The congregation were asked to write down their wishes for the new year.
Click on this "Word Picture" to see them all.
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It has been heart-warming and affirming to see images of rainbows appearing in so many different places, in so many different forms, all across the UK and through many other countries of the world. Children’s paintings in windows, home-made banners, even flower-beds have been created in the colours and form of a rainbow to help spread joy in what are, for so many people, somewhat bleak times.
It all started as a campaign to spread a message of hope after schools closed in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
School pupils, unable to meet with friends and attend lessons, were encouraged to display their rainbow paintings to take part in what has been called the ‘cheerful windows campaign’. A reporter commented, "Signs are going up in windows all over … and will really help maintain morale for children (and families) in these difficult times."
The rainbow is important as a sign of hope and of God’s love for us all too. Remember the story of Noah. After all the destruction and chaos of the flood, God sets a ‘bow’ in the sky as a reminder of the covenant between God and all humanity - and all the created world (see Genesis 9:8-17). God promises never to bring destruction to the earth again in the form of a flood and, I would suggest, we can include any kind of natural disaster, or disease. This is particularly important for us today, as some Christian people are saying that the present Covid-19 outbreak is God’s punishment on a sinful world.
This is certainly not the way of the God of love in whom I believe and trust. No, the God of love in whom I believe and trust is not in destructive forces like wind, earthquake or fire, but in the gentleness of a healing breath of air (see 1 Kings 19:11-12).
So, the rainbow, in all its variety of colour, is a reminder of God’s desire for a loving relationship with all people and all creation and a symbol of hope and encouragement especially in times of hardship.
Thinking of the colours of the rainbow, I recall being taught at school a rather ‘nonsense’ phrase to help remember the colours of the rainbow in their order: “Richard Of York Gained Battles In Vain” – the first letters of each word referring to: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet!
Now, here’s a challenge for you for the week to come – can you take the colours of the rainbow in order and make a prayer, or a message of hope and of God’s loving care for us? Here is my attempt – do let me or Sarah have yours and we may be able to include them in future weekly news sheets as a way of bringing encouragement and cheer to each other (you may find a dictionary handy!).
Reflecting On Your God Brings Inspiring Verse
(the colours of the rainbow)
You might like to try this in reverse order too, beginning with the ‘V’! Good luck and God bless!
If you would like to read the Scripture verses at the weekly on-line Sunday service please contact Mike.
Also, let Mike know if you have particular prayer requests (for yourself or others) in these challenging and uncertain times and If you would like to contribute a prayer, poem or reflection for the weekly Sunday service outline.