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Weekly Sheet 20 June 2021

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Readings for Week 12 in Year 1
Monday:                      Genesis 12:1-9; Psalm 33:12-22; Matthew 7:1-5
Tuesday:                      Genesis 13:2,5-18; Psalm 15; Matthew 7:6,12-14
Wednesday:                Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18; Psalm 105; Matthew 7:15-20   
Thursday:                    Genesis 16:1-12, 15-16; Psalm 106:1-5; Matthew 7:21-29
Friday:                         Isaiah 40. 1-11, Psalm 85. 5-12; Acts 13. 14b-24; Luke 1. 57-66, 80
Saturday:                     Genesis 18:1-15; The Magnificat; Matthew 8:5-17   

All can be found here.

So Mr Drakeford has spoken and we remain as we are at least for the time being, held back from the promised greater freedom. Safety first is the proper case – we know the Delta-variant is around and very transmissible – one of my colleagues has just been told he needs to self-isolate having, somewhere been in contact with someone who has it. There are, of course, so many inconsistencies in the restrictions (not least why it is ok for a plane crammed full of soccer fans to sing while we cannot in the lofty expanses of our socially-distanced worship) but we must keep the rules, at least for a little while longer.

This week is ‘Refugee Week’ . as the poem of the back of the sheet reminds us – we all came here from somewhere. Many of our ancestors moved to South Wales in the 19th century, moving from rural poverty to seek work in the mines and factories – as much refugees from one place to another as those who were invited to come on the Windrush or to pick potatoes in Lincolnshire. Always the search is for safety and hopefully stability and security. No-one chooses to become a refugee. Pray for those who are forced down this road.

Have you ever felt your life storm-tossed, with the storm coming seemingly from nowhere? Have you ever felt that things are out of your control, even hopeless?

Have you ever been afraid, even terrified? Then join the disciples and the others in small fleet making their way over the Sea of Galilee, waters prone to swift-arising storms. They have Jesus with them, asleep in the stern. They turn to Him, they wake Him up, He who was not disturbed or perturbed by the storm. ‘Do something!’ they demand. ‘Be silent! Be still!’ He says to wind and waves: and there is a sudden flat calm.

He turns to them, these people who have heard His every word and understood so little. ‘Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?’ Their answer is acknowledgement of Jesus’ God-head, with nods to the stilling of the waters in Genesis 1 and echoes both of Job and Jonah. He calls us to commitment, to trust and to faith in Him, do that our storms can be stilled. He doesn’t say they won’t happen – but He does call us to trust in Him when they do.

May that peace be ours when we give ourselves to Him, who calls us to love our neighbour as ourselves.
Father Philip

Poem for Refugee Week

I come from a musical place
Where they shoot me for my song
And my brother has been tortured
By my brother in my land.

I come from a beautiful place
Where they hate my shade of skin
They don’t like the way I pray
And they ban free poetry.

I come from a beautiful place
Where girls cannot go to school
There you are told what to believe
And even young boys must grow beards.

I come from a great old forest
I think it is now a field
And the people I once knew
Are not there now.

We can all be refugees
Nobody is safe,
All it takes is a mad leader
Or no rain to bring forth food,
We can all be refugees
We can all be told to go,
We can be hated by someone
For being someone.

I am told I have no country now
I am told I am a lie
I am told that modern history books
May forget my name.

We can all be refugees
Sometimes it only takes a day,
Sometimes it only takes a handshake
Or a paper that is signed.
We all came from refugees
Nobody simply just appeared,
Nobody’s here without a struggle,
And why should we live in fear
Of the weather or the troubles?
We all came here from somewhere.

                                                                       Benjamin Zephaniah