Tag Archives: Psalm 124

Thought for the Week: The Way Forward

My thoughts for the week are about looking back and ahead. During the last month, my youngest daughter Becky asked me for some photos from the past. Out, from under the bed came the SUNSHINE LAUNDRY BOX, 21” long, 11” across & 5” high, overflowing with photographs. I doubt if you have a similar box, which could be around 150 years old. Looking through the photos brought back memories that made us laugh and from others a few tears, and they reminded us of the changes that had taken place during those years, especially how the world has changed.
I then looked at the Long Itchington minutes book, a huge tome of the history of the Chapel from 1827 to 1931. I was aware too that there were other Congregational chapels with a similar history to Long Itchington; for instance, Marton, Southam, Long Compton, Stockton and Moreton-in-Marsh. I speak now though about Long Itchington, which was going along quite well until the Church meeting in 1913 after which – and I nearly missed an addendum – in very faint writing it said, “lapse of meetings until 1920 owing to the First World War”. My thought was that for most of those Chapels, that would probably have been the only time when the Chapels were closed, except the present lockdown.
It must have been a very sad time for the people during 1913 to 1920 who possibly wondered if they would ever worship in their Chapel again and I can understand that feeling at the present time. However, I have given you this history story because it was not the end. At the Church meeting in 1913 before the close down, there were six people and in 1922 when the Chapel reopened there were twelve people and by 1937 there were so many worshippers that the Chapel wasn’t large enough and was eventually renovated and transformed. And, as is said, the rest is even more history.
Today, many of the Congregational Chapels are on lockdown, not because of a war like the First World War or even the Second World War but another kind of war – a silent kind which is just as dangerous. I ask the question, how did the Congregational Chapels survive? Last week, I spoke about Psalm 124. This week, we look at that again. In the Psalm, David says to Israel, the Lord was on our side. David is speaking to people. not to countries. Some of the people reading this will have had their own battles and haven’t always been able to prevent closure, but like Marton Chapel, the people who were so few they were unable to cope took their enthusiasm to Long Itchington. Psalm 124, saying God must have been with us to help us win the battle, is followed by Psalm 125 that begins with, “Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion which can not be shaken but endures forever.”


Today, we look back to the beginning of many chapels in the 19th Century and we give thanks for the commitment of those who were servants of Jesus Christ and were determined to have places of worship. We pray for our own chapel as we wait for the virus to be overcome when we can once again worship together and show the commitment we have towards God our Father, when we say “Thy will be done”. We pray that we will be ready to follow your Son Jesus our Master and Saviour.

A prayer from the Prayer Handbook by Susan Durbar

Blessed be God,
who is not alone in doing wondrous things, but who inspires and empowers people like us to love with compassion and to desire justice.
Who hears the voices of those in need, the poor and those who have no help and sends you and me to answer them.
Who has pity for the weak and who holds them as precious while nagging us to rise and do something.
Whose glory fills the whole earth, and whose power is shown in the ones who meet our weakness and our need for they do wondrous things.
And blessed be God’s people, who touch the earth with love. May glory fill the world as righteousness and justice are delivered from our hands.

Thought for the Week: God Is With Us

On Sunday, I watched the service online which had been prepared by Rev’d James Church, During the sermon he spoke about two parts of the Bible which explained God’s will that COVID-19 would not destroy the world, which had been the fear of some people. Today, I make a long story short, which begins when Peter and John had healed a man who had been crippled from birth. They had great courage to do the healing and preaching about God and Jesus Christ and, because of it, they were taken into prison (Acts 4). While they were in prison, they continued to pray and preach and when eventually they were released from prison, they did not cease preaching and praying.
First, they praised God and then they told God about their problem. They did not ask Him to take it away, but what they did do was to ask God to help them to deal with it.
We now go to the Old Testament to see what King David in Psalm 124 said. He began by saying if the Lord had not been on their side against the Philistines, Israel knew they would have been swallowed up alive. We all know that there are many stories of wars in the Old Testament, which were the cause of the deaths of many fighting people. What we are going through with COVID-19 is very much like a war and as the Psalm says, “Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” We must keep our faith; Jesus Christ will return and we will have new lives in eternity through Him.


On SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12th WE WILL HAVE TWO TABLES OUTSIDE OF THE CHAPEL FROM 12 to 2pm. This is the Sunday before we would have been celebrating our Harvest Thanksgiving. As the rules are at present, we are not able to have our usual services in the Chapel. The tables are for us to bring and buy items of food for charity. The non-perishable foods will be for the Food Bank, while the fruit and vegetables will be sold for Christian Aid and jars of jam and marmalade will be sold for the Chapel. Please tell your family and friends about this charity giving.


This Prayer is taken from the Prayer Handbook and was written by Neil Thorogood
Eternal God, ruler and shaper of time, hear the prayer we offer.
For we know the limits of our lives: imagines which cannot hold your truth,
Hearts that struggle to contain your grace, years that seem too brief,
Futures unclear and unpredictable, we confess our fear that life is not in your hands
And that we are in danger. We confess the sense that this world is out of control
And rushing deeper into chaos.
Into our fearfulness bring your reassuring truth.
Remind us that all things exist within your will and purpose.
Sooth us with the knowledge of your will shaping our days.
Inspire us to trust that you are taking all we are each moment
And shaping our lives into a great mosaic of your purpose.
Bless us and renes us with hope,
We pray in the name of Jesus and through the power
Of the Holy Spirit Amen.
From Bread of Tomorrow
God of creation, the earth is Yours with all its beauty and goodness, its rich and overflowing provision.
But we have claimed it for our own, plundered its beauty for profit, grabbed its resources for ourselves.
God of creation forgive us. May we no longer abuse your trust, but care gently and with justice for your earth. Amen.