A friend has moved to Hume Court, Costa House. This is a loved and familiar place to her, as she volunteered here for more than sixty years. It is a bit different living here, of course, and she would rather be in her own home, but after a couple of falls she knows that now she is no longer a worry to her family.
‘This is my last home,’ she tells me. ‘From here I go to meet my Maker.’ She smiles as she says it. ‘I’m not afraid. I’m comfortable with that. I’d just like to go one night in my sleep, like my mother did.’ She indicates a picture above her bed. ’Isn’t she lovely?’
Her tone changes.
‘There are people here who are afraid though. Some of them tell me they are frightened.’ She wonders at this. ‘If only they knew Him, like I do. I try to tell them, but they look at me as though I am crazy.’
She is far from crazy. Her faith is deep and has been integral to her for so long. She has a peace that keeps her balanced and whole, in the face of sadness, old age and death.
With the increase in Coronavirus cases and our concern about the lockdown in Melbourne, especially the residential towers, a heightened sense of unease is inevitable amongst us and our community. We seem to be suddenly more aware than previously of the dangers of cross infection. We are all concerned for people’s welfare, and I expect and hope that we are all regularly praying about this, bringing the concerns of our hearts to the One who knows and feels with us. When we come to the end of our resources, or are overwhelmed by sorrows, sometimes to such an extent that we can’t even pray, it is wonderful to know that it is then in particular that the Spirit intercedes for us, with sighs too deep for words.
Paul’s letter to the Romans is a wonderful book and chapter 8 is its centre. He says in verse 19 that the whole of creation is waiting for God’s children to be revealed. God has always wanted to rule his world through human beings, part of what it means to be made in God’s image. ‘We know that the whole creation has been groaning … right up to the present time … we ourselves groan inwardly …’ Verse 22. I think we can all recognise that picture. It is true of us now. The world is groaning, and so are we: we are caught up in it as God’s people. That is as it should be, but it is not easy.
Romans 8, verse 26 explains: ‘… the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.’
In this difficult time, we are called to be a people of prayer at the place where the world is in pain. Sometimes we can only groan, but it is then that we are caught up into the very life of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, sharing in God’s deep, deep love for us and the world
Please read Romans chapter 8. Read verses 15 to 27 over and over, so that it seeps into your very being. Then read the whole chapter, 1 to 39. You will love it.
I have been thinking especially of our political leaders lately. They always face many challenges, but they are much deeper and more serious than usual these days. I think our prayers for them, both personally and in the work they do on our behalf, are more important than ever just now.
Lynne Clarke, Locum minister at Holy Trinity Lara and Christ Church Little River.
HOLY TRINITY & CHRIST CHURCH WEEKLY REFLECTION
Welcome to our weekly reflection!