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Romans 12:9-21

God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.’ (Romans 5:5)

These verses offer a wonderful picture of the kind of Christian community that is possible. After all, God’s love has been poured into our hearts, so why not? Paul suggests that it is entirely possible for a local church to think, act and live according to the pattern that he outlines: humble, considerate, joyful, prayerful, passionate, righteous, hospitable, peaceful, forgiving – and the rest. This is the kind of faith community that anybody with sense would want to join. Paul is being idealistic, but is he being too optimistic?

There are few passages that capture so essentially what it means to live in a Christian way. Paul does not often refer in detail to the life and ministry of Jesus, presumably because when he writes he is responding to specific issues that have been raised. He also takes it for granted that his readers know the basic narratives of Jesus’ life. Yet here he could be spelling out the very shape of Jesus’ life as the one who absorbed and overcame evil rather than perpetuating it. Returning good for evil takes us very close to the cross: ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing’ (Luke 23:34). To be Christ-like is surely to exhibit the qualities that are listed here – and every Christian wishes to be like Christ.

I sometimes wonder how the world would be if everybody were a Christian. I would like to think that all would be well and the world would be different. I certainly believe it would be better, but not yet at its best. Human beings are perennially disagreeable and manage to create conflict wherever they go. In a Christian world this trait might simply be intensified in relation to matters theological. Evidently we still have to work out our salvation in relation to each other, let alone the watching world.

Nigel Wright


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My presence will go with you and I will give you rest.’ 
Oh God, can those words be for me too?
How I long to hear them!
I’m not Moses, but I’m also on a journey – trying to follow Jesus.Some days, life seems like an unmarked wilderness,
and I’m not sure which way to go.
‘My presence will go with you and I will give you rest.’
Yes, I hear you Lord. Help me to trust.Other days, I’m so busy that I don’t stop to listen.
I’m stressed and distracted and frazzled.
‘My presence will go with you and I will give you rest.’
Yes, I hear you Lord. Help me to pause and take time for you.Then there are the days when I do remember.
I walk restfully in your presence.
How different those days are.‘My presence will go with you and I will give you rest.’
Yes, I believe you Lord. Those words are for me. 
Your presence does go with me and give me rest.
Thank you Lord!Amen
Richard England

Sabbath rest....

As I reflect on my sabbath rest - my sabbatical - these questions from Peter Mead ( Scripture Union daily bible study) got me thinking....When you stop to think about what is on your to-do list, what are the first things that come to mind? Do you trust God with these things?
Do you trust God enough to take a day off?Are you striving to please God for salvation? Rest in what Christ has done.
Are you stressed as you strive in your work, even in your work for God?
Resting can be the ultimate declaration of trust! Let rest remind you of God’s goodness towards you and trust God's faithful provision!Peter Mead


A journey begins with one step and (with some trepidation) I start my sabbatical.
The hope?
To rest, have time out to reflect on calling,  ministry and what it might look like in the future - personally and within the context of Ruthin....
So, a prayer:
Loving God, in my journeying and my resting, in my listening and or reflecting please guide me and lead me afresh to the light of your truth, Jesus.
For I ask in His name...