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A Message from Phil Moon (Vicar)
Thought for the Day
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Phil. 4:8
This Scripture makes it clear: critical to our lives is our thought life. Our emotions and
perceptions, values and choices, highs and lows are all connected to whatever fills our imagination and meditation. What’s filling yours at the moment?
Perhaps that’s a silly question! But in fact, before the changing needs of the hour, or our fears for the future, or the brokenness of our world claim our preoccupation, we can do nothing more important than to think on what is excellent, and especially to think on the Son of God – and to keep doing so.
It’s no accident that our verse comes in the context of God’s antidote to anxiety. For what we think about affects us – for better or for worse. More than that, what we think about most, we end up worshipping. Think on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy – and especially the One who is excellent par excellence – and we’ll flourish and worship the Son of God. Fail to do that, and we’ll worship gods which are no gods at all, which will cripple us and insult God.
How important it is, then, that we’re captivated with what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. Many things in your and my life fall into those categories; let’s pause often to consider them. And most of all…well, C. S. Lewis spoke of the difference between looking at a sunbeam from inside a dark toolshed, and then moving such that “the beam fell on my eyes.” We can enjoy what is good, then look up the sunbeam, and enjoy the One who created them, who is the essence of goodness.
In other words, we want to be captivated with, by, and for Jesus. Nothing, and no one, is more “true and noble, right and pure, admirable and praiseworthy” than him. By the Holy Spirit, we want and need Jesus’ beauty and love to be the most unavoidable realities in our lives. For the more we see of Jesus, the clearer we will see everything else. We suffer from astigmatism of the heart, and we need the corrective vision only Jesus can give us.
We need Jesus’ kingship and reign to rule in our hearts—not a constant preoccupation with the coronavirus. We need the truth and riches of the gospel to shape our emotions, sleep, choices and relationships — not concerns about money, food, and even loved ones. We need Jesus’ mercy and grace, not our fears or selfishness, to determine how we do life.
This isn’t “mind over matter,” but Jesus over all things. It’s not the “power of positive thinking,” it’s being transformed by the constant renewing of our minds. So let’s consider what we’ll allow to fill our minds. Watch what you read; watch what you play; watch what you chat about; watch what you daydream about; watch what you watch. It’s not that we don’t give the fallout from COVID-19 any thought; we will and we must. It is that we give what is excellent and praiseworthy much more thought – especially the excellent, praiseworthy Lord Jesus. Today, will you commit to that? And will you strive to help others do that?
Lord Jesus, captivate us all with yourself.
Monthly Prayer Meeting 25th March 2020
Please note that the monthly prayer meeting will not be taking place this week as planned. We are aiming for it to be on Wednesday 1st April and hope that everyone can join us online. If you can't then materials to help us pray will be available. Further details to follow.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble
Therefore we will not fear….” - Psalm 46
Dover Castle, with its great Norman keep, stands on top of Castle Hill overlooking the town and ferry port far below. Additions were made to protect against the French in Napoleonic times with an underground hospital and operations centre built during the last war. It has never been breached.
The Psalmist reminds us that God is our refuge and strength – an idea used in more than one Psalm (See Psalm 62) – therefore we will not fear.
Later in the same Psalm we are exhorted to “Be still and know that I am God”
It is good to take this Psalm to heart. Each day before you get involved in the often frantic pace of life why not be still and reflect on the refuge God provides, especially in times of trouble?
Originally written for the Kingston (Lewes) Parish Magazine by John
An Evening with Jonathan Aitken
This was originally planned for Wednesday 23rd April and unfortunately has had to be postponed. A new date will be arranged later in the year