Posts by Julian Stedman

Posts by Julian Stedman

Reflections on Morning Prayer – Week 17

It is time for us to respond to the glimpses we saw last week of God’s glory: Worship the Lord.All praise to his name. Worship is often used as a generic term for the hour or so we spend together on Sunday morning. The format and content of the service may be familiar and predictable, and we may have half a mind set on our Sunday lunch arrangements… However, I’m sure we would all agree that worship should not be… [Continue Reading]

Reflections on Morning Prayer – Week 16

We move on today to reflect on the refrain that is used at key stages in many of our worship services: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;as it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be for ever. Amen. Glory is a word we use colloquially when someone has accomplished a notable success in their life, often of a sporting nature – but it has to be enjoyed at the time, as… [Continue Reading]

Reflections on Morning Prayer – Week 15

Are there any fans of Liverpool football club out there? As victory in the Premiership became a reality, how did their supporters celebrate? Apart from the usual excesses of alcohol and laddish behaviour, it was their singing that came immediately to our attention. Singing is one of the first things we love to do when there is something to celebrate – wishing a Happy Birthday would not be the same without the music to accompany it! Our liturgy takes us… [Continue Reading]

Reflections on Morning Prayer – Week 14

Last week we were reminded of the continued failings of humankind, and the need for a once and for all sacrifice by Jesus on the cross. The next phrase makes clear that this action, some 2,000 years ago, is something each one of us can rely upon: May God our Father…pardon and deliver us from all our sins,and grant us the grace and power of the Holy Spirit. Amen. These words are sometimes spoken by a priest in the form… [Continue Reading]

Reflections on Morning Prayer – Week 13

This week, we come to the heart of our faith, the confidence we can have in our salvation. Included in the liturgy, is a statement of reconciliation which God brought about by the incarnation of Jesus: May God our Father,who by our Lord Jesus Christhas reconciled the world to himselfand forgives the sins of all who truly repent But what do we mean by reconciliation, and how has it been achieved? The dictionary says that reconciliation is about the “restoration… [Continue Reading]

Reflections on Morning Prayer – Week 12

There’s a chill in the air as we come to what may for some be the most challenging section of our Morning Prayers. We are truly sorry. In your mercy, forgive us. Help us to amend our lives; that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your name. Amen. I was reading yesterday on an internet site that more people than ever have taken to book reading during the pandemic, and it… [Continue Reading]

Reflections on Morning Prayer – Week 11

After reading Jesus’ identification of the two most important commandments, if we are honest, we are immediately aware of the impossibility of living them out consistently every day. We may not always immediately recall the occasions when we have not put God first or preferred to please ourselves rather than serve other people, but what about those negative thoughts and attitudes we’ve had about folk… So…Let us confess our sins to the Father and seek his pardon and peace. Almighty… [Continue Reading]

Reflections on Morning Prayer – Week 10

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 – Week 9

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 – Week 8

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 – Week 7

“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 – Week 6

“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]