The Civic and Parish Church of Bournemouth

Maundy Thursday

ProclamationDownload our free appAccess an audio version of this reflection via our free app for Apple and Android devices.Bible reading – 1 Corinthians 1.21-5 (NRSV Anglicized Edition)For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.ReflectionIn 1984 the renowned evangelist Billy Graham came to England and preached at sports stadia around the country for a week at a time. I was 18 years old. As a very keen young Christian I hired a coach every night to take people from my school to the nearest event, 50 miles away. One of my school friends recently posted on Facebook the letter that I wrote to him inviting him to come with me, which he did. I was moved that he still had this, 36 years later. 

The fact that most people come to faith gradually does not mean that there is no place for this proclamation style of evangelistic preaching. For many, that can be one piece of the puzzle, even if coming to faith is a slow process. And all of us have a part to play. I can’t preach like Billy Graham. But I can pray, I can witness to what I have experienced, and I can invite.PrayerLord, thank you for those who are gifted to proclaim the message of the Gospel. Please bless and use them. And help me to play my part, as I pray and witness and invite. Amen.Action for the weekThis week, commit to praying regularly for five people in your life who do not, as far as you know, have faith in Christ. Look for opportunities to share your story with them.
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The reflections by Stephen Hance are taken from the booklet #LiveLent: God’s Story, Our Story, which is published by Church House Publishing and copyright © The Archbishops’ Council 2020 and used here with permission. They are based on and contain quotations from  Living His Story: Revealing the extraordinary love of God in ordinary ways, The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book 2021, written by Hannah Steele and published by SPCK, which is copyright © 2020 Hannah Steele and used here with permission. Except where otherwise specified, Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright © 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.