Feed aggregator

URC Daily Devotion 22nd March

URC Devotions - Wed, 22/03/2017 - 06:00
96 URC Daily Devotion 22nd March table.mcnFollowContent{width:100%;} table.mcnShareContent{width:100%;} td.columnsContainer{width:30%;} p{ margin:10px 0; padding:0; } table{ border-collapse:collapse; } h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6{ display:block; margin:0; padding:0; } img,a img{ border:0; height:auto; outline:none; text-decoration:none; } body,#bodyTable,#bodyCell{ height:100%; margin:0; padding:0; width:100%; } #outlook a{ padding:0; } img{ -ms-interpolation-mode:bicubic; } table{ mso-table-lspace:0pt; mso-table-rspace:0pt; } .ReadMsgBody{ width:100%; } .ExternalClass{ width:100%; } p,a,li,td,blockquote{ mso-line-height-rule:exactly; } a[href^=tel],a[href^=sms]{ color:inherit; cursor:default; text-decoration:none; } p,a,li,td,body,table,blockquote{ -ms-text-size-adjust:100%; -webkit-text-size-adjust:100%; } .ExternalClass,.ExternalClass p,.ExternalClass td,.ExternalClass div,.ExternalClass span,.ExternalClass font{ line-height:100%; } a[x-apple-data-detectors]{ color:inherit !important; text-decoration:none !important; font-size:inherit !important; font-family:inherit !important; font-weight:inherit !important; line-height:inherit !important; } a.mcnButton{ display:block; } .mcnImage{ vertical-align:bottom; } .mcnTextContent{ word-break:break-word; } .mcnTextContent img{ height:auto !important; } .mcnDividerBlock{ table-layout:fixed !important; } body,#bodyTable,#templateFooter{ background-color:#cccccc; } #bodyCell{ border-top:0; } h1{ color:#000000 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:30px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h2{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:26px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h3{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:18px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h4{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:16px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } #templatePreheader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:left; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#CDD0D5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateHeader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:15px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateBody{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } #bodyBackground{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:18px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateColumns{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateFooter{ border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#cdd0d5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:right; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#cdd0d5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body,table,td,p,a,li,blockquote{ -webkit-text-size-adjust:none !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body{ width:100% !important; min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .templateContainer{ max-width:600px !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .columnsContainer{ display:block!important; max-width:600px !important; padding-bottom:18px !important; padding-left:0 !important; width:100%!important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImage{ height:auto !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCartContainer,.mcnCaptionTopContent,.mcnRecContentContainer,.mcnCaptionBottomContent,.mcnTextContentContainer,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer,.mcnImageGroupContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftImageContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightImageContentContainer,.mcnImageCardLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnImageCardRightTextContentContainer{ max-width:100% !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer{ min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupContent{ padding:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCaptionLeftContentOuter .mcnTextContent,.mcnCaptionRightContentOuter .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardTopImageContent,.mcnCaptionBlockInner .mcnCaptionTopContent:last-child .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardBottomImageContent{ padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockInner{ padding-top:0 !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockOuter{ padding-top:9px !important; padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentColumn{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardLeftImageContent,.mcnImageCardRightImageContent{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcpreview-image-uploader{ display:none !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h1{ font-size:24px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h2{ font-size:20px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h3{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h4{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ #templatePreheader{ display:block !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } Today's Daily Devotion from the United Reformed Church View this email in your browser St Mark 13:9-13 Jesus said: "As for yourselves, beware; for they will hand you over to councils; and you will be beaten in synagogues; and you will stand before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them. And the good news must first be proclaimed to all nations. When they bring you to trial and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say; but say whatever is given you at that time, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. Reflection In yesterday's reading,  Jesus has predicted the destruction of the Temple and some of the types of events to expect in the future, before the end of the age, prompting the disciples to ask when this might all take place.  Not an unreasonable question from their point of view.  They lived under Roman occupancy.  As so often happens where 'empire' is involved - be it Babylonian, Roman or indeed British, the empire calls the shots when it comes to authority, law and order in order to maintain the so-called peace.  But an exception had been made to allow the Jewish faith and traditions to continue on condition they 'toed the line'.  So they would know that life as they knew it was precarious, that sooner or later one of the many uprisings and acts of defiance would trigger the Roman machine into decisive action.  It is generally accepted that this passage is referring to the destruction of the Temple in AD70 but life for the disciples following Jesus death and resurrection became even more precarious as they continued to spread the gospel in direct contradiction to the instructions of the Jewish authorities.  And here Jesus is warning them of what will come but also offering a glimpse of the reward which will be theirs if they hold on to the end.

But whilst this might be referring to a specific set of events in history, it is not stuck there.  It applies for all of time up until the day that Jesus return to put everything back how it should be.  It will always be relevant because the good news that we are commissioned to share flies in the face of the way this broken world works.  A world focussed on self-preservation, on revenge for wrongs, on self-centred motivations is not going to turn the other cheek, walk the extra mile, or offer an extra coat.  Such a world is not going to accept that refugees and asylum seekers need to be cared for.  Such a world is not going to accept that those who have more than they need should share with those who have nothing.  When the two worlds come close, there will be resistance and suffering

When look at my life, I don't see much suffering compared to many in this world and if I'm honest I don't really want that to change 'cos I'm a coward and some of the stories I hear make my hair stand on end.  So I guess this begs the question - why am I not suffering?  Where is my allegiance, to this world or the kingdom yet to come?  Am I keeping my head below the parapet so as to avoid difficult questions?  Or am I striding out ready to share the good news - with words if necessary!  Or just maybe the suffering is the very fact that I have to challenge myself with these questions rather than just accepting the status quo and the risk there of course is that the answer to the questions may not be what I want to hear!   Prayer Almighty God,
Give us the strength and courage to step up to the plate,
to be willing to forego some of our comforts and cosiness
to offer practical help where it's needed,
to listen to personal stores and experiences,
to challenge when wrong things are said and done,
even if there is a personal cost.  
Help us to hold this world lightly
and reach out for your kingdom
to bring it a tiny step closer to the here and now.
In Jesus' name,
Amen Today's Writer The Rev'd Sheila Coop is the minister of Macedonia URC in Failsworth. Bible Version   New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Bible: © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved Copyright © 2017 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.


  Want to change how you receive these emails? You can change to plain text (which some find easier to read) or have webpage like emails by clicking here.

  If you no longer wish to receive these emails please click here.

URC Daily Devotion 21st March

URC Devotions - Tue, 21/03/2017 - 06:00
96 URC Daily Devotion 21st March table.mcnFollowContent{width:100%;} table.mcnShareContent{width:100%;} td.columnsContainer{width:30%;} p{ margin:10px 0; padding:0; } table{ border-collapse:collapse; } h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6{ display:block; margin:0; padding:0; } img,a img{ border:0; height:auto; outline:none; text-decoration:none; } body,#bodyTable,#bodyCell{ height:100%; margin:0; padding:0; width:100%; } #outlook a{ padding:0; } img{ -ms-interpolation-mode:bicubic; } table{ mso-table-lspace:0pt; mso-table-rspace:0pt; } .ReadMsgBody{ width:100%; } .ExternalClass{ width:100%; } p,a,li,td,blockquote{ mso-line-height-rule:exactly; } a[href^=tel],a[href^=sms]{ color:inherit; cursor:default; text-decoration:none; } p,a,li,td,body,table,blockquote{ -ms-text-size-adjust:100%; -webkit-text-size-adjust:100%; } .ExternalClass,.ExternalClass p,.ExternalClass td,.ExternalClass div,.ExternalClass span,.ExternalClass font{ line-height:100%; } a[x-apple-data-detectors]{ color:inherit !important; text-decoration:none !important; font-size:inherit !important; font-family:inherit !important; font-weight:inherit !important; line-height:inherit !important; } a.mcnButton{ display:block; } .mcnImage{ vertical-align:bottom; } .mcnTextContent{ word-break:break-word; } .mcnTextContent img{ height:auto !important; } .mcnDividerBlock{ table-layout:fixed !important; } body,#bodyTable,#templateFooter{ background-color:#cccccc; } #bodyCell{ border-top:0; } h1{ color:#000000 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:30px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h2{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:26px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h3{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:18px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h4{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:16px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } #templatePreheader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:left; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#CDD0D5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateHeader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:15px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateBody{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } #bodyBackground{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:18px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateColumns{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateFooter{ border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#cdd0d5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:right; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#cdd0d5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body,table,td,p,a,li,blockquote{ -webkit-text-size-adjust:none !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body{ width:100% !important; min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .templateContainer{ max-width:600px !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .columnsContainer{ display:block!important; max-width:600px !important; padding-bottom:18px !important; padding-left:0 !important; width:100%!important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImage{ height:auto !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCartContainer,.mcnCaptionTopContent,.mcnRecContentContainer,.mcnCaptionBottomContent,.mcnTextContentContainer,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer,.mcnImageGroupContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftImageContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightImageContentContainer,.mcnImageCardLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnImageCardRightTextContentContainer{ max-width:100% !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer{ min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupContent{ padding:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCaptionLeftContentOuter .mcnTextContent,.mcnCaptionRightContentOuter .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardTopImageContent,.mcnCaptionBlockInner .mcnCaptionTopContent:last-child .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardBottomImageContent{ padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockInner{ padding-top:0 !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockOuter{ padding-top:9px !important; padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentColumn{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardLeftImageContent,.mcnImageCardRightImageContent{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcpreview-image-uploader{ display:none !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h1{ font-size:24px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h2{ font-size:20px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h3{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h4{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ #templatePreheader{ display:block !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } Today's Daily Devotion from the United Reformed Church View this email in your browser St Mark  13:1-8 As he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!” Then Jesus asked him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.”

When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?”  Then Jesus began to say to them, “Beware that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. When you hear of wars and rumours of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. This is but the beginning of the birth pangs. Reflection “Do not be alarmed.” It was (comparatively) easy enough for Jesus to say that, sitting under the (relatively) safe umbrella of the Roman Empire – a world power if ever there was one. It might have had its bad moments; the Romans weren’t softies and the taxes were high, but at least they weren’t in a war zone, and the Pax Romana was a kind of peaceful existence. Wars and rumours of wars were a long way off. But in another 30 years it would be a different story, and not one stone of the temple would be left standing. The end was nigh and it seemed that only Jesus knew it.

We are not short of wars and rumours of wars, and some of them come from the very stones on which Jesus and his friends were sitting, and the noise of war and chaos gets louder with each passing day. Are these just birth pangs of a new creation, or the end of the world as we know it? God knows - so do not be alarmed?

Perhaps for too long we have assumed that peace, comfort, stability and changelessness are the marks of true religion. That’s not what Jesus says; those were not the marks of his life. He lived without a regular home, no steady income, no family circle. In the end he had no friend to defend him against the falsehoods of his accusers: ”Throw down the Temple indeed. What rubbish!” And rubbish indeed was what was left, with only a cross on a hill to mark the spot where the Son of Man’s glory was revealed. Our faith may bring comfort to the lost, food to the hungry, healing to the afflicted, but it comes at the cost of a world and its values turned upside down in the birth pangs of our new creation. `”Do not be alarmed” – perhaps Jesus was joking?
  Prayer O Lord support us by your grace
through all the hours of life’s day:
Until the shadows lengthen,
the busy world is hushed,
the fever of life is over,
and the evening comes.
Then Lord, in your mercy,
grant us safe lodging,
a holy rest,
and peace at the last:
through Christ our Lord.
Amen

(John, Cardinal Newman) Today's Writer The Rev'd Peter Moth is a retired minister and member of St Andrew's URC in Kenton, Newcastle upon Tyne. Bible Version   New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Bible: © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved Copyright © 2017 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.


  Want to change how you receive these emails? You can change to plain text (which some find easier to read) or have webpage like emails by clicking here.

  If you no longer wish to receive these emails please click here.

URC Daily Devotion 20th March

URC Devotions - Mon, 20/03/2017 - 06:00
96 URC Daily Devotion 20th March table.mcnFollowContent{width:100%;} table.mcnShareContent{width:100%;} td.columnsContainer{width:30%;} p{ margin:10px 0; padding:0; } table{ border-collapse:collapse; } h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6{ display:block; margin:0; padding:0; } img,a img{ border:0; height:auto; outline:none; text-decoration:none; } body,#bodyTable,#bodyCell{ height:100%; margin:0; padding:0; width:100%; } #outlook a{ padding:0; } img{ -ms-interpolation-mode:bicubic; } table{ mso-table-lspace:0pt; mso-table-rspace:0pt; } .ReadMsgBody{ width:100%; } .ExternalClass{ width:100%; } p,a,li,td,blockquote{ mso-line-height-rule:exactly; } a[href^=tel],a[href^=sms]{ color:inherit; cursor:default; text-decoration:none; } p,a,li,td,body,table,blockquote{ -ms-text-size-adjust:100%; -webkit-text-size-adjust:100%; } .ExternalClass,.ExternalClass p,.ExternalClass td,.ExternalClass div,.ExternalClass span,.ExternalClass font{ line-height:100%; } a[x-apple-data-detectors]{ color:inherit !important; text-decoration:none !important; font-size:inherit !important; font-family:inherit !important; font-weight:inherit !important; line-height:inherit !important; } a.mcnButton{ display:block; } .mcnImage{ vertical-align:bottom; } .mcnTextContent{ word-break:break-word; } .mcnTextContent img{ height:auto !important; } .mcnDividerBlock{ table-layout:fixed !important; } body,#bodyTable,#templateFooter{ background-color:#cccccc; } #bodyCell{ border-top:0; } h1{ color:#000000 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:30px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h2{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:26px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h3{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:18px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h4{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:16px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } #templatePreheader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:left; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#CDD0D5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateHeader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:15px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateBody{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } #bodyBackground{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:18px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateColumns{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateFooter{ border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#cdd0d5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:right; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#cdd0d5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body,table,td,p,a,li,blockquote{ -webkit-text-size-adjust:none !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body{ width:100% !important; min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .templateContainer{ max-width:600px !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .columnsContainer{ display:block!important; max-width:600px !important; padding-bottom:18px !important; padding-left:0 !important; width:100%!important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImage{ height:auto !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCartContainer,.mcnCaptionTopContent,.mcnRecContentContainer,.mcnCaptionBottomContent,.mcnTextContentContainer,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer,.mcnImageGroupContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftImageContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightImageContentContainer,.mcnImageCardLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnImageCardRightTextContentContainer{ max-width:100% !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer{ min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupContent{ padding:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCaptionLeftContentOuter .mcnTextContent,.mcnCaptionRightContentOuter .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardTopImageContent,.mcnCaptionBlockInner .mcnCaptionTopContent:last-child .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardBottomImageContent{ padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockInner{ padding-top:0 !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockOuter{ padding-top:9px !important; padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentColumn{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardLeftImageContent,.mcnImageCardRightImageContent{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcpreview-image-uploader{ display:none !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h1{ font-size:24px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h2{ font-size:20px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h3{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h4{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ #templatePreheader{ display:block !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } Today's Daily Devotion from the United Reformed Church View this email in your browser St Mark 12:41-44 Jesus sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury.  Many rich people put in large sums.  A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.’ Reflection If there was ever a lesson to be learned in making sure we take a passage in context, this is it!

Here is a woman ... nameless, poor and a widow, and only four verses are taken up with the story ... she’s barely appearing ‘above the radar’... except that Jesus notices her.

Over the years, I’ve heard quite a few sermons on these verses – I expect we all have (I might have preached one of them!) – and every single one of them was reflecting upon the sacrificial gift of the woman, and was probably challenging us to give that much to God. And yet ... just look at what comes before her story. Jesus has just finished denouncing the Scribes who “devour widows’ houses ...” (v40) and of the widow Jesus says she’s given, “all she had to live on” (v44). Surely there is a critique here of a temple system that demanded a tax be paid which, in this case, stripped the poor widow of all she had.  The question is, did she have a choice?  Is this a story about free generosity, or is it a story about a greedy religious establishment?  For years of my Christian journey I believed it was the former ... I now believe it is the latter …

... that’s because of the context of Jesus’ critique of the establishment, and also because I cannot believe that the Jesus who cared so much for the poor and the outcast would want this widow to have nothing to buy her next meal with.

I think this all means that, as we read about the widow and her two small copper coins, we need to be asking ourselves about the demands we place on others ... and the demands that are placed upon us within the life of the church.  Those demands might be about behaviour or ‘fitting in’ (my parents never let me wear trousers to go to church – today that will be something different, maybe the youngsters who have their mobile phones out) ... or they might be about who takes communion (I had to leave the sanctuary and not even ‘watch’ people take communion, let alone receive it until I had been made a member – today, that’s a conversation about children receiving, or who is leading the communion service).

Are there things we need to ‘relax’ in order that all might thrive? Prayer Lord, as we give of ourselves and of our money
we trust that you will help us to be generous and wise, and
we pray that you will steer us in the use of our time
and energy and resources.
As we ask you to guide us,
as a church,
in the demands we make of one another –
may we be generous in our not-requiring
as well as in our offering.
For Jesus’ sake.
Amen Today's Writer The Rev'd Dr Rosalind Selby is the Principal of Northern College in Manchester. Bible Version   New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Bible: © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved Copyright © 2017 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.


  Want to change how you receive these emails? You can change to plain text (which some find easier to read) or have webpage like emails by clicking here.

  If you no longer wish to receive these emails please click here.

URC Daily Devotion 19th March - Third Sunday of Lent

URC Devotions - Sun, 19/03/2017 - 06:00
96 URC Daily Devotion 19th March - Third Sunday of Lent table.mcnFollowContent{width:100%;} table.mcnShareContent{width:100%;} td.columnsContainer{width:30%;} p{ margin:10px 0; padding:0; } table{ border-collapse:collapse; } h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6{ display:block; margin:0; padding:0; } img,a img{ border:0; height:auto; outline:none; text-decoration:none; } body,#bodyTable,#bodyCell{ height:100%; margin:0; padding:0; width:100%; } #outlook a{ padding:0; } img{ -ms-interpolation-mode:bicubic; } table{ mso-table-lspace:0pt; mso-table-rspace:0pt; } .ReadMsgBody{ width:100%; } .ExternalClass{ width:100%; } p,a,li,td,blockquote{ mso-line-height-rule:exactly; } a[href^=tel],a[href^=sms]{ color:inherit; cursor:default; text-decoration:none; } p,a,li,td,body,table,blockquote{ -ms-text-size-adjust:100%; -webkit-text-size-adjust:100%; } .ExternalClass,.ExternalClass p,.ExternalClass td,.ExternalClass div,.ExternalClass span,.ExternalClass font{ line-height:100%; } a[x-apple-data-detectors]{ color:inherit !important; text-decoration:none !important; font-size:inherit !important; font-family:inherit !important; font-weight:inherit !important; line-height:inherit !important; } a.mcnButton{ display:block; } .mcnImage{ vertical-align:bottom; } .mcnTextContent{ word-break:break-word; } .mcnTextContent img{ height:auto !important; } .mcnDividerBlock{ table-layout:fixed !important; } body,#bodyTable,#templateFooter{ background-color:#cccccc; } #bodyCell{ border-top:0; } h1{ color:#000000 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:30px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h2{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:26px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h3{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:18px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h4{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:16px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } #templatePreheader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:left; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#CDD0D5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateHeader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:15px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateBody{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } #bodyBackground{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:18px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateColumns{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateFooter{ border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#cdd0d5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:right; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#cdd0d5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body,table,td,p,a,li,blockquote{ -webkit-text-size-adjust:none !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body{ width:100% !important; min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .templateContainer{ max-width:600px !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .columnsContainer{ display:block!important; max-width:600px !important; padding-bottom:18px !important; padding-left:0 !important; width:100%!important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImage{ height:auto !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCartContainer,.mcnCaptionTopContent,.mcnRecContentContainer,.mcnCaptionBottomContent,.mcnTextContentContainer,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer,.mcnImageGroupContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftImageContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightImageContentContainer,.mcnImageCardLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnImageCardRightTextContentContainer{ max-width:100% !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer{ min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupContent{ padding:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCaptionLeftContentOuter .mcnTextContent,.mcnCaptionRightContentOuter .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardTopImageContent,.mcnCaptionBlockInner .mcnCaptionTopContent:last-child .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardBottomImageContent{ padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockInner{ padding-top:0 !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockOuter{ padding-top:9px !important; padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentColumn{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardLeftImageContent,.mcnImageCardRightImageContent{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcpreview-image-uploader{ display:none !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h1{ font-size:24px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h2{ font-size:20px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h3{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h4{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ #templatePreheader{ display:block !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } Today's Daily Devotion from the United Reformed Church View this email in your browser St Mark 12:35-40  While Jesus was teaching in the temple, he said, ‘How can the scribes say that the Messiah is the son of David?  David himself, by the Holy Spirit, declared,

“The Lord said to my Lord,
‘Sit at my right hand,
   until I put your enemies under your feet.’”

David himself calls him Lord; so how can he be his son?’ And the large crowd was listening to him with delight.

As he taught, he said, ‘Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honour at banquets! They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.’ Reflection The Scribes were legal experts; precise, pedantic and pompous. One of the striking things about the carpenter from Nazareth was that he was able to tie them up in knots with logical riddles of the sort they normally enjoyed. The crowds loved it.

But actually I like precise people and will forgive them the occasional lapse into pedantry. A Treasurer knows that without a few precise people around, finances can soon slip into embarrassing chaos; and when nobody insists on pressing that slightly pedantic question, sharp practice and fraud goes undetected until catastrophe strikes.

We need some experts around to help us use God’s gifts wisely and some of them will be lawyers. We should be grateful for all sorts of experts who give of their expertise to enrich the life of the Church.

The problems arise when we think our expertise makes us superior to those who lack it. Be it canon law or flower arranging, when offered as part of our grateful response to the infinity of God’s gifts to us, our area of expertise can be a beautiful gift. When it becomes our reason for demanding the places of honour, Jesus says sternly “Beware!”   Prayer Lord Jesus,
who honoured God’s law and surmounted it,
I can never outwit you and you can never be in debt to me.
Thank you for the skills I have developed with the gifts you have given me.
Give me grace to offer them in your service with humility;
make me as grateful for the skills of others as I would secretly like them to be of mine;
show me fresh ways to use my expertise in building your Kingdom.
And when my work is done,
welcome me where the only skill required is worship.
Amen.    Today's Writer John Ellis is a member of Tudeley and Five Oak Green LEP, URC Treasurer and Immediate Past Moderator of General Assembly.
. Bible Version   New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Bible: © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved Copyright © 2017 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.


  Want to change how you receive these emails? You can change to plain text (which some find easier to read) or have webpage like emails by clicking here.

  If you no longer wish to receive these emails please click here.

URC Daily Devotion 18th March

URC Devotions - Sat, 18/03/2017 - 06:00
96 URC Daily Devotion 18th March table.mcnFollowContent{width:100%;} table.mcnShareContent{width:100%;} td.columnsContainer{width:30%;} p{ margin:10px 0; padding:0; } table{ border-collapse:collapse; } h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6{ display:block; margin:0; padding:0; } img,a img{ border:0; height:auto; outline:none; text-decoration:none; } body,#bodyTable,#bodyCell{ height:100%; margin:0; padding:0; width:100%; } #outlook a{ padding:0; } img{ -ms-interpolation-mode:bicubic; } table{ mso-table-lspace:0pt; mso-table-rspace:0pt; } .ReadMsgBody{ width:100%; } .ExternalClass{ width:100%; } p,a,li,td,blockquote{ mso-line-height-rule:exactly; } a[href^=tel],a[href^=sms]{ color:inherit; cursor:default; text-decoration:none; } p,a,li,td,body,table,blockquote{ -ms-text-size-adjust:100%; -webkit-text-size-adjust:100%; } .ExternalClass,.ExternalClass p,.ExternalClass td,.ExternalClass div,.ExternalClass span,.ExternalClass font{ line-height:100%; } a[x-apple-data-detectors]{ color:inherit !important; text-decoration:none !important; font-size:inherit !important; font-family:inherit !important; font-weight:inherit !important; line-height:inherit !important; } a.mcnButton{ display:block; } .mcnImage{ vertical-align:bottom; } .mcnTextContent{ word-break:break-word; } .mcnTextContent img{ height:auto !important; } .mcnDividerBlock{ table-layout:fixed !important; } body,#bodyTable,#templateFooter{ background-color:#cccccc; } #bodyCell{ border-top:0; } h1{ color:#000000 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:30px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h2{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:26px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h3{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:18px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h4{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:16px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } #templatePreheader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:left; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#CDD0D5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateHeader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:15px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateBody{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } #bodyBackground{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:18px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateColumns{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateFooter{ border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#cdd0d5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:right; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#cdd0d5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body,table,td,p,a,li,blockquote{ -webkit-text-size-adjust:none !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body{ width:100% !important; min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .templateContainer{ max-width:600px !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .columnsContainer{ display:block!important; max-width:600px !important; padding-bottom:18px !important; padding-left:0 !important; width:100%!important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImage{ height:auto !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCartContainer,.mcnCaptionTopContent,.mcnRecContentContainer,.mcnCaptionBottomContent,.mcnTextContentContainer,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer,.mcnImageGroupContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftImageContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightImageContentContainer,.mcnImageCardLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnImageCardRightTextContentContainer{ max-width:100% !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer{ min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupContent{ padding:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCaptionLeftContentOuter .mcnTextContent,.mcnCaptionRightContentOuter .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardTopImageContent,.mcnCaptionBlockInner .mcnCaptionTopContent:last-child .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardBottomImageContent{ padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockInner{ padding-top:0 !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockOuter{ padding-top:9px !important; padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentColumn{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardLeftImageContent,.mcnImageCardRightImageContent{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcpreview-image-uploader{ display:none !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h1{ font-size:24px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h2{ font-size:20px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h3{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h4{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ #templatePreheader{ display:block !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } Today's Daily Devotion from the United Reformed Church View this email in your browser St Mark 12:28-34 One of the teachers of the Law of Moses came up while Jesus and the Sadducees were arguing. When he heard Jesus give a good answer, he asked him, "What is the most important commandment?" Jesus answered, "The most important one says: 'People of Israel, you have only one Lord and God. You must love him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.' The second most important commandment says: 'Love others as much as you love yourself.' No other commandment is more important than these." The man replied, "Teacher, you are certainly right to say there is only one God. It is also true that we must love God with all our heart, mind, and strength, and that we must love others as much as we love ourselves. These commandments are more important than all the sacrifices and offerings that we could possibly make." When Jesus saw that the man had given a sensible answer, he told him, "You are not far from God's kingdom." After this, no one dared ask Jesus any more questions.   Reflection I often refer to this passage during prayers of confession when I lead worship: “we fail even to keep these two great commandments, and in the stillness we are conscious of all the other ways in which we have let You down and hurt others…”

If these are the two greatest commandments in the Law, shouldn’t we invest more time and effort into at least keeping them?  Almost certainly.  But that isn’t the whole solution. Elsewhere (James 2:10), we read that stumbling at even one point means breaking the whole of the Law.  It has also been said (and I agree) that if we manage to keep the two greatest commandments, everything else follows.  To love God with our whole being and to love others as much as we love ourselves (oh – you do remember to love yourself too, don’t you?) will cover all we need to do.

Some of you will be shifting uncomfortably in your seats, remembering that Christians are under grace, not Law.  Indeed – we are no longer slaves to sin, so don’t need the Law to keep us under control.  Rather, we are under the law of love – grace – and as beloved people we are responsible for our self-control.

As we choose to follow God’s way we will find ourselves ever closer to God’s kingdom.     Prayer Gracious God,
we thank you for your endless love,
for you do not overlook our failings,
but actively forgive them.  
Help us in our dealings with others
to show them the same unconditional love.  
And as we walk the path of love,
may we always seek to bring glory to you,
with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.  
Amen. Today's Writer The Rev'd Steve Faber is the Moderator of the West Midlands Synod. Bible Version   Contemporary English Version®
© 1995 American Bible Society. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2017 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.


  Want to change how you receive these emails? You can change to plain text (which some find easier to read) or have webpage like emails by clicking here.

  If you no longer wish to receive these emails please click here.

URC Daily Devotion 17th March

URC Devotions - Fri, 17/03/2017 - 06:00
96 URC Daily Devotion 17th March table.mcnFollowContent{width:100%;} table.mcnShareContent{width:100%;} td.columnsContainer{width:30%;} p{ margin:10px 0; padding:0; } table{ border-collapse:collapse; } h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6{ display:block; margin:0; padding:0; } img,a img{ border:0; height:auto; outline:none; text-decoration:none; } body,#bodyTable,#bodyCell{ height:100%; margin:0; padding:0; width:100%; } #outlook a{ padding:0; } img{ -ms-interpolation-mode:bicubic; } table{ mso-table-lspace:0pt; mso-table-rspace:0pt; } .ReadMsgBody{ width:100%; } .ExternalClass{ width:100%; } p,a,li,td,blockquote{ mso-line-height-rule:exactly; } a[href^=tel],a[href^=sms]{ color:inherit; cursor:default; text-decoration:none; } p,a,li,td,body,table,blockquote{ -ms-text-size-adjust:100%; -webkit-text-size-adjust:100%; } .ExternalClass,.ExternalClass p,.ExternalClass td,.ExternalClass div,.ExternalClass span,.ExternalClass font{ line-height:100%; } a[x-apple-data-detectors]{ color:inherit !important; text-decoration:none !important; font-size:inherit !important; font-family:inherit !important; font-weight:inherit !important; line-height:inherit !important; } a.mcnButton{ display:block; } .mcnImage{ vertical-align:bottom; } .mcnTextContent{ word-break:break-word; } .mcnTextContent img{ height:auto !important; } .mcnDividerBlock{ table-layout:fixed !important; } body,#bodyTable,#templateFooter{ background-color:#cccccc; } #bodyCell{ border-top:0; } h1{ color:#000000 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:30px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h2{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:26px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h3{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:18px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h4{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:16px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } #templatePreheader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:left; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#CDD0D5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateHeader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:15px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateBody{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } #bodyBackground{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:18px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateColumns{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateFooter{ border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#cdd0d5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:right; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#cdd0d5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body,table,td,p,a,li,blockquote{ -webkit-text-size-adjust:none !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body{ width:100% !important; min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .templateContainer{ max-width:600px !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .columnsContainer{ display:block!important; max-width:600px !important; padding-bottom:18px !important; padding-left:0 !important; width:100%!important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImage{ height:auto !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCartContainer,.mcnCaptionTopContent,.mcnRecContentContainer,.mcnCaptionBottomContent,.mcnTextContentContainer,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer,.mcnImageGroupContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftImageContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightImageContentContainer,.mcnImageCardLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnImageCardRightTextContentContainer{ max-width:100% !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer{ min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupContent{ padding:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCaptionLeftContentOuter .mcnTextContent,.mcnCaptionRightContentOuter .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardTopImageContent,.mcnCaptionBlockInner .mcnCaptionTopContent:last-child .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardBottomImageContent{ padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockInner{ padding-top:0 !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockOuter{ padding-top:9px !important; padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentColumn{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardLeftImageContent,.mcnImageCardRightImageContent{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcpreview-image-uploader{ display:none !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h1{ font-size:24px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h2{ font-size:20px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h3{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h4{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ #templatePreheader{ display:block !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } Today's Daily Devotion from the United Reformed Church View this email in your browser St Mark 12:18-27 Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus and asked him a question, saying, ‘Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no child, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother. There were seven brothers; the first married and, when he died, left no children; and the second married her and died, leaving no children; and the third likewise; none of the seven left children. Last of all the woman herself died. In the resurrection whose wife will she be? For the seven had married her.’

Jesus said to them, ‘Is not this the reason you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the story about the bush, how God said to him, “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”? He is God not of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong.’ Reflection It is difficult to know which one of the two faced the prospect with less enthusiasm. Was it the woman, required to wed for a seventh time in order to satisfy male desires for (male) children. Alternatively, was it the man, contemplating marriage to a bride with an alarming reputation for serial widowhood?

Of course it is only a hypothetical story. Although based on existing social custom, this tale took things beyond the realms of probability or even plausibility. It was not intended to be realistic. It was not intended to address justice issues relating to marriage practices of the time. It was told in order to score points in a theological debate about resurrection of the dead.

Jesus takes the time to answer the point ‘some Sadducees’ wished to address with their carefully contrived story, coming down decisively on the side of those who expect a resurrection of the dead. God, says Jesus, ‘is God not of the dead, but the living’.

We do need to explore together what we think and know about important issues, resurrection prominent among them. If, however, the dilemmas of living people ever become mere discussion fodder for theological debates we will have to reorder our priorities.

Both Sadducees and we would do well to focus our efforts, not on discussing the hypothetical future prospects of fictional characters, but upon relating the love of God to life’s realities for real people in the here and now.   Prayer God of the living,
God of today,
encourage us to hear the words of Jesus
and so share your love with others.
Amen Today's Writer The Rev'd Trevor Jamison, a URC minister, is the Environmental Chaplain for Eco-Congregation Scotland. Bible Version   New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Bible: © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved Copyright © 2017 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.


  Want to change how you receive these emails? You can change to plain text (which some find easier to read) or have webpage like emails by clicking here.

  If you no longer wish to receive these emails please click here.

URC Daily Devotion 16th March

URC Devotions - Thu, 16/03/2017 - 06:00
96 URC Daily Devotion 16th March table.mcnFollowContent{width:100%;} table.mcnShareContent{width:100%;} td.columnsContainer{width:30%;} p{ margin:10px 0; padding:0; } table{ border-collapse:collapse; } h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6{ display:block; margin:0; padding:0; } img,a img{ border:0; height:auto; outline:none; text-decoration:none; } body,#bodyTable,#bodyCell{ height:100%; margin:0; padding:0; width:100%; } #outlook a{ padding:0; } img{ -ms-interpolation-mode:bicubic; } table{ mso-table-lspace:0pt; mso-table-rspace:0pt; } .ReadMsgBody{ width:100%; } .ExternalClass{ width:100%; } p,a,li,td,blockquote{ mso-line-height-rule:exactly; } a[href^=tel],a[href^=sms]{ color:inherit; cursor:default; text-decoration:none; } p,a,li,td,body,table,blockquote{ -ms-text-size-adjust:100%; -webkit-text-size-adjust:100%; } .ExternalClass,.ExternalClass p,.ExternalClass td,.ExternalClass div,.ExternalClass span,.ExternalClass font{ line-height:100%; } a[x-apple-data-detectors]{ color:inherit !important; text-decoration:none !important; font-size:inherit !important; font-family:inherit !important; font-weight:inherit !important; line-height:inherit !important; } a.mcnButton{ display:block; } .mcnImage{ vertical-align:bottom; } .mcnTextContent{ word-break:break-word; } .mcnTextContent img{ height:auto !important; } .mcnDividerBlock{ table-layout:fixed !important; } body,#bodyTable,#templateFooter{ background-color:#cccccc; } #bodyCell{ border-top:0; } h1{ color:#000000 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:30px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h2{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:26px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h3{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:18px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h4{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:16px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } #templatePreheader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:left; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#CDD0D5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateHeader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:15px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateBody{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } #bodyBackground{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:18px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateColumns{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateFooter{ border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#cdd0d5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:right; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#cdd0d5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body,table,td,p,a,li,blockquote{ -webkit-text-size-adjust:none !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body{ width:100% !important; min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .templateContainer{ max-width:600px !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .columnsContainer{ display:block!important; max-width:600px !important; padding-bottom:18px !important; padding-left:0 !important; width:100%!important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImage{ height:auto !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCartContainer,.mcnCaptionTopContent,.mcnRecContentContainer,.mcnCaptionBottomContent,.mcnTextContentContainer,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer,.mcnImageGroupContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftImageContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightImageContentContainer,.mcnImageCardLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnImageCardRightTextContentContainer{ max-width:100% !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer{ min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupContent{ padding:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCaptionLeftContentOuter .mcnTextContent,.mcnCaptionRightContentOuter .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardTopImageContent,.mcnCaptionBlockInner .mcnCaptionTopContent:last-child .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardBottomImageContent{ padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockInner{ padding-top:0 !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockOuter{ padding-top:9px !important; padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentColumn{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardLeftImageContent,.mcnImageCardRightImageContent{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcpreview-image-uploader{ display:none !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h1{ font-size:24px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h2{ font-size:20px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h3{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h4{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ #templatePreheader{ display:block !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } Today's Daily Devotion from the United Reformed Church View this email in your browser St Mark 12:13-17 Then they sent to Jesus some Pharisees and some Herodians to trap him in what he said. And  they came and said to him, ‘Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality, but teach the way of God in accordance with truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not? Should we pay them, or should we not?’ But knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, ‘Why are you putting me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me see it.’ And they brought one. Then he said to them, ‘Whose head is this, and whose title?’ They answered, ‘The emperor’s.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’ And they were utterly amazed at him. Reflection This passage is contentious and has created much conversation and debate about what it actually means. Christian Anarchists hold a position that advocates full adherence to God with no recognition to earthly states and powers. There are other Christians who believe that we should adhere to both the State and God.

My challenge to you is to behave with integrity to your faith, which means discerning how God is speaking to you regarding this passage. We are fortunate in the URC that we are a church that is not an established State Church, this provides us with a unique and luxurious position, especially in a country where we are free to critique our government and challenge its decisions and actions. With this in mind, I encourage you to move from discernment to a place of action underpinned by faith, always staying the course. Regardless of the trials and tribulations that this may lead us to, we need to  remember that God is always with the most marginalised and oppressed in our world.     Prayer Heavenly Creator,
We encounter you in our daily lives
and in the mundane earthly things that we do.
Help us to see you in those situations,
knowing that everything we do on earth
is for your glory and praise
as much as we may not be able to perceive that.
We ask for your blessing to continue to serve you as Christ served us.
Amen Today's Writer Kirsty-Ann Mabbott is a Church Related Community Worker serving at Bettws URC/St David's Church in Wales in Newport, South Wales. Bible Version   New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Bible: © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved Copyright © 2017 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.


  Want to change how you receive these emails? You can change to plain text (which some find easier to read) or have webpage like emails by clicking here.

  If you no longer wish to receive these emails please click here.

URC Daily Devotion 15th March

URC Devotions - Wed, 15/03/2017 - 06:00
96 URC Daily Devotion 15th March table.mcnFollowContent{width:100%;} table.mcnShareContent{width:100%;} td.columnsContainer{width:30%;} p{ margin:10px 0; padding:0; } table{ border-collapse:collapse; } h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6{ display:block; margin:0; padding:0; } img,a img{ border:0; height:auto; outline:none; text-decoration:none; } body,#bodyTable,#bodyCell{ height:100%; margin:0; padding:0; width:100%; } #outlook a{ padding:0; } img{ -ms-interpolation-mode:bicubic; } table{ mso-table-lspace:0pt; mso-table-rspace:0pt; } .ReadMsgBody{ width:100%; } .ExternalClass{ width:100%; } p,a,li,td,blockquote{ mso-line-height-rule:exactly; } a[href^=tel],a[href^=sms]{ color:inherit; cursor:default; text-decoration:none; } p,a,li,td,body,table,blockquote{ -ms-text-size-adjust:100%; -webkit-text-size-adjust:100%; } .ExternalClass,.ExternalClass p,.ExternalClass td,.ExternalClass div,.ExternalClass span,.ExternalClass font{ line-height:100%; } a[x-apple-data-detectors]{ color:inherit !important; text-decoration:none !important; font-size:inherit !important; font-family:inherit !important; font-weight:inherit !important; line-height:inherit !important; } a.mcnButton{ display:block; } .mcnImage{ vertical-align:bottom; } .mcnTextContent{ word-break:break-word; } .mcnTextContent img{ height:auto !important; } .mcnDividerBlock{ table-layout:fixed !important; } body,#bodyTable,#templateFooter{ background-color:#cccccc; } #bodyCell{ border-top:0; } h1{ color:#000000 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:30px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h2{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:26px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h3{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:18px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h4{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:16px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } #templatePreheader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:left; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#CDD0D5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateHeader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:15px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateBody{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } #bodyBackground{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:18px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateColumns{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateFooter{ border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#cdd0d5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:right; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#cdd0d5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body,table,td,p,a,li,blockquote{ -webkit-text-size-adjust:none !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body{ width:100% !important; min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .templateContainer{ max-width:600px !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .columnsContainer{ display:block!important; max-width:600px !important; padding-bottom:18px !important; padding-left:0 !important; width:100%!important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImage{ height:auto !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCartContainer,.mcnCaptionTopContent,.mcnRecContentContainer,.mcnCaptionBottomContent,.mcnTextContentContainer,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer,.mcnImageGroupContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftImageContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightImageContentContainer,.mcnImageCardLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnImageCardRightTextContentContainer{ max-width:100% !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer{ min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupContent{ padding:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCaptionLeftContentOuter .mcnTextContent,.mcnCaptionRightContentOuter .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardTopImageContent,.mcnCaptionBlockInner .mcnCaptionTopContent:last-child .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardBottomImageContent{ padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockInner{ padding-top:0 !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockOuter{ padding-top:9px !important; padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentColumn{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardLeftImageContent,.mcnImageCardRightImageContent{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcpreview-image-uploader{ display:none !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h1{ font-size:24px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h2{ font-size:20px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h3{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h4{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ #templatePreheader{ display:block !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } Today's Daily Devotion from the United Reformed Church View this email in your browser St Mark 12:1-12  Then Jesus began to speak to them in parables. ‘A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a pit for the winepress, and built a watch-tower; then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce of the vineyard.  But they seized him, and beat him, and sent him away empty-handed.  And again he sent another slave to them; this one they beat over the head and insulted.  Then he sent another, and that one they killed. And so it was with many others; some they beat, and others they killed.  He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, “They will respect my son.”  But those tenants said to one another, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.”  So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.  What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others.  Have you not read this scripture:  “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone his was the Lord’s doing, and it is amazing in our eyes”?’  When they realized that he had told this parable against them, they wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowd. So they left him and went away.    Reflection The parallels with the unfolding story of the coming and going of prophets in the Hebrew Scriptures and then the coming of Jesus himself are obvious in this passage. This is what caused the anger of the Religious authorities who heard this parable. It’s meaning was clear. It is also easy for us to gloss over it thinking it is only of relevance to its time. Yet that is to close ourselves to what it tells us about ourselves. How often do we not notice the promptings of the Spirit as we go about our business. Who do we ignore – if not actually beat or kill? What do we not see that is right in front of our eyes because we are looking to the next thing? Who do we not listen to because we have heard it before, or even worse we don’t like what is being said. Who do we underestimate, or side-line or walk away from? What living stones do we reject? May we today pause and look and listen to God’s promptings.   Prayer Lord, today in my business,
may I take time to take in my surroundings,
the people I encounter
and may I be open to what your Spirit is saying
in and through the world I encounter.
Amen Today's Writer The Rev'd Hilary Collinson is the minister of the Tees and Swaledale Pastorate. Bible Version   New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Bible: © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved Copyright © 2017 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.


  Want to change how you receive these emails? You can change to plain text (which some find easier to read) or have webpage like emails by clicking here.

  If you no longer wish to receive these emails please click here.

URC Daily Devotion 14th March

URC Devotions - Tue, 14/03/2017 - 06:00
96 URC Daily Devotion 14th March table.mcnFollowContent{width:100%;} table.mcnShareContent{width:100%;} td.columnsContainer{width:30%;} p{ margin:10px 0; padding:0; } table{ border-collapse:collapse; } h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6{ display:block; margin:0; padding:0; } img,a img{ border:0; height:auto; outline:none; text-decoration:none; } body,#bodyTable,#bodyCell{ height:100%; margin:0; padding:0; width:100%; } #outlook a{ padding:0; } img{ -ms-interpolation-mode:bicubic; } table{ mso-table-lspace:0pt; mso-table-rspace:0pt; } .ReadMsgBody{ width:100%; } .ExternalClass{ width:100%; } p,a,li,td,blockquote{ mso-line-height-rule:exactly; } a[href^=tel],a[href^=sms]{ color:inherit; cursor:default; text-decoration:none; } p,a,li,td,body,table,blockquote{ -ms-text-size-adjust:100%; -webkit-text-size-adjust:100%; } .ExternalClass,.ExternalClass p,.ExternalClass td,.ExternalClass div,.ExternalClass span,.ExternalClass font{ line-height:100%; } a[x-apple-data-detectors]{ color:inherit !important; text-decoration:none !important; font-size:inherit !important; font-family:inherit !important; font-weight:inherit !important; line-height:inherit !important; } a.mcnButton{ display:block; } .mcnImage{ vertical-align:bottom; } .mcnTextContent{ word-break:break-word; } .mcnTextContent img{ height:auto !important; } .mcnDividerBlock{ table-layout:fixed !important; } body,#bodyTable,#templateFooter{ background-color:#cccccc; } #bodyCell{ border-top:0; } h1{ color:#000000 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:30px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h2{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:26px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h3{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:18px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h4{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:16px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } #templatePreheader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:left; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#CDD0D5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateHeader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:15px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateBody{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } #bodyBackground{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:18px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateColumns{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateFooter{ border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#cdd0d5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:right; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#cdd0d5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body,table,td,p,a,li,blockquote{ -webkit-text-size-adjust:none !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body{ width:100% !important; min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .templateContainer{ max-width:600px !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .columnsContainer{ display:block!important; max-width:600px !important; padding-bottom:18px !important; padding-left:0 !important; width:100%!important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImage{ height:auto !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCartContainer,.mcnCaptionTopContent,.mcnRecContentContainer,.mcnCaptionBottomContent,.mcnTextContentContainer,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer,.mcnImageGroupContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftImageContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightImageContentContainer,.mcnImageCardLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnImageCardRightTextContentContainer{ max-width:100% !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer{ min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupContent{ padding:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCaptionLeftContentOuter .mcnTextContent,.mcnCaptionRightContentOuter .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardTopImageContent,.mcnCaptionBlockInner .mcnCaptionTopContent:last-child .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardBottomImageContent{ padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockInner{ padding-top:0 !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockOuter{ padding-top:9px !important; padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentColumn{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardLeftImageContent,.mcnImageCardRightImageContent{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcpreview-image-uploader{ display:none !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h1{ font-size:24px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h2{ font-size:20px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h3{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h4{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ #templatePreheader{ display:block !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } Today's Daily Devotion from the United Reformed Church View this email in your browser St Mark 11:27-33 Again they came to Jerusalem. As Jesus was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to him and said, ‘By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do them?’ Jesus said to them, ‘I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin? Answer me.’ They argued with one another, ‘If we say, “From heaven”, he will say, “Why then did you not believe him?” But shall we say, “Of human origin”?’—they were afraid of the crowd, for all regarded John as truly a prophet. So they answered Jesus, ‘We do not know.’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.’   Reflection We tend to find that celebrity has a high status in our society. Whether they are television or cinema stars, or personas in our print and social media, celebrity has an ability to speak into our society as if with authority. The authority of celebrity – without any grounding in the institutions of the day – can create a following of popular ideas and can give rise to concern among those in leadership.

So it seems remarkable that in this story of Jesus the question of his authority is raised. Instead of being distracted by considering where he sources his authority (it seems pretty clear to Christian readers that the answer is ‘heaven’), we should be surprised that the Jewish leaders recognise that he has authority in the first place. Authority means not only the formal right to act, but also a willingness to respond to it. Jesus had authority that gave him a voice in a hostile and changing world, and people liked to listen. For some people that made him worth following, while others were threatened by him.

When we act in our own lives, and in the life of the Church, we must have no doubt that our authority comes from heaven. But how likely are we to follow popular authorities that are crowd pleasing but don’t challenge how we are, instead of being a voice in a hostile and changing world? Maybe there’s something good to be said of having our authority questioned when we do things that truly do reflect God’s work.     Prayer Gracious God,
help us to be aware of your authority in our lives
and in the Church
and speak into our hostile and changing world
with the authority of one from heaven
that we may respond in obedience to your call. Amen Today's Writer The Rev'd Dr Matthew Prevett is the minister of St Andrew’s URC, Monkseaton. Bible Version   New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Bible: © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved Copyright © 2017 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.


  Want to change how you receive these emails? You can change to plain text (which some find easier to read) or have webpage like emails by clicking here.

  If you no longer wish to receive these emails please click here.

URC Daily Devotion 13th March

URC Devotions - Mon, 13/03/2017 - 06:00
96 URC Daily Devotion 13th March table.mcnFollowContent{width:100%;} table.mcnShareContent{width:100%;} td.columnsContainer{width:30%;} p{ margin:10px 0; padding:0; } table{ border-collapse:collapse; } h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6{ display:block; margin:0; padding:0; } img,a img{ border:0; height:auto; outline:none; text-decoration:none; } body,#bodyTable,#bodyCell{ height:100%; margin:0; padding:0; width:100%; } #outlook a{ padding:0; } img{ -ms-interpolation-mode:bicubic; } table{ mso-table-lspace:0pt; mso-table-rspace:0pt; } .ReadMsgBody{ width:100%; } .ExternalClass{ width:100%; } p,a,li,td,blockquote{ mso-line-height-rule:exactly; } a[href^=tel],a[href^=sms]{ color:inherit; cursor:default; text-decoration:none; } p,a,li,td,body,table,blockquote{ -ms-text-size-adjust:100%; -webkit-text-size-adjust:100%; } .ExternalClass,.ExternalClass p,.ExternalClass td,.ExternalClass div,.ExternalClass span,.ExternalClass font{ line-height:100%; } a[x-apple-data-detectors]{ color:inherit !important; text-decoration:none !important; font-size:inherit !important; font-family:inherit !important; font-weight:inherit !important; line-height:inherit !important; } a.mcnButton{ display:block; } .mcnImage{ vertical-align:bottom; } .mcnTextContent{ word-break:break-word; } .mcnTextContent img{ height:auto !important; } .mcnDividerBlock{ table-layout:fixed !important; } body,#bodyTable,#templateFooter{ background-color:#cccccc; } #bodyCell{ border-top:0; } h1{ color:#000000 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:30px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h2{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:26px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h3{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:18px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h4{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:16px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } #templatePreheader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:left; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#CDD0D5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateHeader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:15px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateBody{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } #bodyBackground{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:18px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateColumns{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateFooter{ border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#cdd0d5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:right; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#cdd0d5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body,table,td,p,a,li,blockquote{ -webkit-text-size-adjust:none !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body{ width:100% !important; min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .templateContainer{ max-width:600px !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .columnsContainer{ display:block!important; max-width:600px !important; padding-bottom:18px !important; padding-left:0 !important; width:100%!important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImage{ height:auto !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCartContainer,.mcnCaptionTopContent,.mcnRecContentContainer,.mcnCaptionBottomContent,.mcnTextContentContainer,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer,.mcnImageGroupContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftImageContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightImageContentContainer,.mcnImageCardLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnImageCardRightTextContentContainer{ max-width:100% !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer{ min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupContent{ padding:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCaptionLeftContentOuter .mcnTextContent,.mcnCaptionRightContentOuter .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardTopImageContent,.mcnCaptionBlockInner .mcnCaptionTopContent:last-child .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardBottomImageContent{ padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockInner{ padding-top:0 !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockOuter{ padding-top:9px !important; padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentColumn{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardLeftImageContent,.mcnImageCardRightImageContent{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcpreview-image-uploader{ display:none !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h1{ font-size:24px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h2{ font-size:20px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h3{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h4{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ #templatePreheader{ display:block !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } Today's Daily Devotion from the United Reformed Church View this email in your browser St Mark 11:12-14, & 20-24  On the following day, when they came from Bethany, Jesus was hungry.  Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see whether perhaps he would find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs.  He said to it, ‘May no one ever eat fruit from you again.’ And his disciples heard it.

In the morning as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots.  Then Peter remembered and said to him, ‘Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.’  Jesus answered them, ‘Have faith in God. Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, “Be taken up and thrown into the sea”, and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Reflection The passage is a ‘Markan sandwich’, the original cursing and the finding of the withered tree being separated by the story of Jesus clearing out the Temple (the reading for tomorrow). Mark does this quite a lot, setting one story amongst another.  This makes for challenging reading; Mark is insisting we look at the two stories together and let them interpret each another. You might find it interesting to return to this passage after you’ve read about the cleansing tomorrow.

In a nutshell – Jesus is unfair to the fig tree which is, after all, part of God’s good creation. It’s Passover time, and it’s not the season for figs – Mark admits as much. Yet Jesus seems to be angry that there’s no fruit. Some interpreters feel uncomfortable with this, and try to ‘explain it away’ by suggesting it was originally a parable that’s been turned into a ‘real story’. But let’s take the text as it stands, because Mark is surely trying to tell us something!

The ‘sandwiching’ of the stories seems to suggest Jesus looks for fruit in the lives of those engaged in the religious life of the Temple – and becomes angry when he does not see that fruit. Is that us? Are we complacently making excuses for doing, or not doing, things in and around our churches and communities – ‘it’s not the right time to do this’, or some other, apparently good, reason for wriggling out of the challenge of being the fruit-bearers Jesus wants?

In the second part of the story, Mark shows Peter discovering the withered tree – which has happened because the tree did not bear fruit in the first place. And how much is that something that happens in our churches? We need to ask ourselves whether there is any wonder that some of our churches feel ‘withered’ if we are not bearing the fruit Jesus is looking for.

But there is a final stage too; Jesus links this to the faith we have, and so must we. Sometimes we can feel dispirited, tired, or burdened with responsibilities in our local church. I think this passage challenges us to reflect on what we should be doing to bear fruit and flourish in our communities – and to have faith.

Let’s pray: Prayer Loving and Holy God: help us, as individuals and as local churches, to have the faith to stop ... and to listen to what it is you really want of us ... and not to plough our own furrows regardless. If we need to lay down the things that do not bear fruit ... give us wisdom.  If we need to respond to you in new ways ... guide us.  If we need to grasp the hardest nettle of all and let a church building go ... grant us the love and the courage to do what is needful that the whole church might bear the fruit you are looking for. We ask this in Jesus’ Name. Amen Today's Writer The Rev'd Dr Rosalind Selby is the Principal of Northern College in Manchester. Bible Version   New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Bible: © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved Copyright © 2017 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.


  Want to change how you receive these emails? You can change to plain text (which some find easier to read) or have webpage like emails by clicking here.

  If you no longer wish to receive these emails please click here.

URC Daily Devotion 12th March

URC Devotions - Sun, 12/03/2017 - 06:00
96 URC Daily Devotion 12th March table.mcnFollowContent{width:100%;} table.mcnShareContent{width:100%;} td.columnsContainer{width:30%;} p{ margin:10px 0; padding:0; } table{ border-collapse:collapse; } h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6{ display:block; margin:0; padding:0; } img,a img{ border:0; height:auto; outline:none; text-decoration:none; } body,#bodyTable,#bodyCell{ height:100%; margin:0; padding:0; width:100%; } #outlook a{ padding:0; } img{ -ms-interpolation-mode:bicubic; } table{ mso-table-lspace:0pt; mso-table-rspace:0pt; } .ReadMsgBody{ width:100%; } .ExternalClass{ width:100%; } p,a,li,td,blockquote{ mso-line-height-rule:exactly; } a[href^=tel],a[href^=sms]{ color:inherit; cursor:default; text-decoration:none; } p,a,li,td,body,table,blockquote{ -ms-text-size-adjust:100%; -webkit-text-size-adjust:100%; } .ExternalClass,.ExternalClass p,.ExternalClass td,.ExternalClass div,.ExternalClass span,.ExternalClass font{ line-height:100%; } a[x-apple-data-detectors]{ color:inherit !important; text-decoration:none !important; font-size:inherit !important; font-family:inherit !important; font-weight:inherit !important; line-height:inherit !important; } a.mcnButton{ display:block; } .mcnImage{ vertical-align:bottom; } .mcnTextContent{ word-break:break-word; } .mcnTextContent img{ height:auto !important; } .mcnDividerBlock{ table-layout:fixed !important; } body,#bodyTable,#templateFooter{ background-color:#cccccc; } #bodyCell{ border-top:0; } h1{ color:#000000 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:30px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h2{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:26px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h3{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:18px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h4{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:16px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } #templatePreheader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:left; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#CDD0D5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateHeader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:15px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateBody{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } #bodyBackground{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:18px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateColumns{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateFooter{ border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#cdd0d5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:right; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#cdd0d5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body,table,td,p,a,li,blockquote{ -webkit-text-size-adjust:none !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body{ width:100% !important; min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .templateContainer{ max-width:600px !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .columnsContainer{ display:block!important; max-width:600px !important; padding-bottom:18px !important; padding-left:0 !important; width:100%!important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImage{ height:auto !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCartContainer,.mcnCaptionTopContent,.mcnRecContentContainer,.mcnCaptionBottomContent,.mcnTextContentContainer,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer,.mcnImageGroupContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftImageContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightImageContentContainer,.mcnImageCardLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnImageCardRightTextContentContainer{ max-width:100% !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer{ min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupContent{ padding:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCaptionLeftContentOuter .mcnTextContent,.mcnCaptionRightContentOuter .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardTopImageContent,.mcnCaptionBlockInner .mcnCaptionTopContent:last-child .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardBottomImageContent{ padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockInner{ padding-top:0 !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockOuter{ padding-top:9px !important; padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentColumn{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardLeftImageContent,.mcnImageCardRightImageContent{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcpreview-image-uploader{ display:none !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h1{ font-size:24px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h2{ font-size:20px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h3{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h4{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ #templatePreheader{ display:block !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } Today's Daily Devotion from the United Reformed Church View this email in your browser St Mark 11:15-19 Then they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves, and he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple.

He was teaching and saying, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.”

And when the chief priests and the scribes heard it, they kept looking for a way to kill him; for they were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was spellbound by his teaching. And when evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city. Reflection Just imagine being in the Temple that day. Word had probably got around that Jesus and his followers were in Jerusalem and, maybe, on their way to the Temple. There would be growing excitement among many of those present and this would add to the atmosphere of frenzied activity as stallholders tried to attract customers.

As soon as Jesus arrived, the people were in for a shock. He seems to have marched straight in, angry and disappointed, and begun to overturn tables, forbidding any commercial item to be carried through the Temple. His anger was clear. Although it was not the first occasion Jesus had shown anger, most of the crowd would still have regarded him as a compassionate man with the ability to heal and teach in a special way. Many stories would have spread about his willingness to show love and compassion to all and to change lives forever in many cases.

Why was Jesus so different on this occasion? He was very clear about it. “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations.”

In this short sentence, Jesus emphasises what the primary function of the Temple is. He compares what is actually happening in the way of buying and selling to turning this most precious building into a den of robbers.

This indicates what the main purpose of any place of worship should be – it should be a source of prayer for all nations, first and foremost as part of the ongoing worship of God and the study and contemplation of his word. This is a timely reminder of what the church exists for. Sadly, too often prayer can become a peripheral activity. In worship, very often the majority of those present listen to the prayers. Active response is limited and often formal. The opportunities to meet as a prayer community are few.

A prayer group is such a precious meeting for those who value a quiet time praying together silently or aloud. In our time there are many necessary reasons for a church to carry out many activities as well as praying and worship just to keep going and develop itself as a warm and loving centre of a community. Those in a close fellowship, or maybe on the fringes, may need encouragement to keep talking to God in their hearts and, most importantly, listen to his word.

The Pharisees react badly to Jesus’ words and actions and plot to kill him. They seem to be thinking primarily about themselves and preserving their power and influence, as they see clearly how many in the crowd were spellbound by Jesus’ teaching. We can see that Jesus risks his life further by his strong emphasis on the importance of prayer.

How wonderful it would be if there was a new commitment during this time of Lent to ‘pray without ceasing’. It does not always have to be in a house of prayer but it is a reminder to give priority in any church to prayer. As we know, there is no need for words: times of silence, listening and communicating with God, heart to heart in love. As John Wesley said, “My silence speaketh unto thee.” As he continued, "may our hearts be lifted up to God at all times and in all places". Wesley walked with God continually, "having the loving eye all fixed upon him and everywhere seeing him that is invisible".

May God help each one of us toward that deep and lasting commitment to prayer so that we can truly feel that wherever we are is a house of prayer.   Prayer Loving Lord,
may our hearts be led to worship you through thankful prayers,
prayers of confession and prayers for others
safe in the knowledge that you always listen
and are always a loving presence in our lives, now and always.
Amen Today's Writer Hilary Jackson is an elder, lay preacher and member of Gatley URC in South Manchester now living in North Yorkshire. Bible Version   New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Bible: © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved Copyright © 2017 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.


  Want to change how you receive these emails? You can change to plain text (which some find easier to read) or have webpage like emails by clicking here.

  If you no longer wish to receive these emails please click here.

URC Daily Devotion 11th March

URC Devotions - Sat, 11/03/2017 - 06:00
96 URC Daily Devotion 11th March table.mcnFollowContent{width:100%;} table.mcnShareContent{width:100%;} td.columnsContainer{width:30%;} p{ margin:10px 0; padding:0; } table{ border-collapse:collapse; } h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6{ display:block; margin:0; padding:0; } img,a img{ border:0; height:auto; outline:none; text-decoration:none; } body,#bodyTable,#bodyCell{ height:100%; margin:0; padding:0; width:100%; } #outlook a{ padding:0; } img{ -ms-interpolation-mode:bicubic; } table{ mso-table-lspace:0pt; mso-table-rspace:0pt; } .ReadMsgBody{ width:100%; } .ExternalClass{ width:100%; } p,a,li,td,blockquote{ mso-line-height-rule:exactly; } a[href^=tel],a[href^=sms]{ color:inherit; cursor:default; text-decoration:none; } p,a,li,td,body,table,blockquote{ -ms-text-size-adjust:100%; -webkit-text-size-adjust:100%; } .ExternalClass,.ExternalClass p,.ExternalClass td,.ExternalClass div,.ExternalClass span,.ExternalClass font{ line-height:100%; } a[x-apple-data-detectors]{ color:inherit !important; text-decoration:none !important; font-size:inherit !important; font-family:inherit !important; font-weight:inherit !important; line-height:inherit !important; } a.mcnButton{ display:block; } .mcnImage{ vertical-align:bottom; } .mcnTextContent{ word-break:break-word; } .mcnTextContent img{ height:auto !important; } .mcnDividerBlock{ table-layout:fixed !important; } body,#bodyTable,#templateFooter{ background-color:#cccccc; } #bodyCell{ border-top:0; } h1{ color:#000000 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:30px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h2{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:26px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h3{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:18px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h4{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:16px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } #templatePreheader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:left; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#CDD0D5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateHeader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:15px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateBody{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } #bodyBackground{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:18px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateColumns{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateFooter{ border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#cdd0d5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:right; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#cdd0d5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body,table,td,p,a,li,blockquote{ -webkit-text-size-adjust:none !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body{ width:100% !important; min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .templateContainer{ max-width:600px !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .columnsContainer{ display:block!important; max-width:600px !important; padding-bottom:18px !important; padding-left:0 !important; width:100%!important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImage{ height:auto !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCartContainer,.mcnCaptionTopContent,.mcnRecContentContainer,.mcnCaptionBottomContent,.mcnTextContentContainer,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer,.mcnImageGroupContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftImageContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightImageContentContainer,.mcnImageCardLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnImageCardRightTextContentContainer{ max-width:100% !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer{ min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupContent{ padding:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCaptionLeftContentOuter .mcnTextContent,.mcnCaptionRightContentOuter .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardTopImageContent,.mcnCaptionBlockInner .mcnCaptionTopContent:last-child .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardBottomImageContent{ padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockInner{ padding-top:0 !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockOuter{ padding-top:9px !important; padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentColumn{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardLeftImageContent,.mcnImageCardRightImageContent{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcpreview-image-uploader{ display:none !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h1{ font-size:24px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h2{ font-size:20px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h3{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h4{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ #templatePreheader{ display:block !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } Today's Daily Devotion from the United Reformed Church View this email in your browser St Mark 11:1-11     When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples  and said to them, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it.  If anyone says to you, “Why are you doing this?” just say this, “The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.”’  They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, some of the bystanders said to them, ‘What are you doing, untying the colt?’  They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it.  Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it.  Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields.  Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting,

‘Hosanna!
   Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
    Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!’

Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.

  Reflection For a noted Rabbi drawing near to Jerusalem, an accompanying happy procession was not unknown. Small wonder then that when Jesus came into Jerusalem in this way, it was a cause of great joy; significant joy, recorded by Matthew, Luke and Mark in ways that are very similar. Mark’s account has all the ingredients the others have – the obtaining of an ass, the setting out from the Mount of Olives, a significant act in itself as it was along this route that the Messiah was to come, the cheering crowds throwing cloaks and branches in the pathway, and then – and then, in the other Synoptic Gospels, comes the cleansing of the Temple. There is no specific statement that this event followed immediately after the entry into Jerusalem, and the probability is that it followed the next day, but Mark is more specific and the ‘then’ is almost anticlimactic, perhaps the reason the other Gospel writers omitted to mention it: Jesus looked around at everything, going back to Bethany for the night.

Sounds a bit dull? Not for me; for me it makes absolute sense that Jesus would go to look about the Temple; the focus of pilgrimage, entering into the glory of the place, wondering at the structure, sharing in prayer, noting the good and noting the corrupt, then taking time to prayerfully reflect on it all that evening and night.  Although Mark says only ‘he’ I am sure that Jesus’ disciples would have been around; the remark that he went out to Bethany with them would seem to support this. The next day he would return, and then the confrontation would begin as he overturned the tables of the money-changers, but for now, following a joyful, worshipful time in procession, he and his disciples took time to relax together and wander about seeing the sights like any other young men up from the country; a companiable time made extra valuable for Jesus, I suspect, through his awareness of all that was to come.

Which makes me think, how much do I value time with friends – even just short times together? And how often do I take time to really look around and reflect on all I see, with others or alone? It’s no bad idea to try both, especially if the time ahead is going to be fraught. After all, if it was good enough for Jesus . . .   Prayer Loving God,
in this day, guide us by your Spirit
to have eyes, hearts and minds wide open
to the wonder of the holy places,
and the wonder of the city street and country path.
Help us cherish and pray for them, and all about us,
in Jesus’ name.   Amen Today's Writer The Rev'd Ruth Crofton is a retired minister and member of Waddington Street URC, Durham. Bible Version   New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Bible: © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved Copyright © 2017 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.


  Want to change how you receive these emails? You can change to plain text (which some find easier to read) or have webpage like emails by clicking here.

  If you no longer wish to receive these emails please click here.

URC Daily Devotion 10th March

URC Devotions - Fri, 10/03/2017 - 06:00
96 URC Daily Devotion 10th March table.mcnFollowContent{width:100%;} table.mcnShareContent{width:100%;} td.columnsContainer{width:30%;} p{ margin:10px 0; padding:0; } table{ border-collapse:collapse; } h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6{ display:block; margin:0; padding:0; } img,a img{ border:0; height:auto; outline:none; text-decoration:none; } body,#bodyTable,#bodyCell{ height:100%; margin:0; padding:0; width:100%; } #outlook a{ padding:0; } img{ -ms-interpolation-mode:bicubic; } table{ mso-table-lspace:0pt; mso-table-rspace:0pt; } .ReadMsgBody{ width:100%; } .ExternalClass{ width:100%; } p,a,li,td,blockquote{ mso-line-height-rule:exactly; } a[href^=tel],a[href^=sms]{ color:inherit; cursor:default; text-decoration:none; } p,a,li,td,body,table,blockquote{ -ms-text-size-adjust:100%; -webkit-text-size-adjust:100%; } .ExternalClass,.ExternalClass p,.ExternalClass td,.ExternalClass div,.ExternalClass span,.ExternalClass font{ line-height:100%; } a[x-apple-data-detectors]{ color:inherit !important; text-decoration:none !important; font-size:inherit !important; font-family:inherit !important; font-weight:inherit !important; line-height:inherit !important; } a.mcnButton{ display:block; } .mcnImage{ vertical-align:bottom; } .mcnTextContent{ word-break:break-word; } .mcnTextContent img{ height:auto !important; } .mcnDividerBlock{ table-layout:fixed !important; } body,#bodyTable,#templateFooter{ background-color:#cccccc; } #bodyCell{ border-top:0; } h1{ color:#000000 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:30px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h2{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:26px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h3{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:18px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h4{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:16px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } #templatePreheader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:left; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#CDD0D5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateHeader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:15px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateBody{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } #bodyBackground{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:18px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateColumns{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateFooter{ border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#cdd0d5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:right; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#cdd0d5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body,table,td,p,a,li,blockquote{ -webkit-text-size-adjust:none !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body{ width:100% !important; min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .templateContainer{ max-width:600px !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .columnsContainer{ display:block!important; max-width:600px !important; padding-bottom:18px !important; padding-left:0 !important; width:100%!important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImage{ height:auto !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCartContainer,.mcnCaptionTopContent,.mcnRecContentContainer,.mcnCaptionBottomContent,.mcnTextContentContainer,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer,.mcnImageGroupContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftImageContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightImageContentContainer,.mcnImageCardLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnImageCardRightTextContentContainer{ max-width:100% !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer{ min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupContent{ padding:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCaptionLeftContentOuter .mcnTextContent,.mcnCaptionRightContentOuter .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardTopImageContent,.mcnCaptionBlockInner .mcnCaptionTopContent:last-child .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardBottomImageContent{ padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockInner{ padding-top:0 !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockOuter{ padding-top:9px !important; padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentColumn{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardLeftImageContent,.mcnImageCardRightImageContent{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcpreview-image-uploader{ display:none !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h1{ font-size:24px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h2{ font-size:20px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h3{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h4{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ #templatePreheader{ display:block !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } Today's Daily Devotion from the United Reformed Church View this email in your browser St Mark 10:46-52 They came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside.  When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’  Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Jesus stood still and said, ‘Call him here.’ And they called the blind man, saying to him, ‘Take heart; get up, he is calling you.’  So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus.  Then Jesus said to him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ The blind man said to him, ‘My teacher, let me see again.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your faith has made you well.’ Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way. Reflection “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus has just asked the same thing of two of his signed-up followers – but they gave the wrong kind of answer.

Now he puts the same question to someone who seems unable ever to become a follower. All that Bartimaeus can do is to sit by the roadside, calling out hopefully but probably not too confidently, while life passes him by. The crowds who have been following Jesus out of the city tell the blind beggar to keep quiet: so far as they are concerned, Jesus is for people like them who can keep up.

But they quickly change their tune when Jesus hears, stops, and responds. One moment it’s “Keep quiet!” The next, it’s “Take heart!” It’s as if just to be in the presence of Jesus, just to walk alongside him, allows the emergence of human sympathy and compassion that being part of a crowd can so often drown out.

It’s as if the question “What do you want me to do for you?” is being put not just to the blind man at the side of the road, but also to the onlookers.  Not only are they wondering what his response is going to be, but also what kind of answer they would give. Bartimaeus it seems answers better than the sons of Zebedee – but then, for the physically blind, to ask for sight is a pretty obvious choice.

But for others around, what might they ask for? What might we ask for today? And can we envisage such a total change-around experience, that like Bartimaeus we too might leave everything behind and “follow him on the way”?   Prayer Lord Jesus
what we want for ourselves
and what we want for others
and what we want for this world in all its need
makes for an impossibly long prayer list.
Help us to recognise the one thing
that will change our life’s direction –
and grasping it as your gift
let us set out with you on the journey ahead.
Amen Today's Writer The Rev'd John Durell is a retired minister in the Northern Synod. Bible Version   New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Bible: © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved Copyright © 2017 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.


  Want to change how you receive these emails? You can change to plain text (which some find easier to read) or have webpage like emails by clicking here.

  If you no longer wish to receive these emails please click here.

URC Daily Devotion 9th March

URC Devotions - Thu, 09/03/2017 - 06:00
96 URC Daily Devotion 9th March table.mcnFollowContent{width:100%;} table.mcnShareContent{width:100%;} td.columnsContainer{width:30%;} p{ margin:10px 0; padding:0; } table{ border-collapse:collapse; } h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6{ display:block; margin:0; padding:0; } img,a img{ border:0; height:auto; outline:none; text-decoration:none; } body,#bodyTable,#bodyCell{ height:100%; margin:0; padding:0; width:100%; } #outlook a{ padding:0; } img{ -ms-interpolation-mode:bicubic; } table{ mso-table-lspace:0pt; mso-table-rspace:0pt; } .ReadMsgBody{ width:100%; } .ExternalClass{ width:100%; } p,a,li,td,blockquote{ mso-line-height-rule:exactly; } a[href^=tel],a[href^=sms]{ color:inherit; cursor:default; text-decoration:none; } p,a,li,td,body,table,blockquote{ -ms-text-size-adjust:100%; -webkit-text-size-adjust:100%; } .ExternalClass,.ExternalClass p,.ExternalClass td,.ExternalClass div,.ExternalClass span,.ExternalClass font{ line-height:100%; } a[x-apple-data-detectors]{ color:inherit !important; text-decoration:none !important; font-size:inherit !important; font-family:inherit !important; font-weight:inherit !important; line-height:inherit !important; } a.mcnButton{ display:block; } .mcnImage{ vertical-align:bottom; } .mcnTextContent{ word-break:break-word; } .mcnTextContent img{ height:auto !important; } .mcnDividerBlock{ table-layout:fixed !important; } body,#bodyTable,#templateFooter{ background-color:#cccccc; } #bodyCell{ border-top:0; } h1{ color:#000000 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:30px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h2{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:26px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h3{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:18px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h4{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:16px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } #templatePreheader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:left; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#CDD0D5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateHeader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:15px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateBody{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } #bodyBackground{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:18px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateColumns{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateFooter{ border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#cdd0d5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:right; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#cdd0d5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body,table,td,p,a,li,blockquote{ -webkit-text-size-adjust:none !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body{ width:100% !important; min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .templateContainer{ max-width:600px !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .columnsContainer{ display:block!important; max-width:600px !important; padding-bottom:18px !important; padding-left:0 !important; width:100%!important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImage{ height:auto !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCartContainer,.mcnCaptionTopContent,.mcnRecContentContainer,.mcnCaptionBottomContent,.mcnTextContentContainer,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer,.mcnImageGroupContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftImageContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightImageContentContainer,.mcnImageCardLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnImageCardRightTextContentContainer{ max-width:100% !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer{ min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupContent{ padding:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCaptionLeftContentOuter .mcnTextContent,.mcnCaptionRightContentOuter .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardTopImageContent,.mcnCaptionBlockInner .mcnCaptionTopContent:last-child .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardBottomImageContent{ padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockInner{ padding-top:0 !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockOuter{ padding-top:9px !important; padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentColumn{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardLeftImageContent,.mcnImageCardRightImageContent{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcpreview-image-uploader{ display:none !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h1{ font-size:24px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h2{ font-size:20px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h3{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h4{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ #templatePreheader{ display:block !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } Today's Daily Devotion from the United Reformed Church View this email in your browser St Mark 10: 35-45 James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to Jesus and said to him, ‘Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.’  And he said to them, ‘What is it you want me to do for you?’  And they said to him, ‘Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.’  But Jesus said to them, ‘You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?’   They replied, ‘We are able.’ Then Jesus said to them, ‘The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized;  but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.’

When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. So Jesus called them and said to them, ‘You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them.  But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all.  For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.’ Reflection Just a chapter earlier in Mark's Gospel the disciples had been arguing among themselves about who is the greatest among them (Mark 9:33). They don't really seem to have learned their lesson or come to understand the nature of servant-hood.

In this reading  James and John ask of Jesus to grant them a place on the right and the left when Jesus comes into his glory. Jesus does not think they really understand what they are asking. Can they drink the cup of suffering or be baptised with the baptism of death?. Clearly the brothers think they are able. However, it is not for Jesus to grant their wish, the place has been prepared by God the Father.

This is not the end of the story for the other brothers are angry with James and John. Jesus goes on to describe the nature of authority. Probably thinking of the Roman Emperor and those he grants authority to like the family of Herod and provincial governors Jesus points out that they lord it over the people and the great ones are tyrants. In Jesus' community those who become great are to be servants of others, the first must be a slave to all. Jesus came to serve and give his life as a ransom for many.

The leadership that Jesus describes is not the sort of leadership that many of us think of, where authority is exercised by a few over the many, but takes the form of service. The point is made in John’s Gospel in the upper room with Jesus taking a towel and a basin and washing twelve pairs of dirty feet. That was the same night before the way of servant-hood was displayed upon the cross.

The word ransom is a tricky word and it is easy to heap all sorts of interpretations upon it, some of which I suspect Mark will be unfamiliar with. It is probable that the meaning here is not about giving his life 'in place of' rather it is about Jesus giving his life 'on behalf of'. The task of being a servant is transformed to a task of bringing about liberty.

There is no point in asking who the ransom is paid to, the point is that Jesus gives his life as a ransom for many, he demonstrates the ultimate act of service to others by his final act of dying. Jesus dies as he lived giving himself away in love.   Prayer Gracious God,
in our world,
people seek authority in order to exercise power over others,
people seek authority in order to gain recognition for their abilities,
people seek authority in order to bring about change..

Jesus tells us that true greatness lies in service,
true greatness lies in love and concern for others.

Let us pray for those who exercise authority,
may they be granted wisdom,
and may we find our authority in you.
In our service may we bring liberation to others.
In the name of Christ.
Amen. Today's Writer The Rev'd David Whiting is the minister of the Sunderland & Boldon Partnership. Bible Version   New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Bible: © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved Copyright © 2017 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.


  Want to change how you receive these emails? You can change to plain text (which some find easier to read) or have webpage like emails by clicking here.

  If you no longer wish to receive these emails please click here.

URC Daily Devotion 8th March

URC Devotions - Wed, 08/03/2017 - 06:00
96 URC Daily Devotion 8th March table.mcnFollowContent{width:100%;} table.mcnShareContent{width:100%;} td.columnsContainer{width:30%;} p{ margin:10px 0; padding:0; } table{ border-collapse:collapse; } h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6{ display:block; margin:0; padding:0; } img,a img{ border:0; height:auto; outline:none; text-decoration:none; } body,#bodyTable,#bodyCell{ height:100%; margin:0; padding:0; width:100%; } #outlook a{ padding:0; } img{ -ms-interpolation-mode:bicubic; } table{ mso-table-lspace:0pt; mso-table-rspace:0pt; } .ReadMsgBody{ width:100%; } .ExternalClass{ width:100%; } p,a,li,td,blockquote{ mso-line-height-rule:exactly; } a[href^=tel],a[href^=sms]{ color:inherit; cursor:default; text-decoration:none; } p,a,li,td,body,table,blockquote{ -ms-text-size-adjust:100%; -webkit-text-size-adjust:100%; } .ExternalClass,.ExternalClass p,.ExternalClass td,.ExternalClass div,.ExternalClass span,.ExternalClass font{ line-height:100%; } a[x-apple-data-detectors]{ color:inherit !important; text-decoration:none !important; font-size:inherit !important; font-family:inherit !important; font-weight:inherit !important; line-height:inherit !important; } a.mcnButton{ display:block; } .mcnImage{ vertical-align:bottom; } .mcnTextContent{ word-break:break-word; } .mcnTextContent img{ height:auto !important; } .mcnDividerBlock{ table-layout:fixed !important; } body,#bodyTable,#templateFooter{ background-color:#cccccc; } #bodyCell{ border-top:0; } h1{ color:#000000 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:30px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h2{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:26px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h3{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:18px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h4{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:16px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } #templatePreheader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:left; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#CDD0D5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateHeader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:15px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateBody{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } #bodyBackground{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:18px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateColumns{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateFooter{ border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#cdd0d5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:right; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#cdd0d5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body,table,td,p,a,li,blockquote{ -webkit-text-size-adjust:none !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body{ width:100% !important; min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .templateContainer{ max-width:600px !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .columnsContainer{ display:block!important; max-width:600px !important; padding-bottom:18px !important; padding-left:0 !important; width:100%!important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImage{ height:auto !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCartContainer,.mcnCaptionTopContent,.mcnRecContentContainer,.mcnCaptionBottomContent,.mcnTextContentContainer,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer,.mcnImageGroupContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftImageContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightImageContentContainer,.mcnImageCardLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnImageCardRightTextContentContainer{ max-width:100% !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer{ min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupContent{ padding:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCaptionLeftContentOuter .mcnTextContent,.mcnCaptionRightContentOuter .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardTopImageContent,.mcnCaptionBlockInner .mcnCaptionTopContent:last-child .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardBottomImageContent{ padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockInner{ padding-top:0 !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockOuter{ padding-top:9px !important; padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentColumn{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardLeftImageContent,.mcnImageCardRightImageContent{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcpreview-image-uploader{ display:none !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h1{ font-size:24px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h2{ font-size:20px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h3{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h4{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ #templatePreheader{ display:block !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } Today's Daily Devotion from the United Reformed Church View this email in your browser St Mark 10:32-34 Back on the road, they set out for Jerusalem. Jesus had a head start on them, and they were following, puzzled and not just a little afraid. He took the Twelve and began again to go over what to expect next. “Listen to me carefully. We’re on our way up to Jerusalem. When we get there, the Son of Man will be betrayed to the religious leaders and scholars. They will sentence him to death. Then they will hand him over to the Romans, who will mock and spit on him, give him the third degree, and kill him. After three days he will rise alive.” Reflection I’m not known for my bravery. Come to think of it; I’m not known for much – but definitely not bravery. When it comes to ‘fight or flight’ I have to confess that flight wins out every time. And it’s not just physical conflict that scares me. I am scared of all sorts of confrontations – I find it much easier to back down and just concur, even if the subject is something I definitely don’t agree with, just to avoid confrontation or risk hurting someone’s feelings.

Of course, if there’s a crowd of us I’m a little bit braver. I’ll happily join in with any number of football chants ridiculing the opposition players, opposition fans and the referee if I’m just one voice in 45,000. It’s easier to hide in a crowd, isn’t it? Maybe I should join a choir…

And that is why I am so in awe of those people who DO stand up for what they believe in at the risk of ridicule, verbal and even physical violence. At the time of writing ex-footballer Gary Lineker is getting some serious stick on social media (and certain sections of the press) for daring to voice an opinion about refugees. Those who campaigned for justice after the Hillsborough disaster in 1989 stood up for what they believed despite nearly 30 years of abuse and ridicule. Rosa Parks stood up (or, rather, sat down) for what she believed in when it came to segregated transport in the United States. Martin Luther took a stand against what he saw as the failures of the Catholic Church. And there are many other examples throughout history. People who didn’t run away when faced with conflict because they believed that what they were doing was right.

And then we have today’s reading. Jesus leaves his disciples in no doubt about what is going to happen. The mocking, the spitting, the flogging and, ultimately, the death. Or, rather, not ultimately – ultimately a resurrection. And it is this knowledge, this hope, that gives braver people than I the strength to stand up for what they believe in in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds. I stand in awe of people like these, I cheer them on from the sidelines. But, coward that I am, I rarely stand in solidarity with them. I wish I could be more like Jesus.
  Prayer Loving God,
when we see injustice,
when we become aware of situations that can be changed for the better if only action was taken,
give us just one iota of the strength of your son,
Jesus Christ.
Let us, your Church,
be at the front of the fight for right –
and give us the courage not to back down
when the odds seem to be overwhelmingly against us. Amen. Today's Writer Leo Roberts is the Children and Young People's Development Officer for the North Western Synod. Bible Version   Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group Copyright © 2017 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.


  Want to change how you receive these emails? You can change to plain text (which some find easier to read) or have webpage like emails by clicking here.

  If you no longer wish to receive these emails please click here.

URC Daily Devotion 7th March

URC Devotions - Tue, 07/03/2017 - 06:00
96 URC Daily Devotion 7th March table.mcnFollowContent{width:100%;} table.mcnShareContent{width:100%;} td.columnsContainer{width:30%;} p{ margin:10px 0; padding:0; } table{ border-collapse:collapse; } h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6{ display:block; margin:0; padding:0; } img,a img{ border:0; height:auto; outline:none; text-decoration:none; } body,#bodyTable,#bodyCell{ height:100%; margin:0; padding:0; width:100%; } #outlook a{ padding:0; } img{ -ms-interpolation-mode:bicubic; } table{ mso-table-lspace:0pt; mso-table-rspace:0pt; } .ReadMsgBody{ width:100%; } .ExternalClass{ width:100%; } p,a,li,td,blockquote{ mso-line-height-rule:exactly; } a[href^=tel],a[href^=sms]{ color:inherit; cursor:default; text-decoration:none; } p,a,li,td,body,table,blockquote{ -ms-text-size-adjust:100%; -webkit-text-size-adjust:100%; } .ExternalClass,.ExternalClass p,.ExternalClass td,.ExternalClass div,.ExternalClass span,.ExternalClass font{ line-height:100%; } a[x-apple-data-detectors]{ color:inherit !important; text-decoration:none !important; font-size:inherit !important; font-family:inherit !important; font-weight:inherit !important; line-height:inherit !important; } a.mcnButton{ display:block; } .mcnImage{ vertical-align:bottom; } .mcnTextContent{ word-break:break-word; } .mcnTextContent img{ height:auto !important; } .mcnDividerBlock{ table-layout:fixed !important; } body,#bodyTable,#templateFooter{ background-color:#cccccc; } #bodyCell{ border-top:0; } h1{ color:#000000 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:30px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h2{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:26px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h3{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:18px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h4{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:16px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } #templatePreheader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:left; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#CDD0D5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateHeader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:15px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateBody{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } #bodyBackground{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:18px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateColumns{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateFooter{ border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#cdd0d5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:right; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#cdd0d5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body,table,td,p,a,li,blockquote{ -webkit-text-size-adjust:none !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body{ width:100% !important; min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .templateContainer{ max-width:600px !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .columnsContainer{ display:block!important; max-width:600px !important; padding-bottom:18px !important; padding-left:0 !important; width:100%!important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImage{ height:auto !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCartContainer,.mcnCaptionTopContent,.mcnRecContentContainer,.mcnCaptionBottomContent,.mcnTextContentContainer,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer,.mcnImageGroupContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftImageContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightImageContentContainer,.mcnImageCardLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnImageCardRightTextContentContainer{ max-width:100% !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer{ min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupContent{ padding:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCaptionLeftContentOuter .mcnTextContent,.mcnCaptionRightContentOuter .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardTopImageContent,.mcnCaptionBlockInner .mcnCaptionTopContent:last-child .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardBottomImageContent{ padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockInner{ padding-top:0 !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockOuter{ padding-top:9px !important; padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentColumn{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardLeftImageContent,.mcnImageCardRightImageContent{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcpreview-image-uploader{ display:none !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h1{ font-size:24px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h2{ font-size:20px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h3{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h4{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ #templatePreheader{ display:block !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } Today's Daily Devotion from the United Reformed Church View this email in your browser St Mark 10: 10:17-31 As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: “You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honour your father and mother.”’ He said to him, ‘Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.’ Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, ‘You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.

Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!’ And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, ‘Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.’ They were greatly astounded and said to one another, ‘Then who can be saved?’ Jesus looked at them and said, ‘For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.’

Peter began to say to him, ‘Look, we have left everything and followed you.’ Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.’

As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: “You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honour your father and mother.”’ He said to him, ‘Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.’ Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, ‘You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.

Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!’ And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, ‘Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.’ They were greatly astounded and said to one another, ‘Then who can be saved?’ Jesus looked at them and said, ‘For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.’

Peter began to say to him, ‘Look, we have left everything and followed you.’ Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.’   Reflection This is a passage which is, and should be, deeply troubling for us. A man asks a question of Jesus and gets an answer which dismays him. To follow Jesus, to even become a follower, do I really need to sell everything that I possess? Does that include my flat, my car, my bicycles, my record player, my books, even the laptop that I'm writing this reflection on? That's not going to be easy for me. And, while we might think that we aren't rich so it doesn't apply to us, in a world where around hundreds of millions of people live in extreme poverty anyone who has enough food to eat and solid shelter over their heads is rich.

But perhaps the problem is that the rich man asks the wrong question. He doesn't ask how he can follow God more closely, or how he can build and promote justice. Instead, he asks what he needs to do to inherit eternal life. He essentially asks how he can be perfect, and so he gets an impossible answer. This discourages him enough that he doesn't stay around to hear the next part of Jesus' teaching – for a rich person to enter the Kingdom might be very, very difficult, but for God all things are possible. Giving away all our possessions is not an entrance test to become a disciple. However, that doesn't mean that this passage doesn't challenge us to think seriously about our own privilege and wealth, and there is nothing in it to suggest that wealth is anything other than a burden to overcome. But if we want to help others using what we have, we shouldn't do so with the expectation of a reward, either now or in the future.   Prayer Gracious and all loving God,
source of all our blessings,
we pray for people who do not have material wealth,
who struggle to feed themselves and their families.
We ask that you will help us to consider
what we can do with the possessions and power we hold
to build justice in place of injustice,
plenty in place of poverty,
and to distribute the world's resources more fairly. Today's Writer Nick Jones is an ordinand at Westminster College and a member of Bramhall URC in Stockport. Bible Version   New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Bible: © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved Copyright © 2017 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.


  Want to change how you receive these emails? You can change to plain text (which some find easier to read) or have webpage like emails by clicking here.

  If you no longer wish to receive these emails please click here.

URC Daily Devotion 6th March

URC Devotions - Mon, 06/03/2017 - 06:00
96 URC Daily Devotion 6th March table.mcnFollowContent{width:100%;} table.mcnShareContent{width:100%;} td.columnsContainer{width:30%;} p{ margin:10px 0; padding:0; } table{ border-collapse:collapse; } h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6{ display:block; margin:0; padding:0; } img,a img{ border:0; height:auto; outline:none; text-decoration:none; } body,#bodyTable,#bodyCell{ height:100%; margin:0; padding:0; width:100%; } #outlook a{ padding:0; } img{ -ms-interpolation-mode:bicubic; } table{ mso-table-lspace:0pt; mso-table-rspace:0pt; } .ReadMsgBody{ width:100%; } .ExternalClass{ width:100%; } p,a,li,td,blockquote{ mso-line-height-rule:exactly; } a[href^=tel],a[href^=sms]{ color:inherit; cursor:default; text-decoration:none; } p,a,li,td,body,table,blockquote{ -ms-text-size-adjust:100%; -webkit-text-size-adjust:100%; } .ExternalClass,.ExternalClass p,.ExternalClass td,.ExternalClass div,.ExternalClass span,.ExternalClass font{ line-height:100%; } a[x-apple-data-detectors]{ color:inherit !important; text-decoration:none !important; font-size:inherit !important; font-family:inherit !important; font-weight:inherit !important; line-height:inherit !important; } a.mcnButton{ display:block; } .mcnImage{ vertical-align:bottom; } .mcnTextContent{ word-break:break-word; } .mcnTextContent img{ height:auto !important; } .mcnDividerBlock{ table-layout:fixed !important; } body,#bodyTable,#templateFooter{ background-color:#cccccc; } #bodyCell{ border-top:0; } h1{ color:#000000 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:30px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h2{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:26px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h3{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:18px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h4{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:16px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } #templatePreheader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:left; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#CDD0D5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateHeader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:15px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateBody{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } #bodyBackground{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:18px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateColumns{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateFooter{ border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#cdd0d5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:right; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#cdd0d5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body,table,td,p,a,li,blockquote{ -webkit-text-size-adjust:none !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body{ width:100% !important; min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .templateContainer{ max-width:600px !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .columnsContainer{ display:block!important; max-width:600px !important; padding-bottom:18px !important; padding-left:0 !important; width:100%!important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImage{ height:auto !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCartContainer,.mcnCaptionTopContent,.mcnRecContentContainer,.mcnCaptionBottomContent,.mcnTextContentContainer,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer,.mcnImageGroupContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftImageContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightImageContentContainer,.mcnImageCardLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnImageCardRightTextContentContainer{ max-width:100% !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer{ min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupContent{ padding:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCaptionLeftContentOuter .mcnTextContent,.mcnCaptionRightContentOuter .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardTopImageContent,.mcnCaptionBlockInner .mcnCaptionTopContent:last-child .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardBottomImageContent{ padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockInner{ padding-top:0 !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockOuter{ padding-top:9px !important; padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentColumn{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardLeftImageContent,.mcnImageCardRightImageContent{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcpreview-image-uploader{ display:none !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h1{ font-size:24px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h2{ font-size:20px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h3{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h4{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ #templatePreheader{ display:block !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } Today's Daily Devotion from the United Reformed Church View this email in your browser St Mark 10:13-16 People were bringing little children to Jesus in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them.  But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.’ And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them. Reflection This reading resonates with me for several reasons; firstly because as the age old saying goes “we are all children of God”; the second reason is because I still don’t consider myself to be an adult; and thirdly because I was a children’s and youth worker before I trained as a CRCW.

I am passionate about the inclusion of children and young people at the heart of church; whether that be in Communion; decision making regarding how we live out our faith in terms of social justice, social action and equity for all; or recognising that children and young people are part of the Church today and not only the Church of tomorrow. Children and young people enable us to see things differently. They ask the questions many adults won’t ask because of fear.

Jesus in this passage reminds us that we don’t have to pretend to know all the answers, have the deepest faith or be too serious. Children have eyes of wonder that reflect the awesomeness of God. They have an innate spirituality. Jesus calls us all to reconnect with our inner child, to come to Him humbly, with joy, excitement and anticipation in our hearts and minds.

So be childlike, knowing that God has seen us all of our lives, has walked with us and before us and in times of great pain and tiredness has carried us as a parent or guardian carries a sleeping child. Revel in the freedom of knowing that God calls to your inner child to join Him on the journey and embrace him fully.   Prayer Loving God,
We are your children on this earth,
We make mistakes as children do,
We laugh as children do and we cry as children do.
Your love is as unconditional and as deep as that of a parent.
We pray that you will keep us close to you as a mother does a newborn, guiding our feet along the journey of life. Amen. Today's Writer Kirsty-Ann Mabbott is a Church Related Community Worker serving in Bettws URC/St David’s Church in Wales in Newport, South Wales. Bible Version   New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Bible: © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved Copyright © 2017 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.


  Want to change how you receive these emails? You can change to plain text (which some find easier to read) or have webpage like emails by clicking here.

  If you no longer wish to receive these emails please click here.

URC Daily Devotion 5th March, First Sunday of Lent

URC Devotions - Sun, 05/03/2017 - 06:00
96 URC Daily Devotion 5th March, First Sunday of Lent table.mcnFollowContent{width:100%;} table.mcnShareContent{width:100%;} td.columnsContainer{width:30%;} p{ margin:10px 0; padding:0; } table{ border-collapse:collapse; } h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6{ display:block; margin:0; padding:0; } img,a img{ border:0; height:auto; outline:none; text-decoration:none; } body,#bodyTable,#bodyCell{ height:100%; margin:0; padding:0; width:100%; } #outlook a{ padding:0; } img{ -ms-interpolation-mode:bicubic; } table{ mso-table-lspace:0pt; mso-table-rspace:0pt; } .ReadMsgBody{ width:100%; } .ExternalClass{ width:100%; } p,a,li,td,blockquote{ mso-line-height-rule:exactly; } a[href^=tel],a[href^=sms]{ color:inherit; cursor:default; text-decoration:none; } p,a,li,td,body,table,blockquote{ -ms-text-size-adjust:100%; -webkit-text-size-adjust:100%; } .ExternalClass,.ExternalClass p,.ExternalClass td,.ExternalClass div,.ExternalClass span,.ExternalClass font{ line-height:100%; } a[x-apple-data-detectors]{ color:inherit !important; text-decoration:none !important; font-size:inherit !important; font-family:inherit !important; font-weight:inherit !important; line-height:inherit !important; } a.mcnButton{ display:block; } .mcnImage{ vertical-align:bottom; } .mcnTextContent{ word-break:break-word; } .mcnTextContent img{ height:auto !important; } .mcnDividerBlock{ table-layout:fixed !important; } body,#bodyTable,#templateFooter{ background-color:#cccccc; } #bodyCell{ border-top:0; } h1{ color:#000000 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:30px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h2{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:26px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h3{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:18px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h4{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:16px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } #templatePreheader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:left; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#CDD0D5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateHeader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:15px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateBody{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } #bodyBackground{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:18px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateColumns{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateFooter{ border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#cdd0d5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:right; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#cdd0d5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body,table,td,p,a,li,blockquote{ -webkit-text-size-adjust:none !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body{ width:100% !important; min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .templateContainer{ max-width:600px !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .columnsContainer{ display:block!important; max-width:600px !important; padding-bottom:18px !important; padding-left:0 !important; width:100%!important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImage{ height:auto !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCartContainer,.mcnCaptionTopContent,.mcnRecContentContainer,.mcnCaptionBottomContent,.mcnTextContentContainer,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer,.mcnImageGroupContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftImageContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightImageContentContainer,.mcnImageCardLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnImageCardRightTextContentContainer{ max-width:100% !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer{ min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupContent{ padding:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCaptionLeftContentOuter .mcnTextContent,.mcnCaptionRightContentOuter .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardTopImageContent,.mcnCaptionBlockInner .mcnCaptionTopContent:last-child .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardBottomImageContent{ padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockInner{ padding-top:0 !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockOuter{ padding-top:9px !important; padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentColumn{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardLeftImageContent,.mcnImageCardRightImageContent{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcpreview-image-uploader{ display:none !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h1{ font-size:24px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h2{ font-size:20px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h3{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h4{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ #templatePreheader{ display:block !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } Today's Daily Devotion from the United Reformed Church View this email in your browser St Mark  10:1-12 Jesus left that place and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan. And crowds again gathered around him; and, as was his custom, he again taught them.  Some Pharisees came, and to test him they asked, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?’

He answered them, ‘What did Moses command you?’  They said, ‘Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.’  But Jesus said to them, ‘Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you.  But from the beginning of creation, “God made them male and female.”   “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,  and the two shall become one flesh.” So they are no longer two, but one flesh.  Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.’

Then in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter.  He said to them, ‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her;  and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.’ Reflection This text has been used over the years to judge and condemn people. This would have been far from the purpose of the text when reported and then written (in fact in this text Jesus places equal value on men and women in relation to divorce, a radical teaching at that time). Jesus responds to the Pharisees’ question (that is posed to test him and show that he was moving from the ‘accepted’ teachings of the Jewish authorities). He responds in the context and society in which he lived and gives an ideal. He takes the words of Scripture and makes their interpretation beyond anything the Pharisees would have expected and so foils their attempts to catch him out.

This ideal is one of many things that Jesus teaches. Humankind committing to live faithfully together in marriage. There are ideals that apply to every area of our lives. Jesus teaches these for us to aim towards, knowing full well that humanity will fall short, will mess up and will fail to meet these ideals. And it is precisely because of this that Jesus so clearly speaks of God’s unconditional love and grace and mercy that is open to all of humankind despite our shortcomings.

And it is that love and grace and mercy we should be living and sharing, not the judgement and condemnation. We will mess up, but what Jesus calls us to is to do our best, to find hope in the darkness and to live the love of God with those alongside whom we journey, each and every day.   Prayer God of love, you have given us Scripture and words and teachings that challenge and confuse. You have given us Jesus to bring understanding and enlightenment our way. So often we take these words and teachings and use them to hurt and harm and judge and demean. Help us to shift our focus on to being affirming and building up others rather than being the ones to condemn. In love there is a greater hope and it is this hope that humanity needs. We know we will fall short, mess up and fail, but we hold onto your promise brought in Jesus that even when that happens, we are loved. Help us to know this and to share this more fully- with those we know and love and those we struggle to love. Amen. Today's Writer The Rev'd Jenny Mills is the minister of Newport Pagnell URC & West End United Church, Wolverton. Bible Version   New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Bible: © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved Copyright © 2017 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.


  Want to change how you receive these emails? You can change to plain text (which some find easier to read) or have webpage like emails by clicking here.

  If you no longer wish to receive these emails please click here.

URC Daily Devotion 4th March

URC Devotions - Sat, 04/03/2017 - 06:00
96 URC Daily Devotion 4th March table.mcnFollowContent{width:100%;} table.mcnShareContent{width:100%;} td.columnsContainer{width:30%;} p{ margin:10px 0; padding:0; } table{ border-collapse:collapse; } h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6{ display:block; margin:0; padding:0; } img,a img{ border:0; height:auto; outline:none; text-decoration:none; } body,#bodyTable,#bodyCell{ height:100%; margin:0; padding:0; width:100%; } #outlook a{ padding:0; } img{ -ms-interpolation-mode:bicubic; } table{ mso-table-lspace:0pt; mso-table-rspace:0pt; } .ReadMsgBody{ width:100%; } .ExternalClass{ width:100%; } p,a,li,td,blockquote{ mso-line-height-rule:exactly; } a[href^=tel],a[href^=sms]{ color:inherit; cursor:default; text-decoration:none; } p,a,li,td,body,table,blockquote{ -ms-text-size-adjust:100%; -webkit-text-size-adjust:100%; } .ExternalClass,.ExternalClass p,.ExternalClass td,.ExternalClass div,.ExternalClass span,.ExternalClass font{ line-height:100%; } a[x-apple-data-detectors]{ color:inherit !important; text-decoration:none !important; font-size:inherit !important; font-family:inherit !important; font-weight:inherit !important; line-height:inherit !important; } a.mcnButton{ display:block; } .mcnImage{ vertical-align:bottom; } .mcnTextContent{ word-break:break-word; } .mcnTextContent img{ height:auto !important; } .mcnDividerBlock{ table-layout:fixed !important; } body,#bodyTable,#templateFooter{ background-color:#cccccc; } #bodyCell{ border-top:0; } h1{ color:#000000 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:30px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h2{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:26px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h3{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:18px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h4{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:16px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } #templatePreheader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:left; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#CDD0D5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateHeader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:15px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateBody{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } #bodyBackground{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:18px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateColumns{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateFooter{ border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#cdd0d5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:right; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#cdd0d5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body,table,td,p,a,li,blockquote{ -webkit-text-size-adjust:none !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body{ width:100% !important; min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .templateContainer{ max-width:600px !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .columnsContainer{ display:block!important; max-width:600px !important; padding-bottom:18px !important; padding-left:0 !important; width:100%!important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImage{ height:auto !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCartContainer,.mcnCaptionTopContent,.mcnRecContentContainer,.mcnCaptionBottomContent,.mcnTextContentContainer,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer,.mcnImageGroupContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftImageContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightImageContentContainer,.mcnImageCardLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnImageCardRightTextContentContainer{ max-width:100% !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer{ min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupContent{ padding:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCaptionLeftContentOuter .mcnTextContent,.mcnCaptionRightContentOuter .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardTopImageContent,.mcnCaptionBlockInner .mcnCaptionTopContent:last-child .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardBottomImageContent{ padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockInner{ padding-top:0 !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockOuter{ padding-top:9px !important; padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentColumn{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardLeftImageContent,.mcnImageCardRightImageContent{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcpreview-image-uploader{ display:none !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h1{ font-size:24px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h2{ font-size:20px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h3{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h4{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ #templatePreheader{ display:block !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } Today's Daily Devotion from the United Reformed Church View this email in your browser St Mark 9:38-50  John said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.’   But Jesus said, ‘Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterwards to speak evil of me.   Whoever is not against us is for us.    For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.
  ‘‘If any of you put a stumbling-block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea.   If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire.  And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell.   And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell,  where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.
  ‘For everyone will be salted with fire.  Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.’ Reflection “Birds of a feather flock together,” “Like goes with like” – sayings which tell it like it is for human beings. Whether in terms of age, race or social background we can find it easier and more comfortable to be with people like us. This is, surely, one of the Church’s greatest dangers as it so easily leads to an often unconscious exclusivism – and for some parts of the Christian family to a very deliberate exclusivism and unwillingness to associate with those who differ in their understanding and expression of their faith in Jesus.

How very different was the response of Jesus to John’s wish to stop someone, not part of the group of disciples, using the name and power of Jesus to help and heal. The phrase, “Whoever is not against us is for us” was not original to Jesus but he used it because it so clearly reflected his approach: I find it interesting to learn that an ancient papyrus text goes on, “The one who is far off today will be close tomorrow.”

Surely Jesus was telling the disciples, and us, not to look for labels – look for actions. When we see mercy, compassion, faith, should we not rejoice, as Jesus rejoiced? We recall, from Matthew’s Gospel that in speaking of a Roman centurion Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith” (Matt 8 10).

How readily does this reflect our attitudes? We may mean it when we say and sing, “All are welcome in this place,” but would all, yes all, feel welcomed? And on what terms would our welcome be given? How easily we build thorn hedges, even walls, to keep separate and distinguish our group from others – “like goes with like” and we consolidate our position by appeals to tradition, personal preference even attempts to cite apostolic authority.

The words of Jesus are a rebuke to any arrogant assumption that God only works in ways with which we are familiar and which we approve. To quote H E Luccock, “If one tenth of the time Christians have devoted to building fences had gone into building roads as a highway for God, the world would be a far better place today.”   Prayer Lord Jesus Christ, forgive the ease with which we can discriminate against those who differ from us, and forgive our failure to recognise when we do so.
    
Thank you that you welcome us even though you know us as we truly are – so guide us to accept others who seek to make our world into your world. Amen. Today's Writer The Rev'd Julian Macro is a retired minister and membrer of Verwood URC in Dorset. Bible Version   New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Bible: © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved Copyright © 2017 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.


  Want to change how you receive these emails? You can change to plain text (which some find easier to read) or have webpage like emails by clicking here.

  If you no longer wish to receive these emails please click here.

URD Daily Devotion 3rd March

URC Devotions - Fri, 03/03/2017 - 06:00
96 URD Daily Devotion 3rd March table.mcnFollowContent{width:100%;} table.mcnShareContent{width:100%;} td.columnsContainer{width:30%;} p{ margin:10px 0; padding:0; } table{ border-collapse:collapse; } h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6{ display:block; margin:0; padding:0; } img,a img{ border:0; height:auto; outline:none; text-decoration:none; } body,#bodyTable,#bodyCell{ height:100%; margin:0; padding:0; width:100%; } #outlook a{ padding:0; } img{ -ms-interpolation-mode:bicubic; } table{ mso-table-lspace:0pt; mso-table-rspace:0pt; } .ReadMsgBody{ width:100%; } .ExternalClass{ width:100%; } p,a,li,td,blockquote{ mso-line-height-rule:exactly; } a[href^=tel],a[href^=sms]{ color:inherit; cursor:default; text-decoration:none; } p,a,li,td,body,table,blockquote{ -ms-text-size-adjust:100%; -webkit-text-size-adjust:100%; } .ExternalClass,.ExternalClass p,.ExternalClass td,.ExternalClass div,.ExternalClass span,.ExternalClass font{ line-height:100%; } a[x-apple-data-detectors]{ color:inherit !important; text-decoration:none !important; font-size:inherit !important; font-family:inherit !important; font-weight:inherit !important; line-height:inherit !important; } a.mcnButton{ display:block; } .mcnImage{ vertical-align:bottom; } .mcnTextContent{ word-break:break-word; } .mcnTextContent img{ height:auto !important; } .mcnDividerBlock{ table-layout:fixed !important; } body,#bodyTable,#templateFooter{ background-color:#cccccc; } #bodyCell{ border-top:0; } h1{ color:#000000 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:30px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h2{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:26px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h3{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:18px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } h4{ color:#CDD0D5 !important; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:16px; font-style:normal; font-weight:bold; line-height:125%; letter-spacing:normal; text-align:left; } #templatePreheader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:left; } .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#CDD0D5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateHeader{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:15px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .headerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateBody{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } #bodyBackground{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:18px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateColumns{ background-color:#cccccc; border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#000000; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#CDD0D5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:14px; line-height:150%; text-align:left; } .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#C6D137; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } #templateFooter{ border-top:0; border-bottom:0; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ color:#cdd0d5; font-family:Georgia; font-size:11px; line-height:125%; text-align:right; } .footerContainer .mcnTextContent a{ color:#cdd0d5; font-weight:normal; text-decoration:underline; } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body,table,td,p,a,li,blockquote{ -webkit-text-size-adjust:none !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ body{ width:100% !important; min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .templateContainer{ max-width:600px !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .columnsContainer{ display:block!important; max-width:600px !important; padding-bottom:18px !important; padding-left:0 !important; width:100%!important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImage{ height:auto !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCartContainer,.mcnCaptionTopContent,.mcnRecContentContainer,.mcnCaptionBottomContent,.mcnTextContentContainer,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer,.mcnImageGroupContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightTextContentContainer,.mcnCaptionLeftImageContentContainer,.mcnCaptionRightImageContentContainer,.mcnImageCardLeftTextContentContainer,.mcnImageCardRightTextContentContainer{ max-width:100% !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer{ min-width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupContent{ padding:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnCaptionLeftContentOuter .mcnTextContent,.mcnCaptionRightContentOuter .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardTopImageContent,.mcnCaptionBlockInner .mcnCaptionTopContent:last-child .mcnTextContent{ padding-top:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardBottomImageContent{ padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockInner{ padding-top:0 !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageGroupBlockOuter{ padding-top:9px !important; padding-bottom:9px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentColumn{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnImageCardLeftImageContent,.mcnImageCardRightImageContent{ padding-right:18px !important; padding-bottom:0 !important; padding-left:18px !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcpreview-image-uploader{ display:none !important; width:100% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h1{ font-size:24px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h2{ font-size:20px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h3{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ h4{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent,.mcnBoxedTextContentContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ #templatePreheader{ display:block !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent,.preheaderContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.leftColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.centerColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent,.rightColumnContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:18px !important; line-height:125% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:115% !important; } } Today's Daily Devotion from the United Reformed Church View this email in your browser St Mark 9:30-37  They went on from there and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, ‘The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.’  But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.

Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the way?’  But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, ‘Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.’  Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’ Reflection The passage begins with the second of three predictions of his passion made by Jesus in Mark's Gospel. Jesus speaks of his betrayal and his death. Then three days after he is killed he will rise again. Jesus is teaching his disciples but they simply don't understand and are afraid to ask him what he means.

What happens next simply underlines the disciples lack of understanding for on the journey to Capernaum they had been arguing among themselves about which one of them was the greatest. The silence that answers Jesus' question shows that they know they are at fault. Nevertheless Jesus seems to know what they have been talking about for he speaks to them about the nature of true greatness, that 'whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all'. Jesus goes on to illustrate his point by placing a child in their midst. What Jesus does has been described by some as an acted parable for apparently the Aramaic word for 'child' is identical to the Aramaic word for 'servant'.  Whether this assumption is correct or not the disciples have been arguing about who is the greatest, perhaps they should be more concerned about those who are the weakest and most vulnerable in the community.

In churches today we may not exactly argue about who is the greatest, but in many churches there is still the jockeying for position. Church members are just as likely as anyone else to see their offices and posts as status symbols and power bases. Almost instinctively we build a hierarchy to slot everyone including ourselves into. Unless we are particularly self-possessed we feel rejected if we think that we have been overlooked. A monarchical power image is often more congenial to us than the image of the servant who suffers for us.   Prayer Loving God,
we hear Jesus' words about his suffering and death,
living this side of the cross and resurrection we understand what his words mean.
He was one with God yet became one of us.
He was declared as Lord, yet his lordship was exercised in service.

May we not seek positions over others,
but rather let us serve.
May we not be proud people,
but rather let us show humility.

May we give of ourselves
to the troubled,
to those on the edge,
to the vulnerable.
In the name of the suffering servant.
Amen. Today's Writer The Rev'd Dr David Whiting is minister of the Sunderland and Boldon URC Partnership. Bible Version   New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Bible: © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved Copyright © 2017 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.


  Want to change how you receive these emails? You can change to plain text (which some find easier to read) or have webpage like emails by clicking here.

  If you no longer wish to receive these emails please click here.

Pages

Subscribe to East Midlands Synod aggregator