Author Archives: The Chapel

Thought for Today: Holy Saturday

This was a day of sorrow, where Jesus lay in the tomb and his followers wondered what was going to happen next. At the time of writing we are all wondering when the war against the Covid-19 Coronavirus will be won.

PRAYER FOR TODAY

SILENT PRAYER (written for the Prayer Handbook by Francis Brienen)

Jesus Christ, who suffered and died upon the Cross We bring before you
The suffering of your people;
Too many walk in the long night of pain,
Too many have no more tears to cry,
Too many know only sorrow and loss Silence. We bring before you
The groaning of your earth
Too long have we violated its laws,
Too long have we depleted its gifts, Too long have we ignored its beauty Silence We bring before you
The crying of your church
Too often have we lost our bearing,
Too often have we been overwhelmed,
Too often have we avoided the way of the Cross. Silence Christ Jesus
In your suffering
All brokenness is named and held
And so we wait in Silence
Until the light of your resurrection shines upon us

Thought for Today: Good Friday

The end of the walk…
The people who shouted HOSANNA were fickle and changed their calling out to CRUCIFY, CRUCIFY HIM! They clothed Him in purple, and added a crown of thorns, they whipped Him, gave Him vinegar to drink, mocked Him and gave him his own cross to bear and waited for him to die.

PRAYER

Just before He died Jesus spoke to His Father saying, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do”. In a moment of silence think of those words. There is a favourite hymn of many Christian people called, ‘Great is Thy faithfulness’. What people did to Jesus, He never did to us. Pray with thanks for His faithfulness to us and then pray that we might keep the faith and ask that the war the world is fighting will be beaten and that our lives will bring Hope and Peace and Love to our neighbours. Amen

Thought for Today: Maundy Thursday

This is the day that Jesus showed He had come as a servant to all His people. Wearing a towel around Him, the Son of God knelt down to wash the dirty feet of His friends.
People do not like having their feet washed by anyone and certainly not by a king. Jesus said,’What I do, you also should do.’

PRAYER

Lord Jesus help us to love as you loved. Give us compassion towards those who are homeless and unfed; the very poor who are your special people. Forgive us when we have turned our back on them. Amen

Thought for Today: Let Us Be Ready

One of our favourite hymns is “Give Me Oil in My Lamp, Keep Me Burning”. It’s a lively hymn with a special meaning. Jesus told the parable that this hymn is based on to his disciples, so that they would be ready in their lives (Matthew 25:1-13). This message was for us too, that we would believe in His way.

Prayer (Paul to Philippians 2:1-17)

Dear Lord Jesus,
We read that the day will come when every tongue will speak of you and every knee bow down to you. We ask that we would follow Your way, and help us to be ready by loving one another as you have loved us. Amen

Prayer Walk for Holy Week

When my daughter Becky was young, she worked for Highbury Church in Cheltenham where she prepared a prayer walk within her church. I have saved a lot of the steps of Easter especially for Holy Week. I wish now I had kept it all, but I can still use it for us during this difficult time.
As the instruction is that over 70’s should stay in their homes, I cannot use the steps inside the Chapel so instead I have copied parts of the footsteps for each day.

Monday of Holy Week

In the Bible in Matthew 21:16 it says: ‘The men said to Jesus, “Don’t you hear what those children are saying?” “Yes, I do!” Jesus answered. “Don’t you know that the Scriptures say, ‘Children and infants will sing praises’?” Children were hugely important to Jesus and he knew how special they were. Maybe you would like to pray for the children who are not in school, especially those with special needs, and also that all children will be safe during this difficult time.
On the Monday of Holy Week, Jesus went to the temple and saw the way that His father’s house was being treated. There were people trading and running markets in a holy place of worship. This made Jesus very angry and in response He turned over the tables and drove people from the temple (Mark 11: 12-18). Sometimes we can think of Jesus as just a kind man, but He also showed other emotions. He led a human life and felt real emotions. Think about Jesus and pray for those who make you angry.
During the Monday of Holy Week Jesus was hungry, while on his work he saw a fig tree that was bearing no fruit. He cursed this fig tree and it withered in response. Jesus told his disciples that if we have faith and do not doubt then we could do the same and all our prayers would be answered. Maybe there is a situation in your own life that you don’t think can change and you wish you didn’t have. Pray about it as you look at a living tree.

Tuesday of Holy Week

On Tuesday in Holy Week, Jesus spent time walking around Jerusalem, talking to people and teaching them. This was a day of lots of parables and teaching. One of the parables was predicting His death at the hands of his own people. This was realised within the next four days.
Pray for those with mental problems or struggling with feeling attacked by those around them.
It was also on this day that Jesus explained the greatest commandment: to love one another just as He has loved us. During this difficult time there will be people who are struggling because of loneliness and fear. Today I found out that the Night Shelter has had to close, which leaves people who are homeless nowhere to go for help. Pray for those people and that the shelter will be opened again soon.
Jesus told the parable of the wise and foolish bridesmaids in Matthew 25: 1-13. In this story Jesus taught that we should always be ready for him. Candles will be lit today to remind us that we will one day be able to experience life with Jesus in Heaven.

Wednesday of Holy Week

It was on the Wednesday of Holy Week that Judas agreed to betray Jesus. He went to the chief priests and asked them what they would be willing to give him if he betrayed Jesus. The agreed price was thirty silver coins. Although Wednesday seems a quieter day in the week with fewer events, we still have this betrayal, a significant moment in the crucifixion story. Run your hands through some coins and think of the temptation Judas had. Are there times when you face temptation to do things you know are wrong? Pray the Lord’s Prayer.
Also, on the Wednesday, Jesus had expensive perfume poured on him by a lady. She anointed Him. This was her way of displaying her love for Him. This also showed preparation for His death. Pray about your preparation to come closer to Jesus.

Maundy Thursday

The night before He died, Jesus went to pray at the Mount of Olives. He cried out to God in anguish, asking him to take away the cup of suffering. But then He added, ‘Yet not my will but yours be done’. Think and pray about someone who is afraid.
Judas betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, the price of a slave. The temple guard arrested Jesus while He was in the garden and took Him to the high priest to be tried. Think about some of the innocent prisoners in the world who are there because of something done to them or because of their faith in Jesus Christ.

Good Friday

‘Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing!’
These were the words Jesus cried out as they were banging the nails into His palms. Sometimes it is very hard to forgive, especially when you are still hurting. But when we are wounded by someone Jesus is hurt too. Pray and ask God to give you the strength to be able to forgive the way He did.
The cross was such a heavy load for Jesus that soldiers had to force a passer-by, Simon, a Libyan, to carry the cross behind Jesus. Legend says that Jesus fell down under the weight of the cross three times. What loads are you carrying deep inside? Fears, anxieties, the future. Ask God to show you those worries that you need to let go of and give them over to Him.

Paraphrased from Dame Julian of Norwich

Sit at the cross for a while, spend some time with God, talking about whatever you wish. “With a smiling face, Jesus looked at his side…there he showed me a place, beautiful and delightful, large enough for all saved humanity to rest in peace and love…And as I looked, he showed me his heart, broken in two…He helped me to understand, a little, anyhow, how God was teaching us poor souls, to appreciate the Eternal Love of God that has no beginning or end. At the same time, our Good Lord said, most beautifully, ‘See how I have loved you.’”

My prayers are with you all.
With love in Christ Jesus, Marion

Thought For Today: Passion Sunday

This day is called Passion Sunday.
Passion Sunday Palm Branch
In 1633, a plague infested Oberammergau. The town’s people made a vow to God that if He spared their town from the plague they would put on a Passion Play of Jesus Christ every ten years, and only 3 times since, have they been unable to keep their promise. Surely, the Coronavirus that hit the whole world came too suddenly to call to God for help; not however too late for us to call to Him now. Use the Prayer Guide for Coronavirus from Christian Concern, especially the part asking for forgiveness. Or say a simple prayer asking for forgiveness and request help from our Lord Jesus Christ, for us to love one another as He has loved us, remembering that the God you speak to hears every word. Amen.

More Valuable Than the Birds

More valuable than the birds
Today, I am listening to the birds as I write and then I remember what Jesus said about worrying. When God created the birds, He said, “It is good”. I love to have birds in my garden and I love even more that Jesus said to me, “You are much more valuable to me than the birds.”

PRAYER

Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for caring for me so much, especially when I am worrying. This Coronavirus has caused us to be afraid. Please remind us that you are our Saviour and that You have the whole world in your hands. Amen.