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Revd Sara's Reflections for w/c 5th May 2024

Reflection for Sunday 5th May 2024  Bible Reading: John 15:9-17 

Love lifts us up where we belong. All you need is love. Love wins.

Today is an invitation into thinking about the role of love in your life. How are you responding to love’s invitation? In today’s reading from John 15, Jesus offers profound insights on love, choice, and mission, creating a rich tapestry for your time of reflection. This passage invites you to delve into the depth of Jesus' command to love as God has loved us, a love characterised by sacrifice, choice, and purpose.

This message offers both a challenge and an inspiration as you seek to navigate your daily life. Firstly, note the way Jesus emphasises that: "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love." This instruction isn't simply an emotional statement; it's a call to abide—a decision and commitment to stay connected to the source of divine love. This week, challenge yourself to reflect on how you choose to remain in Jesus' love.

How does this choice influence your interactions and decisions?

Consider the ways in which love can guide your actions more consciously, even—perhaps especially—when it's difficult. Jesus also talks about the greatest form of love: laying down one’s life for one’s friends. While few may be called to make such an ultimate sacrifice, we are all called to live selflessly, putting the well-being of others before our own comfort. This week, inspire yourself by identifying opportunities to practice sacrificial love. It could be as simple as giving up your time to help a neighbour, or it might involve speaking out against injustice, standing in solidarity with those who suffer. Ask yourself: In what ways can my actions reflect this profound form of love?

Significantly, Jesus elevates his followers from servants to friends, explaining that they have been chosen to bear fruit—fruit that will last. This transformation from servant to friend implies a relationship based on transparency, mutual respect, and shared mission. This week, take time to meditate on the nature of your 'friendship' with Jesus.

How does this friendship empower you to act in the world? Reflect on your personal mission—how are you called to bear lasting fruit in your community and beyond? Finally, Jesus links obedience to his commandments with complete joy. This connection might seem counterintuitive in a culture that often associates joy with freedom from constraints. Yet, Jesus suggests that true joy comes from living within the bounds of God’s love and commands. This week, inspire yourself to find joy in this divine paradox. Where can obedience to divine principles of love and justice bring you unexpected happiness and fulfilment? As you reflect on these themes, consider journaling your thoughts and reactions each day. Let this passage challenge and inspire you to live out a deep, abiding love that acts, chooses, sacrifices, and ultimately transforms.

Responding in prayer God of all grace, In the stillness, I bring all the concerns I have been reflecting on this week to you, in prayer. Lord, in your mercy, hear my prayer for places where people are affected by poverty, injustice, conflict and the greed of others. May the seeds of justice germinate and righteousness begin to blossom and flourish, So that all may know your abundant love. [Silence]

God of all love, In the stillness, I pray for the places I call home - my own town, city, village and community. I hold in my heart the places where isolation has left people suffering, poverty and homelessness impact people’s chances of fulfilling their potential, dreams wither and die. Lord God, may your love flow afresh through these places, so that all may know your promise of fullness . [Silence]

God of love, Help me to be an answer to prayer this and every day. Loving God, today I am ready to respond to you. I am here, listening, longing. Come, Lord Jesus, by your Spirit, Amen. Responding in song 363 STF - My Jesus, my Saviour

love and prayers Revd Sara

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