1 Corinthians 9: 24-end
Watching a family and friends dancing in a garden in the early hours of the morning reminded me of how WE can all be part of a winning team and not have a medal round our neck!
It was, of course, an Olympic medal winning celebration and YOU can be part of a winning team, but, probably, don’t know it. You won’t have the medal round your neck, but without your support and encouragement the runners in the race and fighters in the battle won’t qualify to compete in the “games.”
The “strict training” (verse 25) requires the commitment of parents who sacrifice so much time in support of children; teachers who encourage pupils and coaches who nurture the potential until it is fulfilled and rewarded with the medal. A lot of people are involved in enabling one talented athlete to achieve glory, but in the end only one gets the prize. Have the others lost a medal that will not last or done their best and will win a forever prize? I have been most impressed by the people so excited to win a bronze medal they didn’t expect than those who were expecting to win gold and were disappointed with silver or bronze. The lasting prize is the character the training shapes, not the colour of the medal around the neck. In fact, how you deal with not winning the prize that doesn’t last can win you the prize that lasts forever! That’s life and the race we run in faith not knowing where we will finish, but always following the rules and doing our best so that we don’t get disqualified!
We can cross the finishing line fourth or tenth, but our attitude to not standing on the podium can be the greatest contribution to a winning team. Getting the best from each other — not only the best for ourselves — will produce the best team or community and that requires humility with self sacrifice for a common cause. The best athletes don’t always have the greatest knowledge and that applies to society where the wisdom of the coaches can develop the gifts in community. Good leaders will identify the best in people, not the worst, and nurture that for the benefit of the community. So it disturbed me when someone commented that Broadway isn’t a suitable place for some people to live! Ouch! That hurt because with the right encouragement and support EVERYONE has gifts to make Broadway a winning team!
That’s where we can ALL help because there might only be one person among us who can get the prize and they might not be the wisest, wealthiest or most powerful. They will need a lot of commitment from friends, teachers and coaches to give them equal opportunities because if they don’t get a chance to show what they can do we won’t be part of a winning team. Don’t sit back and leave it to the qualified coaches and teachers: it needs OUR prayerful support and encouragement if we are to dance in the garden celebrating an unexpected achievement from someone who had no hope which is why the CHURCH is the voice and hands of Christ with good news and healing for the poorest. That doesn’t exclude the richest who will celebrate when the poorest bring a crown that lasts forever home to Broadway.
Together Everyone Achieves More (Team), and that means EVERYONE, so let’s aim for gold and celebrate running the race TOGETHER! Broadway isn’t too good for anyone, is it?
When I went to church in Lymington on Sunday morning we stood and sang with masks on, but in Broadway you sat and sang. My daughter will be at a wedding this weekend where she can sing a solo song without a mask, but the congregation are still now permitted to sing at all. At Carrs Lane in Birmingham, I am told, they are waiting to have their first service since lockdown in September and other churches are not sure whether they will ever open again. Everywhere is different and so is everyone!
I went to a meeting on ‘freedom day’ with about twenty people in attendance in a small room that was not very well ventilated and only four of us (I was one of them) wore a mask. Some people will say that is irresponsible, and many of us will identify young people as behaving in such a way, but this was a meeting of mature and responsible people who are role models for the community! Everyone is different and everyone thinks differently so we all have to do what is best for everyone around us! Don’t blame the youngsters for crowding into clubs and then think it is okay to gather for our meetings.
My son in law was wearing a mask when he went to the toilets in the Broadway Hotel this week and was mocked by another customer who wasn’t wearing one and, obviously, did not approve!
I often hear people saying, “well, you can’t please everyone”, but that doesn’t mean you please yourself, does it? Pleasing ourselves at the expense of others will be divisive, but doing what we don’t like so we can welcome people and make them feel more comfortable will unite us! Everyone is different though and if I’m on my own I will continue to be different! Am I on my own?
It’s been a long time since Diana, Naomi and Christine were accepted as Church Members at a church meeting but this Sunday we can finally welcome them into the family. Lockdown meant we didn’t have services and when we did people couldn’t attend for different reasons, but this Sunday we will celebrate and welcome new members with communion.
A Service in Memory of David Savage is to be held at the Methodist Church next Friday August 6th at 3pm .The service will be followed by light refreshments if you would like to attend please let me know so that we can give numbers of people expected to Colin Hollies.
Next Sunday’s service will be led by Revd. Brian Clarke followed by Eco Church and Church and Society Group on August 15th; Michael Payne on August 22nd and a Songs of Praise Service on August 29th.
The theme of the YourChurch service on Sunday evening at 6-30 pm is “SEEK THE WELFARE OF THE CITY” The prophet Jeremiah writes to the exiles and tells them to “seek the welfare of the city … and pray to the Lord on its behalf” (Jeremiah 29:7). Revd Jamie Kissack will lead us as we explore what this might mean for us as disciples of Jesus today. We will spend time praying for our cities.
A special prayer please for Stuart, Rebecca and their new baby boy who was delivered late Wednesday night by emergency ceasarian and is now in scbu at John Radcliffe hospital . He needs all the prayers he can get.
As we enter this next phase of ‘Freedom’ with fewer restrictions, may we realise that we were always ‘free’; free to love, free to care, free to give joy. With the lessons learned from this past year, may we be unleashed to love as you do by being of service to our fellow brothers and sisters with renewed energy and commitment. For in this way, we not only exercise our freedom, but also our faith.
By Alexandra Priddy, Elder and Children’s Church Leader, Trinity Mill Hill URC
Dear Lord, we
Pray for our hurting world,
Ravaged by Covid. We
Ask that as we journey slowly through this phase of relaxation of restrictions, unsure of the way forward, that
You will walk alongside us, guiding and
Enfolding us in your loving arms, giving us strength and
Reassurance that no matter how long and arduous the journey may be, you will always be by our side.
This we ask in your name, Amen
By Eva Bangle, Secretary, Newport Pagnell URC
God Bless, Richard