Thursday, 26 March 2015

So What do you Do all day?

This is one of those 'funny' comments that grace my life every so often and I guess that, not being in any way unique (whilst being unique in every way!), others in the clergy are blessed with the same comments too!

It's an odd thing but when this particular cleric steps into the dressing up shop and become 'Rev Ben' rather than 'Mr Ben'. Of course I'm assuming you know who Mr Ben is - in case you don't, let me set you straight. Mr Ben was a great cartoon character from the seventies who would visit a 'dressing up' shop where he would 'dress up' and have great adventures - these days I have come to realise that it called 'ordination'!

Today has been pretty much extraordinary in the way that it has been so amazingly ordinary and yet, as is almost always the case, so extremely special.

By the close of play today this day will have seen me engaged in:

+ a communion service where we ran out of seats and just kept adding them.

+ an opportunity to meet with lots of really lovely people and just enjoying spending time with them listening to their stories, laughing at their jokes and getting involved with them and being 'real'.

+ taking communion out to people who are no longer able to come in to the church building and be 'Church' - so 'Church' comes to them and the relationship with Jesus, the Christ, the lone(ly) Christian and the Lord (through the Eucharist) is once again celebrated and made incarnate!

+ helping people make sense of the loss of a loved one and help them to plan one last opportunity for them and their loved one to physically be in the same place.

+ being the voice of reason and reconciliation as broken people, and relationship, are brought back into one and healing, forgiveness and love gently collide.

+ being the Christian presence as members of a uniformed youth organisation parade and spend time together as cadets.

+ planning the funeral of a young person whose loss is painful and unfair for all who are involved and confusing for those who assumed that 'three score and ten' were the norm'. Death of a young person, especially when this natural act is down to natural causes, brings a sadness all of its own and raises many questions where God, and the person representing Him, need to 'man up' and take the questions on the chin without evasion or flinching.

Add to this the usual round of emails, telephone calls and the like and you get to realise that what your average Vicar does requires anything but an average response. Mix in a little paperwork (and there's always paperwork to be done) and the picture is complete.

So a request for those who have a Vicar, Pastor, Leader, Whateveryoucallthem, in your expression of Church.

Please pray for those who are engaged in the pastoral role that they will:

i. Never lose sight of the high calling that they have to walk in the footsteps of Jesus and minister His love to all that they meet; Christian, theist and atheist.

ii. Never see those they engage with as anything other than the image of the invisible God made visible and, with that in mind, give them the time, love and respect that this deserves.

iii. Remember that the role is done WITH God as partners and friends rather than work colleagues or employee and Employer. We live with God first and foremost as brothers and sisters rather than mere co-workers; a reality that is borne of relationship and sacrifice on God's part.

iv. Never forget that there are others within their own family who have a right, and a call, upon their time and that balance is always the key (especially when unbalance is the reality).

Pax




40 Acts - BRAG


In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name for ever.
Psalm 44:8 (NIV)
2014, the year of the selfie: the self-portrait of the digital age. According to Twitter, as trends go, the selfie reigns supreme.

We're all at it: civilians, celebrities, even David Cameron. Type ‘selfie’ into the Google search bar and you'll find 246,000,000 results; take a look at Instagram and over 90 million photos are currently posted with the hashtag #me.

I'm guilty of indulging in a selfie or two myself. This year I've saturated my followers with selfies. In July I tried to recreate Ellen DeGeneres’ record-breaking Oscar Awards selfie at a family wedding; in September I shared a selfie with Jesus from Brazil’s Christ the Redeemer statue; in November I posed with villagers in rural India who advised me to ‘check-in’ on Facebook from their village as I shared the snap. 


I’ve realised I am quick to boast about how I am blessed but slower to boast of the ones who bless me. I am eager to share my highlight reel, but rarely shed light on those who support me behind the scenes. Last year, I took to Instagram to rectify this. I changed my URL to @BranchBoasts and in rebellion against #me the #bestiebrag was born.


On a social media platform crowded with critics I’ve tried my hardest to be generous with my words. Amongst the stream of images I share with my followers every week you’ll find the #bestiebrags, the posts that celebrate friendships, put my friends centre stage and their strengths in the spotlight and most importantly boast only of others.


Let's take time today to shout about others, to hold them as high as we've held ourselves, to celebrate their character, broadcast their best bits, and remind the world why our earth is a better place for having them here.


Today I'll only be taking selfless selfies, which brag of the best in others and boast only of the blessing they are.


Becky Branch

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Morning prayer - 26 March 15

Passiontide
Harriet Monsell, Founder of the Community of St John the Baptist, 1883

Psalm 40
I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He brought me out of the roaring pit, out of the mire and clay; he set my feet upon a rock and made my footing sure.
He has put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; many shall see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.
Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, who does not turn to the proud that follow a lie.

Great are the wonders you have done, O Lord my God. How great your designs for us! There is none that can be compared with you.
If I were to proclaim them and tell of them they would be more than I am able to express. Sacrifice and offering you do not desire but my ears you have opened; Burnt offering and sacrifice for sin you have not required; •
then said I:
‘Lo, I come. In the scroll of the book it is written of me that I should do your will, O my God; I delight to do it: your law is within my heart.’

I have declared your righteousness in the great congregation; behold, I did not restrain my lips and that, O Lord, you know. Your righteousness I have not hidden in my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your loving-kindness and truth from the great congregation. Do not withhold your compassion from me, O Lord; let your love and your faithfulness always preserve me, For innumerable troubles have come about me; my sins have overtaken me so that I cannot look up; they are more in number than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails me.

Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me; O Lord, make haste to help me.
Let them be ashamed and altogether dismayed who seek after my life to destroy it; let them be driven back and put to shame who wish me evil.
Let those who heap insults upon me be desolate because of their shame.
Let all who seek you rejoice in you and be glad; let those who love your salvation say always,
‘The Lord is great.’

Though I am poor and needy, the Lord cares for me, You are my helper and my deliverer; O my God, make no delay.

Psalm 125
Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but stands fast for ever. As the hills stand about Jerusalem, so the Lord stands round about his people, from this time forth for evermore. The sceptre of wickedness shall not hold sway over the land allotted to the righteous, lest the righteous turn their hands to evil.

Do good, O Lord, to those who are good, and to those who are true of heart. Those who turn aside to crooked ways the Lord shall take away with the evildoers; but let there be peace upon Israel.

Jeremiah 23.9-32
Concerning the prophets: My heart is crushed within me, all my bones shake. I have become like a drunkard, like one overcome by wine, because of the Lord and because of his holy words. For the land is full of adulterers; because of the curse the land mourns, and the pastures of the wilderness are dried up. Their course has been evil, and their might is not right. Both prophet and priest are ungodly; even in my house I have found their wickedness, says the Lord.

Therefore their way shall be to them like slippery paths in the darkness, into which they shall be driven and fall; for I will bring disaster upon them in the year of their punishment, says the Lord.

In the prophets of Samaria I saw a disgusting thing: they prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray. But in the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a more shocking thing: they commit adultery and walk in lies; they strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from wickedness; all of them have become like Sodom to me, and its inhabitants like Gomorrah.

Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets:
‘I am going to make them eat wormwood, and give them poisoned water to drink; for from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has spread throughout the land.’

Thus says the Lord of hosts: Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you; they are deluding you. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. They keep saying to those who despise the word of the Lord, ‘It shall be well with you’; and to all who stubbornly follow their own stubborn hearts, they say, ‘No calamity shall come upon you.’

For who has stood in the council of The Lord so as to see and to hear his word? Who has given heed to his word so as to proclaim it?
Look, the storm of the Lord!

Wrath has gone forth, a whirling tempest; it will burst upon the head of the wicked. The anger of the Lord will not turn back until he has executed and accomplished the intents of his mind. In the latter days you will understand it clearly.

I did not send the prophets, yet they ran; I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in my council, then they would have proclaimed my words to my people, and they would have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.

Am I a God near by, says the Lord, and not a God far off? Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them? says the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? says the Lord. I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ How long? Will the hearts of the prophets ever turn back—those who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart? They plan to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, just as their ancestors forgot my name for Baal. Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let the one who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? says the Lord. Is not my word like fire, says the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces? See, therefore, I am against the prophets, says the Lord, who steal my words from one another. See, I am against the prophets, says the Lord, who use their own tongues and say, ‘Says the Lord.’ See, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, says the Lord, and who tell them, and who lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or appoint them; so they do not profit this people at all, says the Lord.

John 12.12-19
The next day the great crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting,
‘Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord - the King of Israel!’

Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it; as it is written:
‘Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion. Look, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!’

His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written of him and had been done to him. So the crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to testify. It was also because they heard that he had performed this sign that the crowd went to meet him. The Pharisees then said to one another, ‘You see, you can do nothing. Look, the world has gone after him!’

The Collect
Most merciful God, who by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ delivered and saved the world: grant that by faith in him who suffered on the cross we may triumph in the power of his victory; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

40 Acts - In Courage



Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 
1 Peter 3:9 (NIV)
Research suggests that every 11 hours a Christian is killed simply for being a follower of Jesus.  

I wasn’t sure I wanted to lead off with such a shocking statement, but religious persecution is all too real.

Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) adopted by the United Nations in 1948 establishes the protection of the freedom of thought, conscience and religion or belief (including the right to change one’s religion or belief).  Yet in many countries these rights are ignored.  It is shocking to those of us in the West that a person might be killed or persecuted simply for their faith, but it is true.  Research indicates Christians are the most persecuted faith group in the world – facing persecution in over 60 countries (and discrimination in over 100).

How, then, should Christians respond to persecution?

The Bible tells us to respond with love.  Love empowers us to forgive and to bless those who persecute us.  That takes courage.  Napoleon Bonaparte once said, ‘Courage is like love; it must have hope to nourish it.’  As believers in Jesus we hold fast to a hope that is greater than ourselves.  We will soon celebrate Jesus’ resurrection – the promise of the inheritance we will gain through him.  Let us celebrate by having the courage to love those who insult us and to praying fervently for those who persecute our fellow believers.  Our first instinct may be to defend our rights, but if we draw near to Jesus, our first response can be love.

Baroness Berridge


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Morning Prayer - 25 March 15

The Annunciation of Our Lord to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Psalm 111
Alleluia.
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the faithful and in the congregation. The works of the Lord are great, sought out by all who delight in them. His work is full of majesty and honour and his righteousness endures for ever.
He appointed a memorial for his marvellous deeds; the Lord is gracious and full of compassion.
He gave food to those who feared him; he is ever mindful of his covenant.
He showed his people the power of his works in giving them the heritage of the nations.

The works of his hands are truth and justice; all his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever; they are done in truth and equity.

He sent redemption to his people; he commanded his covenant for ever; holy and awesome is his name.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have those who live by it; his praise endures for ever.

Psalm 113
Alleluia.
Give praise, you servants of the Lord, O praise the name of the Lord.
Blessed be the name of the Lord, from this time forth and for evermore. From the rising of the sun to its setting let the name of the Lord be praised. The Lord is high above all nations and his glory above the heavens.

Who is like the Lord our God, that has his throne so high, yet humbles himself to behold the things of heaven and earth?

He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ashes, To set them with princes, with the princes of his people.

He gives the barren woman a place in the house and makes her a joyful mother of children.
Alleluia.

1 Samuel 2.1-10
Hannah prayed and said,
‘My heart exults in the Lord; my strength is exalted in my God. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in my victory.

There is no Holy One like the Lord, no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble gird on strength.
Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry are fat with spoil. The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn.
The Lord kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
The Lord makes poor and makes rich; he brings low, he also exalts.
He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honour. For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and on them he has set the world.

‘He will guard the feet of his faithful ones, but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness; for not by might does one prevail.
The Lord! His adversaries shall be shattered; the Most High will thunder in heaven.
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king, and exalt the power of his anointed.’

Romans 5.12-21
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned—sin was indeed in the world before the law, but sin is not reckoned when there is no law. Yet death exercised dominion from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who is a type of the one who was to come.

But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died through the one man’s trespass, much more surely have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for the many. And the free gift is not like the effect of the one man’s sin. For the judgement following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brings justification. If, because of the one man’s trespass, death exercised dominion through that one, much more surely will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness exercise dominion in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

Therefore just as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all. For just as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. But law came in, with the result that the trespass multiplied; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, just as sin exercised dominion in death, so grace might also exercise dominion through justification leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Collect
We beseech you, O Lord, pour your grace into our hearts, that as we have known the incarnation of your Son Jesus Christ by the message of an angel, so by his cross and passion we may be brought to the glory of his resurrection; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

40 Acts - Be First


ACT #30: BE FIRST
There are probably very few scenarios where we ought to push for ‘first’. One is the Olympics. The other is volunteering. The thing is, if you wait for someone else to put their hand up before you, you miss the opportunity to make a generous difference. It might be a tiny ripple or a mighty wave of change. Today, be willing to put the hard work in when nobody else wants to. Be first to raise your hand.
Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. 
James 1:27 (NLT)
At the age of 28 I had a realisation: I was the worst person I knew.

For ten years, I had built a career as a nightclub promoter in New York City. By the age of 24 my business partner and I were getting paid $2000 per month just to be seen drinking Budweiser in public and by age 28 I had a Rolex, a BMW, a grand piano and a girlfriend who was on the cover of magazines. I put myself first, yet I was spiritually, emotionally and morally bankrupt. I’d spent a decade selling decadence and escapism, and there wasn’t a single redemptive thing about it.


I began to realise my bankruptcy while on a decadent vacation to South America and began to re-explore the faith I’d been brought up with as a child. I remember sitting and reading theology while still hung over from the night before. I remember reading that ‘True religion is looking after widows and orphans in their distress’ (James1:27), and I thought: I’ve not done anything genuinely charitable in ten years. My search eventually led me to say to God: ‘OK, I’ll give you one year of service as a tithe or payback for the decade I’ve wasted.’


I volunteered to be an official photographer with Mercy Ships – the only humanitarian organisation that would take me at the time. We sailed into West Coast Africa, where I began to document the lives of people whose need I couldn’t have ever imagined before. Eventually I realised that the problems so many people faced were largely because of lack of access to clean water and basic sanitation.


Aged 30, I returned to NYC. I knew I wanted to do two things with my life: give people access to clean water, and create a charity that people could believe in – that they could see the results of. And so, charity: water was born.


Eight years later, charity: water has raised more than $175 million and funded more than 13,000 water projects which, when completed, will have brought water to over 5 million people in 24 nations. For me, generosity is practical. It's the ability to use one's position of influence, relative wealth and power to affect lives for the better. I needed to put myself first in a completely new way – putting up my hand to say ‘I’ll go’. My one year of voluntary service became a lifetime calling to make a difference. If you were the first to raise your hand today, where might God lead you?



Scott Harrison
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Morning Prayer - 24 March 15

Passiontide
Walter Hilton of Thurgarton, Augustinian Canon, Mystic, 1396
Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, Martyr, 1980
Paul Couturier, Priest, Ecumenist, 1953

Psalm 35
Contend, O Lord, with those that contend with me; fight against those that fight against me. Take up shield and buckler and rise up to help me. Draw the spear and bar the way against those who pursue me; say to my soul, ‘I am your salvation.’
Let those who seek after my life be shamed and disgraced;
let those who plot my ruin fall back and be put to confusion.
Let them be as chaff before the wind, with the angel of the Lord thrusting them down.
Let their way be dark and slippery, with the angel of the Lord pursuing them.
For they have secretly spread a net for me without a cause; without any cause they have dug a pit for my soul.
Let ruin come upon them unawares;
let them be caught in the net they laid;
let them fall in it to their destruction.

Then will my soul be joyful in the Lord and glory in his salvation. My very bones will say, ‘Lord, who is like you?
You deliver the poor from those that are too strong for them, the poor and needy from those who would despoil them.’

False witnesses rose up against me; they charged me with things I knew not. They rewarded me evil for good, to the desolation of my soul. But as for me, when they were sick I put on sackcloth and humbled myself with fasting; When my prayer returned empty to my bosom, it was as though I grieved for my friend or brother; I behaved as one who mourns for his mother, bowed down and brought very low. But when I stumbled, they gathered in delight; they gathered together against me; as if they were strangers I did not know they tore at me without ceasing. When I fell they mocked me; they gnashed at me with their teeth. O Lord, how long will you look on?
Rescue my soul from their ravages, and my poor life from the young lions.

I will give you thanks in the great congregation;
I will praise you in the mighty throng.
Do not let my treacherous foes rejoice over me, or those who hate me without a cause mock me with their glances. For they do not speak of peace, but invent deceitful schemes against those that are quiet in the land. They opened wide their mouths and derided me, saying
‘We have seen it with our very eyes.’

This you have seen, O Lord; do not keep silent; go not far from me, O Lord. Awake, arise, to my cause, to my defence, my God and my Lord!
Give me justice, O Lord my God, according to your righteousness; let them not triumph over me. Let them not say to themselves,
‘Our heart’s desire!’
Let them not say,
‘We have swallowed him up.’

Let all who rejoice at my trouble be put to shame and confusion;
let those who boast against me be clothed with shame and dishonour.

Let those who favour my cause rejoice and be glad; let them say always,
‘Great is the Lord, who delights in his servant’s well-being.’

So shall my tongue be talking of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long.

Psalm 123
To you I lift up my eyes, to you that are enthroned in the heavens. As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, or the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, So our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until he have mercy upon us.

Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us, for we have had more than enough of contempt. Our soul has had more than enough of the scorn of the arrogant, and of the contempt of the proud.

Jeremiah 22.1-5, 13-19
Thus says the Lord: Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and speak there this word, and say: Hear the word of the Lord, O King of Judah sitting on the throne of David—you, and your servants, and your people who enter these gates. Thus says the Lord: Act with justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor anyone who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the alien, the orphan, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place. For if you will indeed obey this word, then through the gates of this house shall enter kings who sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their servants, and their people. But if you will not heed these words, I swear by myself, says the Lord, that this house shall become a desolation.
Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness,,and his upper rooms by injustice; who makes his neighbours work for nothing, and does not give them their wages; who says, ‘I will build myself a spacious house with large upper rooms’, and who cuts out windows for it, panelling it with cedar, and painting it with vermilion.
Are you a king because you compete in cedar?
Did not your father eat and drink and do justice and righteousness?
Then it was well with him.
He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well.
Is not this to know me? says the Lord.
But your eyes and heart are only on your dishonest gain, for shedding innocent blood, and for practising oppression and violence.

Therefore thus says the Lord concerning King Jehoiakim son of Josiah of Judah:
They shall not lament for him, saying, ‘Alas, my brother!’ or ‘Alas, sister!’
They shall not lament for him, saying, ‘Alas, lord!’ or ‘Alas, his majesty!’
With the burial of a donkey he shall be buried - dragged off and thrown out beyond the gates of Jerusalem.

John 11.45-end
Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what he had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the council, and said, ‘What are we to do? This man is performing many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation.’ But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, ‘You know nothing at all! You do not understand that it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed.’ He did not say this on his own, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus was about to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but to gather into one the dispersed children of God. So from that day on they planned to put him to death.

Jesus therefore no longer walked about openly among the Jews, but went from there to a town called Ephraim in the region near the wilderness; and he remained there with the disciples.

Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves. They were looking for Jesus and were asking one another as they stood in the temple, ‘What do you think? Surely he will not come to the festival, will he?’ Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that anyone who knew where Jesus was should let them know, so that they might arrest him.

The Collect
Most merciful God, who by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ delivered and saved the world: grant that by faith in him who suffered on the cross we may triumph in the power of his victory; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Acts 40 - Bless the Boss


"Work with a smile on your face, always keeping in mind that no matter who happens to be giving the orders, you're really serving God." Ephesians 6:7 (The Message)
Imagine applying for a job and finding out the previous post-holder was God!
In 1 Samuel 8 this is exactly what happens. The people ask for a king and God points out that this is telling him, ‘You’re fired!’ We can sometimes expect our leaders to fulfil a job that only God can do. This doesn’t bless leaders or you.
Pedestals are lonely and uncomfortable places to sit, especially when you are expected to sit on them all the time. They can bend leaders out of shape or make them see things top down. People can look up to their leader’s position and not connect with them eye to eye as a person. The list of expectations can be endless: have vision and all the answers; don’t get tired; initiate good small talk; know me, value me, help me do great things …
Despite our expectations, or their own claims, leaders are human. They need our forgiveness and grace.
Our emotions, attitude and standard of work should be oriented towards serving God – that is a far higher standard and will ultimately be a blessing to your leader! At times we may need to graciously challenge or even change our leaders, but bless your leader today through forgiveness, acts of grace, and working excellently, unto the Lord.
We have probably all ‘fired’ God at some point and head-hunted human leaders onto our leadership pedestals. This isn’t fair to the human leaders or to us.
Fortunately, God was kind enough to tear up the P45 we gave him. In fact, he still has a job offer for us! You can start that job today, right where you are, and work knowing that you are working for the King of Kings!
Ewen McAlpine




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