Message Sunday 13th Sept

Prayer Points – Lord we come to you, let our hearts be changed
and renewed by your never-ending grace. Thank you for our
world and for all that we have. Thank you for Jesus and the
amazing sacrifice that he made. Thank you for always being there,
even though we don’t behave as you ask us to, or depend on you
when the going gets tough. For this Lord we ask for your
forgiveness. (pause).
Lord about this Coronavirus, we pray that the new restrictions will
be enough to slow the new spread of the virus and save lives.
Thank you for all who are living and working with it, controlling it,
treating it and preventing it. Particularly for those who are
researching and testing a vaccine. We pray that this will be
successful. Again we pray that you will give comfort and peace to
every bereaved family as we are reminded of the number who
have lost their lives.
Lord we are working to reopen our church to worship and praise
you. Please bless, strengthen and look after all who are involved
in this process, so that they are full of your power to meet every
eventuality and situation. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Thank you
It happens every Friday evening, almost without fail, when the
sun resembles a giant orange and is starting to dip into the blue
ocean.
Old Ed comes strolling along the beach to his favourite pier.
Clutched in his bony hand is a bucket of shrimp. Ed walks out to
the end of the pier, where it seems he almost has the world to
himself. The glow of the sun is a golden bronze now.
Everybody’s gone, except for a few joggers on the beach.
Standing out on the end of the pier, Ed is alone with his
thoughts…. and his bucket of shrimp.
Before long, however, he is no longer alone. Up in the sky a
thousand white dots come screeching and squawking, winging
their way toward that lanky frame standing there on the end of
the pier. Before long, dozens of seagulls have enveloped him,
their wings fluttering and flapping wildly. Ed stands there tossing
shrimp to the hungry birds. As he does, if you listen closely, you
can hear him say with a smile, “Thank you. Thank you.”
In a few short minutes the bucket is empty. But Ed doesn’t
leave. He stands there lost in thought, as though transported to
another time and place. Invariably, one of the gulls lands on his
sea-bleached, weather-beaten hat – an old military hat he’s been
wearing for years.
When he finally turns around and begins to walk back toward
the beach, a few of the birds hop along the pier with him until
he gets to the stairs, and then they, too, fly away. And old Ed
quietly makes his way down to the end of the beach and on
home.
If you were sitting there on the pier with your fishing line in the
water, Ed might seem like “a funny old duck,” as my dad used to
say. Or, “a guy that’s a sandwich shy of a picnic,” as my kids
might say. To onlookers, he’s just another old codger, lost in his
own weird world, feeding the seagulls with a bucket full of
shrimp.
To the onlooker, rituals can look either very strange or very
empty. Old folks often do strange things, at least in the eyes of
Boomers and Busters. Most of them would probably write Old Ed
off, down there in Florida.
That’s too bad. They’d do well to know him better.
His full name: Eddie Rickenbacker. He was a famous hero back
in World War II. On one of his flying missions across the Pacific,
he and his seven-member crew went down. Miraculously, all of
the men survived, crawled out of their plane, and climbed into a
life raft.
Captain Rickenbacker and his crew floated for days on the rough
waters of the Pacific. They fought the sun. They fought sharks.
Most of all, they fought hunger. By the eighth day their rations
ran out. No food. No water. They were hundreds of miles from
land and no one knew where they were. They needed a miracle.
That afternoon they had a simple devotional service and prayed
for a miracle. They tried to nap. Eddie leaned back and pulled
his military cap over his nose. Time dragged. All he could hear
was the slap of the waves against the raft. Suddenly, Eddie felt
something land on the top of his cap. It was a seagull!
Old Ed would later describe how he sat perfectly still, planning
his next move. With a flash of his hand and a squawk from the
gull, he managed to grab it and wring its neck. He tore the
feathers off, and he and his starving crew made a meal – a very
slight meal for eight men – of it. Then they used the intestines
for bait. With it, they caught fish, which gave them food and
more bait……and the cycle continued. With that simple survival
technique, they were able to endure the rigors of the sea until
they were found and rescued after 24 days at sea.
Eddie Rickenbacker lived many years beyond that ordeal, but he
never forgot the sacrifice of that first lifesaving seagull. And he
never stopped saying, “Thank you.” That’s why almost every
Friday night he would walk to the end of the pier with a bucket
full of shrimp – and a grateful heart.
Song
Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son
Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son
And now let the weak say, “I am strong”
Let the poor say, “I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us”
And now let the weak say, “I am strong”
Let the poor say, “I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us”
Give thanks…
On YouTube….
https://youtu.be/blbslHDgceY
Blessing – May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of
God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us now and
evermore, Amen.

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