Did you watch any of the coverage of the London marathon on Sunday or know anyone who was taking part? People who enjoy running usually concentrate on either speed in sprints or endurance in long distance running. The fastest of the elite athletes this year completed 26 miles (and a bit) in just over 2 hours. How much training must that have taken and how much pain must he have endured? The London marathon is the only large scale one that has taken place this year with people managing to run their races virtually. They will have missed the companionship of running in the large crowd but they endured this to raise money for many good causes who rely on their support.
The Collective Worship Team have recorded the next part of the story of the early Christians and their leaders. It shows some of the fear and pain that the Apostles had to endure. You can watch and listen here or read the story for yourself in Acts 6:1-15 and Acts 7:54-60
The story tells that a group of people were being treated differently from others and what the Apostles did to help this. They needed help to do some of the tasks so that they could concentrate on teaching people about Jesus. They prayed about the situation and then chose people with the gifts and skills needed to help the whole group. Once this was sorted out, the community was stronger.
Do you know of anywhere that people are being treated unfairly? Is there anything you can do to help? It could be something local or something global. Even if you don’t think you can do anything practical you can pray about the situation.
Stones can be used for all sorts of things, some good and some not. In the story of Stephen, stones were used to cause harm. They can be used to build walls to either keep people apart (where is this happening at the moment?) or to keep people and animals safe (North Yorkshire is famous for its dry stone walls). You may have seen a cairn on a walk – they are piles of stones that can celebrate or remember people or places and you will often see them on top of hills and mountains – if you are planning a walk in the next few weeks, watch out for cairns and add a stone. Stones can be carved in graveyards to remember people – have you seen the one at St Mary’s for Henry Jenkins who was 169 when he died?
Sometimes we want a stone to be smooth so that it is nice to hold and calm us. Rev Yvonne uses stones in services to help us to focus on prayer. Try using a smooth stone in this way.
Sometimes we are interested in the texture of the stone – find an interesting texture on a wall, a building or a headstone and use wax crayons to make a rubbing of it onto paper; experiment with different pressure and colour to see what works best.
The end of the story tells us that people went home from Jerusalem taking the news of what was happening with them to their different areas. The news about Jesus spread. In the first century news spread at the speed that people could travel. How does news spread today? Survey people you know to find out how they get news – try to ask people who are different ages. You could use these ideas to help you to write your questions. How do you choose which news you can trust?
An idea for prayer this week:
We see things in our world that are not fair. Help us to recognise them and do our part to change what we can.
Look out for the Autumn colours when you are outside. They are very bright, especially when the sun is shining.
Alison and Angie