Thought for the week

Junior Church:

NEW     ROOTS on the web is allowing us to download some material each week for anyone to use.  Check the bottom of this page for activities for everyone of any age to enjoy.

Young People’s Group 

Thought for the Week beginning 29th March

(Do click on the links as you read... and ask if you can use the Facebook page to tell us what you like and agree with in Rodney's letter.)

 

Hi Everyone,

How are you doing? How are you finding  self-isolation and social distancing? It certainly re-defines the way we live our lives from day to day, separating us from the people that are normally part of our everyday lives: relatives, friends, neighbours, school mates, church friends and so on.

If you are like me you have had to learn a different routine, either in near total isolation if you live on your own, or in very close proximity with immediate family for example, which can bring its own challenges. I keep thinking of Jesus and his self-imposed self-isolation for 40 days in the wilderness. He used this time to prepare himself for his ministry amongst the people, knowing that from that point forward he would have little time to himself. He used the time to focus on his relationship with God knowing that this would stand him in good stead when times get difficult.

It’s funny how some things that are forced on us can be turned into a positive. I’ve learnt how to use video conferencing to keep in touch with my work friends and colleagues and we ‘meet’ online every day at 2.00pm. I’m not normally at home during the day and I scarcely know any of my neighbours. Now I look forward to chatting to them across the garden fence. The guys I play football with on a Wednesday have set up a WhatsApp group to share funny experiences and make fun of each other. People have rung me up more regularly than before and another person even offered to do my shopping. So, although I am self-isolated, in a funny sort of way I feel more connected than usual.

Just before I started writing this reflection I was aware of a strange noise outside in the street. I opened the window to loud clapping and whooping. I suddenly remembered it was 8.00pm when we were being encouraged to clap in support of and gratitude for health workers, so I joined in. It was quite emotional because, in all the years I have lived in this street, I’ve never felt as connected to all my neighbours as I did at that moment.

This week’s bible reading is again from John’s Gospel, Chapter 11, verses 1-45. It is another healing incident from Jesus’ ministry, but very different from the one we read about last week. This is about the death of Lazarus and how Jesus raised him back to life.  Lazarus and his two sisters, Martha and Mary, were very close friends of Jesus and, unlike any of the other miracles he performed, there is a real sense of personal grief and tragedy involved here.

Every evening we are bombarded with the statistics of the number of people in different parts of the world who have died from Covid19. The statistics do not tell the story of individual loss and bereavement.  Behind every death is a loved one lost. The emotions of Mary and Martha, and Jesus himself, help us to appreciate more what people who have lost loved ones are going through. We look for answers as to why this has happened and where God is in all of it, and cling onto the words of Jesus in verse 25 of our reading: ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will never die’.

Rodney

If you have missed any of Rodney's letters click on the links below:

22nd March 2020

 

Ideas from ROOTS:

We are grateful for permission to provide the following material> 

© ROOTS for Churches Ltd (www.rootsontheweb.com) 2002-2020.
Reproduced with permission.

Where is Jesus?

A visual reminder that Jesus is always with us

You will need: a flower shape (template), one per person, pens.

Talk about some of the things that happen to make them feel sad or frightened, e.g. being ill, getting left out at school.

Invite everyone to write or draw these things on separate petals of their flower. Encourage them to decorate the flower petals.

Talk about Jesus coming to see his friends in this story. They felt sad and frightened but he showed that he is always there. Ask everyone to add the word ‘Jesus’ to the circle at the centre of their flower.

And a worksheet to print  and complete on todays story...

ROOTS worksheet for 29th March 2020


Redhill Methodist Church, Gloucester Road, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 1BP
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