It’s Friiiiiiday! John here, sorry to disappoint you with no movies from Universal, like Jaws, Back to the Future, To kill a mockingbird and many more. Nothing to see here…
When you’re looking for your assembly (or sermon) material, something of the “universal” is useful. Jane Austen knew that. Anything to do with toilets always gets a laugh. It’s an experience we all share. Well, perhaps not “share…”
Tuesday’s boy with the fish butty lunch is another. When I ask if anyone’s mum gives them things for lunch that she knows they don’t like,” I’m looking out at 90% (nearly universal) of the school reacting. (I tell them the solution is to make your own lunch!) Psalmist David’s emotions are all familiar to us even if we’ve not been at the head of an army—or fighting at all. The Bible has so many people, so many moments we can all identify with.
Take a moment to thank God that we can find elements of ourselves in his word.
But some things aren’t universal and can divide us. We’re told not to judge the people of centuries ago by today’s standards, but the world was split even then. Slavery was not universally accepted, even in Colston’s era. Horace Walpole in 1750 said, “It chills the blood.” Someone writing Colston’s company’s blurb of justification noted, “Many are… against the trade, thinking it barbarous, unhuman (sic) and unlawful to trade in Blacks.” Yup.
Here’s a paradoxical “universal” – some people think differently to us.
Perhaps this is the time to pray for understanding why some people carry anger inside and for God’s peace to rest over this messed up world..
Understanding doesn’t mean we have to accept or ignore what is patently wrong and what is against what God wants for his people.
It’s not a pass for nastiness, lies or corruption. Bullying isn’t just a difference of opinion.
Pray for discernment to know when and what to say when we see injustice (no justice, no peace) and Holy Spirit courage to do whatever.
Here’s an excuse for a big cat picture. We all need to love and be loved, it’s how he made us. It’s a universal.
Pray thanks for those who surround us with love, and for God’s love that gives us more than enough for ourselves so we can share it about in this hurting world. And pray for those that need to know God’s love.
This song was written for one of those holiday clubs that centred on Peter. Jesus needed someone to lean on so he chose Peter, which meant that Peter needed forgiveness. There’s another universal.
Thank God for that forgiveness you have received and pray for those who need someone right now.
And to close, I relent. Looking more appropriate than ever…the original – a Universal (capital”U”):
Go, Friday peeps ! Go in his name to be his people…(possibly have a coffee in his name first)