You may or may not have anyone you want to send a Valentine’s card to this Sunday. Whatever your situation this year, go on a thought journey with me.
Here’s the central question: How much is enough?
Would you be the big bunch of roses type or a bunch of £1 daffodils type?
Would you be Hotel Chocolate or Dairy Milk?
Would you be a flight to Paris (as if, this year!) or a walk round Eccles precinct?
Would you be tempted to order a £140 takeaway dinner for 2 or would it be Passage to India’s £25 for 2 again?
Actually, if you are wondering about the £140 option, forget it. They sold out. Tommy Banks is a Yorkshire-based Michelin-starred chef whose £140 premium ‘oven-ready’ takeaway meals sold out in a few days last week.
Even if you are not from Yorkshire, I’m sure you’ll agree that’s excessive!
Enough of the thought experiment.
By now, you will have made up your mind. Some might be saying ‘I wish’: I’d love some OTT expressions of devotion. And others will be saying out loud: ‘Get a grip!’
But what’s always true is that for those watching on, excessive displays of adoration are always embarrassing. It’s hard not to make a joke about it, or whisper some catty remark, or groan grumpily. After all, who wants to watch this emotional incontinence?
One man who was never embarrassed by it was Jesus. Once, having been invited to dinner by a local intellectual, a woman known to the whole town came in and acted in ways that embarrassed everyone. Well, everyone except Jesus, who understood what it all meant. (Luke 7:36-50)
At a distance it’s easy to judge the Pharisee host, but some of us know how easy it is to roll our eyes when others seem excessively pious. Those who cry too easily, sing too loudly, smile too earnestly, pray too long, kneel when not asked to. You might know what I mean.
You ask why they can’t just be cooler about it all. And what you mean is why they can’t be like you. Because you are … ‘balanced’.
In the story, Jesus knew why ‘that’ woman had acted like she did. She’s heard the remarkably freeing news that she was loved, accepted, included, wanted by God. After a lifetime of being on the outside of society, she was now an insider in the kingdom.
And he wondered why Simon the Pharisee couldn’t understand the power of grace. Maybe Jesus still wonders!
Jesus will never be embarrassed by your commitment to him, so take no notice of all the rest.
It’s just that you are a roses bouquet, Hotel Chocolat, Paris-bound, Tommy Banks-catered follower of Jesus.
Songs and Stories
‘Wholly Yours’ by Ian Peacock
This new feature in Midweek Musings involves Ian sharing a song he has written and a little bit of the story behind it.
This is this week’s offering.
1. Lunchtime in Exile: starts Tuesday 23rd February, 12.30-1.30pm
Weekly from Tuesday 23 February at 12.30-1.30, there will be lunchtime sessions exploring the Book of Revelation. We know that not everyone will be able to come along at that time, but we will record all the sessions so you can catch up later.
Before we begin, it would be good for you to watch these 2 short films that give an overview of the book and an introduction to the type of literature that it is:
If you want to buy a book that would help, I would suggest Ian Paul’s Revelation: An Introduction And Commentary (Tyndale New Testament Commentary)
2. Wellbeing Course: starts Thursday 18th February, 1-2.30pm
Are you living on empty? Maybe it’s time to refill.
The Wellbeing Journey is a new series exploring holistic wellness: body, mind and spirit. It is based around 6 key areas of wellbeing: physical, emotional, spiritual, relational, financial and vocational, to help you discover how to run on a full tank.
There are eight sessions to explore together, lasting between 60 and 90 minutes, which includes a video and time for discussion.
If you know someone who would benefit from discussing their wellbeing in a friendly and supporting environment, do invite them.
Here’s the link: https://zoom.us/j/92865676423?pwd=TVZSR253YWc1Wm1LQ3l4eTdDY0o3dz09
Our Regular Gatherings
1. Coffee Morning: Wednesday at 10.30am.
A Wednesday morning is the ideal time to catch up with people, have a brew, even involve yourself with a quiz.
2. Home Groups: Thursday at 7.30pm
If you would like to connect with a smaller group every other week on a Thursday evening, let us know and we will include you in. We send notes out with the link to the meetings before the evening
3. Prayer Meeting: Friday
Contact Corinne Baines or Gill Oldham or Neil and they’ll make sure you are able to connect.
4. Sunday Service at 10.30am
Zoom Link: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/836810848
Meeting ID: 836 810 848
And on Salford Elim Church’s YouTube page.
And at 10am, led by Hannah:
If you would love the privilege of praying for our Sunday morning service, then we need you! Log on to the Sunday morning Zoom at 10am and we’ll go into a break out room for 15-20mins, to pray together for those involved in the service, as well as for the service itself.
I’d love to see you there xxx
If in doubt
All the links to the meetings are in ChurchSuite and on the ‘Calendar’ section of our church website: https://www.salfordelimchurch.org/events/
You’re not alone
If you need help and don’t know where to turn, you are always welcome to contact Neil on 07771 558058.
To encourage you
This is how He carries you
It’s too much, Lord. I can’t count the number of times I’ve uttered some form of these words. Sometimes I whisper through my tears and other times I scribble furiously onto the pages of my journal—early morning thoughts after news of another hardship. Another friend’s suffering. My own difficult circumstances. A world in physical, emotional, and spiritual upheaval.Continue reading: http://laurenwasher.com/this-is-how-he-carries-you