Spirit & Life

Love God. Love Yourself. Love Others

1 Kings 3:5-14
That night the Lord appeared to him in a dream and asked him, “What would you like me to give you?” Solomon answered, “You always showed great love for my father David, your servant, and he was good, loyal, and honest in his relation with you. And you have continued to show him your great and constant love by giving him a son who today rules in his place. O Lord God, you have let me succeed my father as king, even though I am very young and don’t know how to rule. Here I am among the people you have chosen to be your own, a people who are so many that they cannot be counted. So give me the wisdom I need to rule your people with justice and to know the difference between good and evil. Otherwise, how would I ever be able to rule this great people of yours?”
The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this, and so he said to him, “Because you have asked for the wisdom to rule justly, instead of long life for yourself or riches or the death of your enemies, I will do what you have asked. I will give you more wisdom and understanding than anyone has ever had before or will ever have again. I will also give you what you have not asked for: all your life you will have wealth and honor, more than that of any other king. And if you obey me and keep my laws and commands, as your father David did, I will give you a long life.”

Ephesians 5:15-20
 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like ignorant people, but like wise people. Make good use of every opportunity you have, because these are evil days. Don’t be fools, then, but try to find out what the Lord wants you to do. Do not get drunk with wine, which will only ruin you; instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with the words of psalms, hymns, and sacred songs; sing hymns and psalms to the Lord with praise in your hearts. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, always give thanks for everything to God the Father.

Reflection
In his most vulnerable state, Solomon’s dream expressed his true nature. Anxious and overwhelmed, with truth and humility he acknowledged this with God, requesting wisdom to do the mission before him – no bravado, no pretense. Embedded in his very being, was the truth-filled understanding of God’s call to all – love God, love others. This is the wisdom of Solomon. Honour God with your being (heart and soul) and your everyday living (thoughts and your daily living). All else falls into place – love, wisdom, priorities and knowing what to do.
One thousand years later, the Letter to the Ephesians echoes this message – take care how you live, educate yourself and be wise, make good use of every opportunity, be honest, humble, truthful and live with gratefulness in your heart. God’s wisdom bears great riches beyond measure in our everyday living.

Prayer of Confession
Here I am, Listening One.
I have wandered away from you.
These are the concerns on my heart and in my soul…
Space for personal prayer is kept

In humility, I realize I do not always act with the best intentions,
nor express the grace and kindness that reflect your call.
I am so sorry.
Space for personal prayer is kept

Let me focus my being and living on honouring you and loving others.
Help me to let go of what distracts my focus from you and your way.
Grow in me your wisdom,
for I wish to live this change in my every moment.
Help me to make the most of every opportunity I have,
to love you and love others, in the Way of Jesus.

Words of Assurance
Friends, lift up your hearts with thanks
For we are loved and known by God.
Wisdom grows when we honour truth
Living with humility builds kindness and generosity.
This is our call.
We accept God’s call today.

Blessing
God is with us.
Go out with certainty
Live with gratitude.
Love God’s people.
Listen to Wisdom
Act with kindness.
Make good use of every opportunity you have
And delight in it the moment,
For God is there before us.
Peace of God be with us all.

Prayer for Leaders in these COVID-19 Time
God of all, we pray for leaders across the world,
where wisdom grows through honouring those whom they lead and serve.

For leaders born into monarchy, we pray their reign learns from history,
and acts without greed, domination and corruption.
May they shine with humility, and love those whom they serve.

For leaders who seize power, we pray that restorative justice prevails.
and coups, oppression and violent threats are ended.
May we advocate a democratic way forward and support those who are persecuted.

For leaders voted into power,
we pray they act with a serving heart and responsible thinking.
May love for their community override corruption
and decisions reflect consideration of all whom they serve.

For those who lead in local communities,
we pray that they lead with graciousness, clear thinking, listening ears and advocacy, to promote honest, just communities where neighbourliness is honoured

Bring our voices into these spaces, Spirit,
So that we advocate where injustice is prevalent,
offer healing where there is woundedness
be people who seek your peace and wisdom,
and create a positive, safe and welcoming community of grace.

© Rev Anne Hewitt 11/08/2021
This reflection & prayer may be shared as long as the original writer is credited.

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Woodville Gardens, SA, 5012

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Rev Anne Hewitt
eo@churchestogethersa.org.au
0475 016 789

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Churches Together SA acknowledge the traditional custodians who have cared for this land for centuries.

We pay respect to the Elders past, present and emerging across the many Nations of this Country.