There is a school down the hill from where I live. It is so nice, now, to see all the children on their way there again these glorious winter mornings, and to hear the bell calling them to class and out to play. We seem to be slowly returning to ‘normal.’ A number of us were able to be at church last week, and partake of Holy Communion, though in a slightly different form to which we are accustomed.
We have been so cared for by all our governments, and the good sense of our fellow-citizens
However, I expect that you, like me, are still very concerned about the progress of the virus. Added to this, we have the outpouring of grief and determination following the death of George Floyd in America, drawing attention to our own dark history and its ongoing effects and prejudices.
Recently we spent time praying ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ over all the world. Is this outpouring part of the answer to that prayer? How can we work together to make God’s love and justice work clearly for all peoples? To be rid of entrenched racism in our midst?
What can we do in these dark days?
This week I have been reading a little book, God and the Pandemic, by English bishop Tom Wright, which grew out of an article on the subject he was asked to write by Time magazine. He is a prolific and helpful writer.
He draws attention to the centre of Paul’s wonderful chapter 8 of Romans, where in the middle of a discussion on faith Paul has the puzzling section about the creation groaning as though in childbirth, our own groanings, and the Spirit’s intercession for us with sighs, or groans, too deep for words. Vss 22 – 27.
The time of Jesus and Paul was no stranger to plague, famine, and pestilence. Then, and now, Jesus’ people are called to pray, even though we are overwhelmed. The Spirit comes alongside us, deeply with us in prayer, in every time, but especially in difficult times.
Our prayer is born of sorrow and lament. Weep with those who weep, Paul tells us a little later. It is right to be in sorrow for the world.
We are also called to action, to follow Jesus as the church has always done, to care for those in need, to seek for justice, (write to our Members of Parliament?) to look in hope to the future, as we pray for it. Whatever the situation, nothing can separate us from the love of Jesus. Thy Kingdom Come.
Whatever the situation, the Lord’s Prayer is always appropriate. We must all pray it daily.
Lynne Clarke, locum minister, Holy Trinity Lara and Christ Church Little River.
HOLY TRINITY & CHRIST CHURCH WEEKLY REFLECTION
Welcome to our weekly reflection!