REMEMBERING - TO WORSHIP - Fitzroy Gathering Reflection 8.11.2020


This is the reflection part to the Fitzroy Gathering on November 8, 2020. With the restrictions that Coronavirus demands we have gone for these smaller gatherings to be reflective... quiet songs and more time to reflect on the Scriptures and morning on-line service.

I had preached on Joshua 24 on Remembrance Sunday. I tried to do two things. First of all remember:



2-6 “This is what God, the God of Israel, says: A long time ago your ancestors, Terah and his sons Abraham and Nahor, lived to the east of the River Euphrates. They worshiped other gods. I took your ancestor Abraham from the far side of The River. I led him all over the land of Canaan and multiplied his descendants. I gave him Isaac. Then I gave Isaac Jacob and Esau. I let Esau have the mountains of Seir as home, but Jacob and his sons ended up in Egypt. I sent Moses and Aaron. I hit Egypt hard with plagues and then led you out of there. I brought your ancestors out of Egypt. You came to the sea, the Egyptians in hot pursuit with chariots and cavalry, to the very edge of the Red Sea!


I brought that forward to us now and asked that in the quiet with our eyes closed we found ourselves at the foot of Christ’s cross… and remember…



The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling,

    a scrubby plant in a parched field.

There was nothing attractive about him,

    nothing to cause us to take a second look.

He was looked down on and passed over,

    a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.

One look at him and people turned away.

    We looked down on him, thought he was scum.

But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—

    our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.

We thought he brought it on himself,

    that God was punishing him for his own failures.

But it was our sins that did that to him,

    that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!

He took the punishment, and that made us whole.

    Through his bruises we get healed.

We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost.

    We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way.

And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong,

    on him, on him.


He was beaten, he was tortured,

    but he didn’t say a word.

Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered

    and like a sheep being sheared,

    he took it all in silence.

Justice miscarried, and he was led off—

    and did anyone really know what was happening?

He died without a thought for his own welfare,

    beaten bloody for the sins of my people.



LISTEN: You Did That For Me by Pierce Pettis


Don’t have to be ashamed

Don’t have to hang my head,

Shoulder the blame

Wondering if my life’s been in vain

Don’t have to be ashamed


Man of sorrow

Well-acquainted with grief

Dragged to the city dump

Spread-eagle on a cross beam

Propped up like a scarecrow,

Nailed like a thief


You did that for me

You did that for me

You wore the chains so I could be free

You did that for me


From remembering Joshua moves to present and future. Decisions we make now, impact what happens next. For Joshua that was all about worship



19-20 Then Joshua told the people: “You can’t do it; you’re not able to worship God. He is a holy God. He is a jealous God. He won’t put up with your fooling around and sinning. When you leave God and take up the worship of foreign gods, he’ll turn right around and come down on you hard. He’ll put an end to you—and after all the good he has done for you!”

21 But the people told Joshua: “No! No! We worship God!”

22 And so Joshua addressed the people: “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen God for yourselves—to worship him.”

And they said, “We are witnesses.”


Paul does something similar in Romans 12. After Paul walks them through the theology of the Gospel he starts Romans 12 with… Therefore in view of God’s mercy… After we remember says Paul we need to make decision now…



So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.


LISTEN - Instrument by Pierce Pettis


Let me be an instrument of your peace

Let me be a tool in your hand

Crooked and warped though I might be

Let me do some good here while I can


Let me be a vessel for your grace

Let me the first one to forgive

Though the world may curse me to my face

Let me learn to bear it like you did


Make me faithful, make me grateful

Make me useful in this life

All this living without giving

Give me one more chance to try

MERCY GIVERS - A Short Reflection of Song, Scripture and Surmise

Stockman Catalyst 1

When Jesus offers “life in all its fulness” in John 10:10, he follows it in 10:11 with “I am the Good Shepherd and I lay down my life for the sheep”. 

Here is the caress and collide of the Gospel. The caress of The Good Shepherds love is soon followed by the call to be shepherd ourselves.



12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 



When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.


Jesus chat with Peter … 



v 16 Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

17  Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 

19 Then he said to him, “Follow me!”


The Gospel caresses us as we receive God’s mercy… we then are called to share that mercy with the harassed and helpless sheep around us.




May every curse be broken, and every hope revealed 

May every blessing be unbroken, and every broken heart be healed 


And let there be mercy, mercy, mercy 

Let there be mercy, mercy, mercy 


Let the water flow, let the light shine 

Let the blood go through me like a river winds 

Through the valley, through the meadow 

Through my spirit and my soul just like a river goes 

Through the mountain, under the moonlight 

Let the blood go through me till I truly see the light 


Let there be mercy for my brother and sister, my mother, my family 

Let there be mercy for my friends and lovers, my foes and enemies 

Let there be mercy for my words and wars, deeds and deeds I didn't do 

Let there be mercy for every soul in this city may the Lord have pity over you 


Ben sings of mercy for the family… friends… enemies… wars… and every soul in the city…

Let us not look ahead for months of years… Let us consider the week ahead… “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down HALF AN HOUR for one’s friends.”

The Good Shepherd laid down his life for the sheep… what can we do for Him…




You have given everything to me.

What can I do for You?

You have given me eyes to see.

What can I do for You?


Pulled me out of bondage and You made me renewed inside,

Filled up a hunger that had always been denied,

Opened up a door no man can shut and You opened it up so wide

And You've chosen me to be among the few.

What can I do for You?


You have laid down Your life for me.

What can I do for You?

You have explained every mystery.

What can I do for You?



Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

I STILL HAVEN'T FOUND WHAT I'M LOOKING FOR - A Song, A Scripture and a Soul Surmise


A Song, A Scripture and a Soul Surmise is a new series of blogs that I hope might be a resource for quiet reflection. The idea is that in a Scripture reading, a song to listen to and a short reflection/poem/prayer of mine we can listen for the Spirit to whisper some truth through the white noise of so many voices around us... For most impact, line the song up first...



But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.





"I believe in the Kingdom Come

Then all the colours will bleed into one

Bleed into one.

But yes, I'm still running.


You broke the bonds

And you loosed the chains

Carried the cross of my shame

Oh my shame, you know I believe it.


But I still haven't found

What I'm looking for."

(written by U2)



Lord, You broke the bonds
You loosed the chains
Carried the cross
And our shame
You know we believe it…

We trust in Christ's death for us
We believe in Your grace given to us
We rest in Your love lavished upon us
But we are so very aware
That we still haven't found what we are looking for.

Lord we are aware that trusting in You
Believing in You
Resting in You
Is not the end but the beginning
And we are content in the new birth Your grace brings us
We are confident in Your promise
That there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

But Lord in our contentedness and in our confidence
Do not allow the devil to get a foothold
And cause us to relax so much
That we languish in our sin, our doubts and our failings
And live lives that cause you hurt or pain or sadness.

Lord we ask you to move us on
To cause us to grow
To mould us and shape us
Lord we ask that You would inspire us
To let us see who we can become
People who reveal Your power and love and holiness
In a world of weakness, spite and hedonistic anything goes
People who mature and develop
Into stable, useful members of family, church and community.

Lord, as we pray this prayer
We are even more acutely aware
That we still haven't found what we are looking for
So Lord press us on to take hold of that
For which you have taken hold of us
Help us to make every effort
To strain towards what is ahead
To press on towards the prize
For which God calls us heavenward in Christ Jesus.