Journey through the Acts of the Apostles

Updated: Jun 18

Dear All Saints and St Mary’s In this Sunday’s readings we continue our journey through the Acts of the Apostles, with an excerpt from Paul’s second missionary journey.


Paul and his companions had travelled up from Antioch and was hoping to visit the towns on the west coast of what is now Turkey.

Luke tells us, however, that the Holy Spirit prevented him from following that route. Instead, they followed an inland route. As they reached the port of Troas, which is on the northwest coast of modern Turkey,

Paul had the vision that we hear about in today’s reading. In response to the vision, Paul and his companions took a ship to Neapolis and then went to Philippi, the leading city of the area. It is at Philippi that a chance meeting with the influential and wealthy Lydia led to the start of a thriving Christian community in the city. Paul’s journey had not gone according to his plan, but he had kept his heart and mind open to where God wanted him to go. By listening to the Holy Spirit, Paul had adapted his plans to what God had in store for him and his mission became fruitful in ways he had not imagined. As we plan the next steps for our church communities, like Paul, we need to remain open to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. In worship, prayer, and bible study, but also in those chance meetings along the way, we need to be listening out for where God is pointing us. Pandemic lockdowns have disrupted church life in many ways, but they have also given us opportunities to think about different ways of being God’s church. Like Paul, not everything will go as we expect, but if we trust in God and listen for the what the Holy Spirit is saying, then amazing and wonderful things can happen in ways we never expected. On the subject of amazing and wonderful things, the Café Service at All Saints this Sunday is our second based on Graham Tomlin’s book Why being yourself is a bad idea. This Sunday we will be reflecting on why wonder is the beginning of wisdom. This will explore how we react to the enormity and complexity of creation and how our faith in God’s love leads from fear of the unknown to a sense of awe and wonder. This Sunday we also have an 8am said communion at All Saints and a 10am Communion at St Mary’s. this gives the following services for Sunday 22nd May:

08:00am

All Saints

Holy Communion (said)

10:00am

St Marys

Holy Commnion

10:30am

All Saints

Café Service

This week we have our normal midweek services.

Next Sunday, 29th May, we have a benefice service at All Saints for Ascension Day.

There will be no 10 am service at St Mary’s that day, but there will be evensong at 6.30 pm.

This gives the following services for the coming week:

Wednesday 25th

09:00am

All Saints

Celtic Morning Prayer

Thursday 26th

10:00am

St Mary's

Holy Communion

Sunday 29th

08:30am

All Saints

Holy Communion (said)

10:30am

All Saints

Benefice Holy Communion

18:30pm

St Marys

Evensong

Psalm 8 reflects on the majesty of creation and how small and insignificant we are with respect to all God has created. Yet is also reminds us of the responsibility God has given to us, insignificant as we are, to care for his world, for animals, domesticated and wild, the birds and all that lives in the sea.

  1. O Lord our governor, how glorious is your name in all the world!

  2. Your majesty above the heavens is praised out of the mouths of babes at the breast.

  3. You have founded a stronghold against your foes, that you might still the enemy and the avenger.

  4. When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have ordained,

  5. What are mortals, that you should be mindful of them; mere human beings, that you should seek them out?

  6. You have made them little lower than the angels and crown them with glory and honour.

  7. You have given them dominion over the works of your hands and put all things under their feet,

  8. All sheep and oxen, even the wild beasts of the field,

  9. The birds of the air, the fish of the sea and whatsoever moves in the paths of the sea.

  10. O Lord our governor, how glorious is your name in all the world!

This is a great responsibility, which we can only meet if we truly embrace that sense of awe and wonder with a true humility of heart. Let us pray that God will grant us that combination of awe and humility that the Old Testament refers to as the fear of God. Because as the Psalms and Proverbs remind us, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. God bless Mark Mark Simms Licensed Lay Minister Benefice of All Saints and St Mary, Fishponds

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