Good Evening Mummy Meditators – I hope that this post finds you surviving, or maybe even thriving, in your current phase of lockdown. There’s no doubting that this week’s verse has been a toughy. After weeks of this empowering, exciting faith that we’ve seen in …
Author: Rachel Ridler
Good Morning Mummy Meditators!
This season we have found ourselves in has brought with it lots of news things. Grappling with new things often brings conflicts to the forefront, much as the first Christians found out. And that is the theme of this week’s verse:
“Peter and the other apostles replied: We must obey God rather than human beings! The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead – whom you killed by hanging him on a cross.” Acts 5:29-30
CHANGE BRINGS CHALLENGE
When things change, it forces us to think about what we think and believe. In the time when Jesus was around, his preaching and teaching was SO different to what the people were used to that it challenged people. They were challenged about their own beliefs, about whether they were happy with the old religious ways of doing things, and whether they truly believed that a Messiah was coming. It challenged people on their motives, and whether they were really just protecting themselves and their positions. Challenge either brings growth and new realisations if you accept this the bringer of change, or it brings something else – conflict as it opposes what we belief and want, and resentment at the change maker.
Has lockdown brought growth to us as we reflect and have new realisations, or has it brought resentment and a conflicted heart?
CHANGE BRINGS CONFLICT
In Jesus’ time we clearly saw that Pharisees and Chief Priest resenting the change that Jesus represented and brought, and so they tried to stop it. This is when the conflict started. It became them versus Jesus, ultimately resulting in Jesus’ death. The Pharisees then thought they had won, but then the church was born!! This verse is the result of the church being a change that was unstoppable – God was on it’s side!
I guess you could say that the coronavirus was unstoppable too! It has swept through our country even though we don’t want it and changed things in ways we never expected. We’ve been conflicted when having to choose not to see our families because of it, or angry when we’ve seen others not obeying the rules. We’ve been upset that we cannot meet as church in the way we want to. BUT we can see the heart behind the rules – to protect us and keep people safe.
How has we reacted when lockdown has made us feel conflicted? Have we ever thought that the rules were anti-church or not on God’s side?
CHANGE FORCES US TO DECIDE WHICH SIDE WE WILL STAND ON
The crux of this week’s verse to me is this choice. “We must obey God rather than human beings“. Change certainly forces us to make decisions and decide which side we stand on. Back in Jesus day this was very clearly a choice between Christianity and accepting Jesus as saviour, or rejecting him completely. It was clearly a man vs God situation. Lockdown hasn’t been quite so black and white. We have still been able to worship in many ways, we have had amazing opportunities to serve and love our communities, all whilst obeying the rules set out by our government to stop the virus.
To me, the choice here is to be loving and protect others by following the rules, something that speaks volumes of Jesus’ second greatest commandment “to love others as yourselves”, and to break the rules and be selfish, for our own desires and wants, something that speaks of the human heart condition and desire to rule our own lives. To me it is love vs selfishness. And so if we obey God, who is love, then the choice is simple.
After seeing the conflict this week, we turn to see the reaction from the Pharisees. I found this verse particularly inspiring and surprising, and hope you all do to:
“Therefore, in the present case I advise you: leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God” Acts 5:38-39
The lovely Helen Jarman will be leading our Facebook Live discussion this week, so watch the group for announcements on which day/time it will be!
Hello Mummy Meditators!
I hope that you have had a really good week thinking and meditating on this verse about the first church and how it met. It certainly has been challenging for me, as I read about them meeting together in many different ways and think about how we cannot do so in the current lockdown. Just as the first church had to try new ways of meeting (in their homes as well as in the temple), so we too have had to carve out new ways of being church and sharing the gospel with people.
I am so excited for our first contributor post. This is a chance for you to have your say and share something with the Mummy Meditations Community. Everyone brings something different, so take a read, but make sure to read all the way to the bottom for next week’s verse.
“Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the LORD added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:46-47
MIRACLE DAY (based on Acts 2:46-47)
Every day now, I awake at sunrise
With fire in my heart,
Eagerly eat breakfast,
Set out again towards the temple.
We start with prayer:
Each day we are more.
Anyone can join us – all are so welcome.
We share everything.
New brothers, new sisters, new life:
Young and old, all one in Jesus the Christ.
Who would have thought
I could become one of these?
I’ve always been
Back of the crowd, bottom of the pile,
Untouchable cripple, barely-noticed beggar,
Lying unregarded in the dust.
But one miracle day –
just this very week –
the Spirit-wind grew to a gale,
streaming into body and soul,
healing even me in one glorious second,
lifting me into blessed belonging.
Just ahead, across the temple courtyard,
Simon called Peter looks up,
Squints in the morning light,
Catches sight of me.
He grins broadly,
And I break into a run.
What I have learned this week is that the Mummy Meditations group is made up of all different people from different backgrounds, who have different skills , just like in the verse. We also have our own temples of worship in our homes , but we do use technology to communicate within our community, speaking about problems and encouragement to others. We all break bread differently and so many of us would like to be in church community again surrounded by people, but because of COVID-19 we have all experience different churches within our houses. Looking back on the verse we are learning just as they did to spread the word
It’s been amazing to hear from our new contributors – next week we’ll hear from some more! Join Rachel at 8pm on Monday night for a Facebook Live chat to start the week off.
“They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand.” Acts 4:3-4
We are no doubt in uncertain times and uncharted territory for us as a generation. And whilst the church and other organisations are forced into learning how to be community online, we here at Mummy Meditations are already pros at it!! To reflect the changing …
Welcome! It’s the penultimate summary post for this series on Ruth, and you can tell from this week’s verse that we are nearing the end of this story.
“So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the LORD enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son.” Ruth 4:13
I kind of want to finish the series here – this makes a great happy ending doesn’t it! Well, lets take a look at what this happy ending really means.
For both Ruth and Boaz, this verse is a joyful one. There really is that element of a happy ending, where things come out alright for the hero and heroine of the story. Boaz, perhaps ostracised because of his mother ends up with a wife, and Ruth, the outsider widow who has stuck by her mother-in-law, gets a husband to protect and love her. Not only that but they are blessed with a son! I don’t think I could write a better ending. When I read this verse in this version and its says that Boaz made love to Ruth, it really does make me think of a relationship that is built on more than just ticking boxes and convenience. The language echoes of love. Other versions use the phrasing “and he went in to her”, which just doesn’t have as much niceness to it!!! We must remember that this story if likely being told from a male perspective, so the description of this act is probably more about what happened than why!
Despite wanting this to be a happy ending, we really don’t know what these two people are really feeling. I tried to step into Ruth’s shoes this week, and I think the only thing I could imagine her feeling was relief and secure. Relief things were finally going her way ,and secure in her future and her life. Isn’t that what most of us crave? A husband we can trust and rely on to be secure, a place to live that is secure and the knowledge that we have children who will look after us when we can’t look after ourselves? Security is a vital human need. So even if this isn’t a love story, but just one of two people meeting each others need for security, then that is a happy ending in my book.
The big thing that God has kept reminding me of this week is that happiness now does not wipe out the past. We can’t under-estimate how much the past has shaped us and impacted us. Ruth has a dead husband and I am sure that she probably grieved not only for him but for the children they would never have together. Although giving birth to a son with Boaz is cause for celebration, maybe it was also a reminder of the children she wasn’t able to have with her first husband. Maybe she cried in the night as she fed him, shedding a tear for what could have been. Even if we know its God’s plan and we are moving forward, leaving the past behind can be hard.
In our final week of the series, we are meditation on this verse:
“Then Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him. The women living there said, “Naomi has a son!” And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.” Ruth 4:16-17
Join us over in the Facebook Community for the last Facebook Live Discussion of the series on Monday at 8pm.