Posts by Julian Stedman

Posts by Julian Stedman

Reflections on Morning Prayer – 9

The second part of Jesus’ response to a teacher of the law who had asked him which commandments were most important, was this: ‘The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.’ Mark 12. 31 This was not new teaching. There are many references which relate to how the Jews should treat their neighbours, particularly in the books of Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy. In fact, in Leviticus 19.18 we find the identical… [Continue Reading]

Reflections on Morning Prayer – 8

At this point in our Morning Prayers we are presented with the words of Jesus recorded in Mark’s gospel: The first commandment is: “Listen Israel! the Lord our God is the only Lord. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. Mark 12. 29, 30 This commandment is at the heart of our Christian faith, but it is not an easy task. How can we love… [Continue Reading]

Reflections on Morning Prayer – 7

We come to the final reason given in the Introductory words for setting aside time for Morning Prayer: “We have come… to seek his grace, that, through his Son, Jesus Christ, we may give ourselves to his service.” One of the purposes of coming to meet God every day is to be equipped for service. Note that we cannot undertake any work effectively for God unless we have first received something of his grace. The story Jesus told about the… [Continue Reading]

Reflections on Morning Prayer – 6

“We have come… to bring before him the needs of the world…” Jesus brought to his followers a new focus on the world. The Jews had considered themselves as having a special and superior relationship with God. To be a gentile was decidedly to be second best. The Old Testament writers were unhesitatingly intolerant of the people of other nations; violent warfare against them was seen as being justifiable, often undertaken in God’s name. When Jonah preached against the sin… [Continue Reading]

Reflections on Morning Prayer – 5

“We have come… to hear and receive his word…” This next phrase of our Morning Prayer is a reminder of the words in introduction to the 17th Century Book of Common Prayer that we looked at in the first week: “… all the whole Bible… should be read over once every year; ….(to) be stirred up to godliness….., and be more able to exhort others by wholesome doctrine, and to confute them that were adversaries to the truth; and further,… [Continue Reading]

Reflections on Morning Prayer – 4

I hope you were blessed by Saturday morning’s readings as much as I was! The next instalment of our Reflections on Morning Prayer encompasses the phrase:  “We have come.. to offer him praise and thanksgiving…“ Sometimes we need to be reminded that there are several distinct components to how we express our relationship with God; this phrase encompasses two of them. Firstly we will consider “praise“, when we focus on the “who?” aspects of God, followed by “thanksgiving” when we remember “what has God done for… [Continue Reading]

Reflections on Morning Prayer – 3

Having sat down comfortably to receive God’s grace and peace, and reminded ourselves of the importance of using the day God has given us to its full potential, the next Section of our Morning Prayer expresses the reasons why we are coming to God in this way: We have come together as the family of God in our Father’s presence… It may seem strange that, when for the first time in our lives most of us are not able to… [Continue Reading]

Reflections on Morning Prayer – 2

What defines the beginning of your day? For many of us it has been that first programme on the radio – possibly the weather forecast – will it be a “nice” day for doing the things we have planned? Or, perhaps, Radio 2 to recharge our energies, through vibrant music. Many of us have listened for years to the Today programme, with it’s in-depth analysis of politics and world issues. Maybe, in the current times, you switch on to Classic FM… [Continue Reading]

Reflections on Morning Prayer

Over the next few weeks, I intend to pass on to you the reasons why I feel that this short form of “service” provides an ideal preparation for the start of each day. Let’s start with our opening text:  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 1.7 This is Paul’s initial greeting in his letter to the Romans, the book that arguably above all others defines the theology of the Christian Church. I… [Continue Reading]

Supporting the Heart of our Faith

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,These are challenging times for all of us. We are now confined to our own homes and may be separated from those we love. No longer is there an opportunity to benefit from the social contact and fellowship which is so supportive of our faith. At such a time, we could feel despair, or attempt to fill our lives with the things that have been neglected, tidying up rooms, sorting out old photographs, catching up… [Continue Reading]

Ascension Day 2019

It’s Ascension Day, and we are reminded of the parting words of Jesus, as he entrusted the mission of sharing the gospel to his timid small group of disciples. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8 Today, we are entrusted with this same mission. Thy Kingdom Come, now in its 4th year,… [Continue Reading]

Church Lighting Development Project

St Edmund’s church is a well-loved landmark building in the heart of our community. It has served the town as a sacred place of prayer and worship since the early fourteenth century but, as you may have heard, the building is now in need of significant renovation. We have recently replaced our boiler and the power wiring, through the generous giving of our church members, but at the moment we have only a temporary certificate for our 50 year old… [Continue Reading]