From Martha Golden, Lay Reader - Thursday 2 April
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27 v1
As we settle into what is likely to be a long period of isolation and self quarantining, we find ourselves facing unprecedented uncertainty along with an awareness of our fragility. Most of us have not yet reached a point of despair. Not many that we know have fallen sick, or lost a loved one to coronavirus – not yet. But in the long run we may wonder what lies ahead for us and others, our health, our livelihoods, our future.
Though physically apart, we are not alone, but united by our common humanity and by the Lord who brings freedom from fear, and comfort in distress. So let us pray to God for strength and courage in the days that lie ahead.
Heavenly Father, whatever the future may bring we pray that you may remove the presence of fear and anxiety from our hearts and grant us strength to face whatever difficulties or pain cannot be avoided. May we show your love to others and bring them comfort and peace.
From David Grundy, Associate Minister - Monday 30 March
"Cast all your cares on to Him, because He cares for you”
1 Peter ch5 v7
There have been no shortage of people finding positive sides to this whole lockdown situation - neighbours becoming more aware of each other, environment having some ‘recovery’ time, and many people saying how grateful they have become for things previously taken for granted. But there’s still no doubt that for many people, there is right now a great sense of anxiety and uncertainty.
From Tony Berry - Thursday 26 March
'For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps'.
1 Peter ch2 v21
As I was walking on the beach in those days when we were allowed to, I noticed that ahead of me were a set of beautiful prints in the sand made by a walking seabird. The sand was smooth and I could see where the bird had left each footprint in clear detail. They were so beautiful, that there was a temptation to follow.
I wonder if we leave attractive footprints as we go about our daily lives? Do people see where we have travelled and want to follow? Jesus was always calling people to follow Him; His challenge was to take up a new way of living and to begin the adventure of new life with Him. Paul follows his great description of love in 1 Corinthians 13 with the challenge to “follow the way of love”
The challenge for me is to ask myself what kinds of footprints am I leaving? Am I leaving footprints that speak of a life that follows Jesus and serve as an invitation to follow and find out more? Our 21st Century world does not naturally point towards God, so maybe the challenge is even sharper today than ever before. My hope is that as we go about our daily lives in these difficult times we leave traces of God’s grace in our wake.
Lord Jesus Christ, as we seek to follow you, may the footprints we leave be signposts of your love and grace. May we bring hope and comfort to those around us in these difficult times.
From Tony Berry - Monday 23 March
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning”
Lamentations ch 3 v22-23
At times like this we may feel that a verse like this is simply not living in the real world. But it was a statement of faith made two and a half thousand years ago when the experience of the writer was nothing but death, destruction, enforced movement of people, and very little hope. In spite of everything, and in the face of people’s despair, he or she chose to look for the good things and in them see the hand of a loving God. I hope you might be able to do the same.
Dear Heavenly Father, give us patience and hope in these difficult times. Help us learn that in spite of what we may see, you really are the Sovereign God. May we look for you mercies each day and reflect your steadfast love to those around us.