__

Opening Prayers
Take time to read this prayer:
God of all creation, I worship you.
You know me – what I need, what I rejoice in, what I’m nervous about.
You see me – as the unique individual you created with all my little habits and characteristics.
You hear me – when I pray aloud or silently.
You meet me – here and now and I am content.
God of all creation, I worship you. Amen
Wonder to yourself if you are really able to say the words.
Imagine what it would be like to hear someone else say them for you.
Notice how you feel as you read them.
Take time to tell God what you’ve discovered.
Then when you are ready and if you feel able say them aloud:
God of all creation, I worship you.
You know me – what I need, what I rejoice in, what I’m nervous about.
You see me – as the unique individual you created with all my little habits and characteristics.
You hear me – when I pray aloud or silently.
You meet me – here and now and I am content.
God of all creation, I worship you. Amen

You may now wish to say the Lord’s Prayer in a version or translation with which you are
familiar.

Reading: Mark 1:29-39 – Click for reading

Responding to the reading
What do you feel are the “responsibilities” of seeking to be a Christian?
I think the gospel reading this week gives us a set of clues that help to explore the answer…
So often this passage is read and talked about in terms of Jesus and healing. Who he heals, what
he heals etc.
Simon’s mother-in-law was ill, and Jesus did indeed come to her and she started to feel better, but
what happened next is what grabbed my attention.
The instant she felt better, she got up and started work. She served.
There is a true sense of the obligation she felt to help those around her, as soon as she was
physically able. This was what she did. This is what WE do, as part of our Christian faith, because
this is what Jesus asked us to do through the way he lived his life.
It’s reminiscent of the time Jesus called some fishermen to become his followers. “Immediately”,
they dropped their nets and followed. Whatever actually happened, the gospel writers felt it
important to let us know how quickly and powerfully they were compelled. And the same sense of
urgency is apparent here.

Maybe today, we can be aware of our urge to “do” or to “serve”, and find a way to follow those
urges?
– What? – We serve. We look for others in need. As long as we are able, we look out for
others who may need our help. In addition to this, if we happen to be the ones in need, we
open ourselves up to receiving the help too. This is equally as important.
– Why? – Because this was the message of Jesus in its simplest and purest form. Plus of
course, we are assured of God’s help when we are weary, and we can be lifted up on wings
like eagles…
– When? – Now! At once! Immediately! – get the message?
– How? – We humble ourselves to care enough to get alongside people to want to get to
know about them, to listen. We seek to wear the other person’s moccasins for a while. We
resist the temptation to tell them what they should believe!
– Where? – Wherever you find yourself.
– Who? – You.
How does that sit with you? Is it helpful, just sometimes, to make the whole thing seem a bit more
simple?

Responding in music
You might like to spend some time listening to and/or joining in with some or all of these songs:
465 STF – Guide me, O thou great Jehovah – YouTube
707 STF – Make me a channel of your peace – YouTube
657 STF – You give rest to the weary – YouTube
89 STF – Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord – YouTube

Responding in prayer
You might like to spend some time praying for the world today. Look up (for example) the BBC
News website live (World, National and Local) and read some of the headlines slowly, paying
attention to the situation. If it helps, read the headlines aloud.
You may feel inspired to say or write a few words to widen the topic of each news item (for
example if a headline is about a new government policy on plastics, you may wish to jot down or
reflect on the overall issue of climate change and care for the environment) or it may be
appropriate to leave it at the headline alone.
After this you might wish to write or reflect on any issues that are relevant to you, your immediate
family or friends, your local community.
After you have done this for a few minutes, allow some time to ponder then repeat the following
response:
Listen Lord Jesus, let my fears be few…
Walk one step before me, and I will follow you.
Amen.

Blessing
Now, I go and enter into the flow of love that is at work in the universe.
I go and discover that God is out there, moving, transforming, touching lives and all creation.
I go, ready to encounter the Spirit of God.
Amen.

____________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________