This week's theme

The Gospel of Mark (3) - 3 Controversy in Jerusalem

Today's reading

Mark 12:18-27

Today's prayer

God of the widow, be with her as she mourns, as she marries, as she grieves, as she hungers, and as she dies, and is born into new life.

Fresh From the Word

Futher thought 2

For further thought

What can we do in our communities to better serve those who are pushed to the margins of society?

Building on yesterdays reading, imagine a vineyard where there are no fences or watchtowers, where people have equal rights and access to the land, and instead of labourers, we are all stewards equally sharing and caring for the crop.

Think of those you know who are on the front-line of activism against policies and systems that continue to marginalise and impoverish many. Consider a couple of practical ways you can support them.

Reflect on the ways we have spiritualised this table habit of Jesus into a tasteless ritual. In what ways are you walking the way of the bread of life?

Reflect on the role of bread in Jesus ministry, connecting it with the Lords Prayer for daily bread and forgive us our debts. Who controls bread and debts? Why?

Reflect on the ways we respond to overflowing generosity: what are our usual reservations? What prevents us from embracing such outpouring?

Reflect on some of our inherited, traditional matters of faith that you have for some time put a questions mark (?) around or continue to wrestle with.

Consider joining an upcoming protest march or writing a letter to your local political representative.

How has how you imagine Jesus changed as youve grown older? What has caused your image to change?

Where do you notice the temptation to be first, or served, or great? How does Jesus respond to you when you feel that way?

Can you integrate your most treasured promises of Jesus into your life so that you can easily find them when they are most needed?

Where do you encounter the idea that people somehow earn their way into the Kingdom of God? How can that idea be challenged by the church?

What helps you to remember that Christianity is not a lovely idea for nice people, but a radical call to a transformed life?

Where in your own life do you have the greatest sense of need? How does Jesus respond when you bring this need to him?

What might this new apocalypse mean? Are we Christians ready today to stand firm?

Think of meeting with your church or community group to debate about the new challenges of virtual relations and activities.

Jesus, help us to overcome barriers and prejudices. Encourage us to be brave enough to break down the circles of fear and build new relations based on justice and inclusion.

Try to list some of Jesus' actions of liberation in the Gospels and tag them. In how many ways does he set us free?

Is there anything your community could do towards people hanging around a nearby train, subway, or bus station?

Is it possible to achieve reconciliation if there is no justice?

In quiet moments today, pray the Jesus Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, son of the living God, be merciful to me, a sinner.

Read Zechariahs prayer in Luke 1. 67-79. Give thanks for the occasions when you have felt Gods merciful and loving embrace.

Gods creation needs our protection. Consider planting a tree in memory of a loved one or as a gift: www.nationalforest.org or www.woodlandtrust.org.uk

Modern slavery is well disguised it can be nail bars, car washes or fruit-picking. What are your local churches doing to combat this blight and help the victims?

Tradition identifies seven Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. Which of these can you reflect upon and put into practice this week?

Read and reflect on Psalm 51 (50). Is there someone in my life whose transgressions I need to blot out? Where do I need to forgive?

Reflect on your own moments of wilderness experiences, where youve felt Gods presence providing and protecting and give thanks.

What are there lessons to be taught in these ancient stories about the way we approach God today?

How does the study of Old Testaments festivals help add meaning to the Christian faith?

How can you adopt a version of the Diaconal Orders practice of holy convocation?

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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.'

Fellowship of Professional Workers

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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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