax system, where democratic governments set taxes to reflect the common good, and individuals and corporations pay their share. Visit www.catj.org.uk to find out more.
The salaries and golden handshakes given to chief executives have been a point of controversy in the UK in recent years. Do you think there should be a salary cap for CEOs?
In reality, what does equality in the eyes of God actually mean?
How might we live more simply so that we can be more generous and lessen our grip on the things we own?
While we show Gods love for the poor and needy, how might we, for good, change the systems that keep people poor?
Take time to think about the broken relationships in our lives and reflect on what you need to do to put things right.
In what ways is demonstrating generosity to imagine and work for a fairer and more equal world?
As I am reminded of the welcome shown to me by others and by God, what actions can I take to welcome others?
Today how can I work to be of one heart and mind with others? In what ways do I need to change and to be a change-maker?
What could you give up on a regular basis to be made aware of the needs of people around you?
What changes do you need to make to your everyday life to enact justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God and others?
Walk the streets of your neighbourhood and become conscious of the needs of your community. What would it take to respond to people with compassion and empathy?
What does the injunction against charging interest practically mean for us, and how can we live out this injunction in our relationships?
How might you be instrumental in helping to ensure that people are paid what is fair, just and equitable?
If you have debt in your life, consider reducing your debt and share the saving with others.
Water justice is receiving more and more attention as an area of great disparity and injustice in our world. How does it impact you and how are you contributing to this?
The lives of so many people are characterised by constant chaos to the point where it has become the new normal. Find an organisation or family where this is the case and offer them friendship and support.
Our passage is not about glorifying how little we need to do but rather how wonderfully God has equipped creation to provide for its needs. List ways that you use what you have been equipped with to assist others.
Note how often we recoil when reading or hearing about a dastardly or cruel deed committed by humans on humans and then remind yourself that God embraces our humanity in all our weakness and sinfulness.
Silence is a language with God; being silent with oneself or silent communally is a wonderful way of learning to hear God speak. Try it!
Find one thing you can do and do it so that, in this way, you are working alongside God as carer and preserver of your environment.
Consider what might be life giving for yourself or others, and resolve to carry out one such practice or discipline daily throughout Lent.
What does steadfast love look like, and whom do you know who exemplifies it in your community? How might you encourage and strengthen each other?
Find out about the retreats available in your community and, if possible, attend one that uses different meditation or spiritual practices from those you would usually use.
What does the idea of judgement mean to you? What will the day of judgement (verse 7) actually mean, do you think?
Discerning together what is true, and where we may have got it wrong, is a vital task for the church. How do we go about it?
Joy is a gift, but also a commitment and a discipline. Life often ambushes joyfulness and we surrender to its power to paralyse us into cynicism and hopelessness. How can you sustain joyfulness?
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Fellowship of Professional Workers
This week's writer
Bruce is Rector of All Saints Anglican Church, Durbanville, in Cape Town, and Senior Priest of the Diocese of Saldanha Bay. After 26 years in the USA he served at St Georges Cathedral, Cape Town. He chaired the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music o
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